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DEC mulls new bear hunting regulations

Jan 19, 2014 12:03 am
[caption width="225" align="alignleft"] From the New York DEC's website.[/caption]Ariel Zangla in The Daily Freeman reports that the state Department of Environmental Conservation may expand black bear hunting in the Catskills and part of the Hudson Valley to manage the growing population. The plan may add an additional September gun season, for a statewide population of 6,000-8,000 bears with about 30-35 percent in the Catskills, according to the DEC. “Once limited to small, isolated populations in only the most inaccessible mountain regions of the state, conservative bear management has allowed black bear populations to increase dramatically in number and distribution in recent years,” the department says on its website. “However, as bear populations increase and more people choose to live and recreate in areas occupied by bears, human-bear conflicts also increase. Thus, managing bear populations is critically important, and managers are challenged to balance diverse public interests in bears with concern for public safety.” The DEC has a draft plan for bear management at http://www.dec.ny.gov/docs/wildlife_pdf/bbplandraft2014.pdf bit.ly/1azHyo3. The public can comment on the plan until Feb. 21. Comments can be mailed to NYSDEC Bureau of Wildlife, Bear Management Plan, 625 Broadway, Albany, N.Y., 12233-4754 or emailed to fwwildlife@gw.dec.state.ny.us with “Bear Plan” in the subject line. Read the full story in The Daily Freeman.