27,000 characters Petition: California withdraws Invoice Banning Bear Searching

Photo: Josef Pittner

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Public opinion proposes a bill banning bear hunting in California.

Democracy reigned as public pressure to stop California’s bear hunting ban prompted California Senator Scott Weiner to withdraw the bill.

On January 25th, Weiner introduced the SB-252 – also known as the Bear Protection Act – to ban bear hunting. The legislation envisaged the complete removal of bears from their current wild species designation to non-wild species.

This would completely remove bears from the hunting tag system, although depredation tags would still be assigned in the event a bear molested or killed livestock. Almost 28,000 people signed it Change.org petitionand put a lot of pressure on lawmakers by contacting their offices directly.

California’s Bear Hunting Season: The Numbers

Grizzly Bear Glacier National Park

The California Black bear population is not endangered due to the number of harvests. Indeed the State Department of Fish and Wildlife appreciates the population is healthy in 30,000-40,000 animals, compared to the 1982 estimates of 10,000-15,000.

Currently the state has a harvest limit of 1,700 bears. With more than 30,000 bear stamps a year, the success rate last year was just 919 bears. These largely unfilled tags generated $ 1.39 million for the state.

Previous attempts to ban bear hunting in California

A successful attempt to overthrow hunting bears with dogs in 2013 resulted in the bear harvest declining excessively. And bear management continues to be a problem in communities like Tahoe, where bears routinely break into homes and cause problems.

For some, the legality of bear hunting remains unclear – especially below the non-hunting population. But in California it’s illegal to waste a bear’s meat. This means that a hunter must take the majority of a bear carcass in order to meet their legal requirements at harvest.

Bear meat isn’t just edible but also an essential addition to the freezer. In fact, bear meat served many of the people for a long time Indigenous people and California settler communities as the primary source of meat.

A major sponsor of this bill was the public anti-hunting group The Humane Society of North America. It was claimed that bear populations were threatened and that bear hunts caused “unnecessary and unnecessary death” according to a Press release by Sen. Wiener.

In the reason for withdrawing the invoice, Wiener’s spokesman Catie Stewart told the Sacramento Bee “This is not the time to focus on this now,” with the pandemic a priority.

Black bear

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