A senator in San Francisco has introduced a bill to ban black bear hunting throughout the state of California. Setting aside a thriving bear population and numerous reports of conflicts involving run-ins with people at popular tourist spots. On Monday, state Sen. Scott Wiener (D) introduced Senate Bill 252, “The Bear Protection Act” which happens to be sponsored by the Humane Society of the United States – go figure! The bill is aimed at banning California’s black bear hunting season which takes place in the fall and early winter. There was some verbiage included that basically said residents and landowners could still harvest bears under a permit to protect public safety, livestock or for scientific research, but I think we all know how that goes.
In a news release, Wiener said the following in regards to the bills purpose: “Over the past few years, black bears have faced unprecedented habitat loss due to climate change and wildfires, and continued sport hunting in California makes survival an even tougher climb. It’s time we stop this inhumane practice once and for all.” I found that last part particularly intriguing , because as he goes on in the release, there’s no mention of a plan to re-introduce hunting at some point. Let’s not forget an important fact here; wildfires are not a new phenomenon to wildlife. Bears, deer, cougars, and other creatures have been forced to deal with these scorching fires for as long as those species have existed on this planet. So, keeping that in mind, I don’t think it’s too big a stretch to say bears have pretty good instincts when it comes to avoiding the flames. [full article]