Niagara Gazette

Opinion

June 12, 2014

CONFER: Don't expand bear hunting in New York

Niagara Gazette — A couple of weeks ago some folks were lucky enough to see a black bear in the town of Pendleton. The news and social media were all abuzz over the sighting, just as they were in the summer of 2009 when a lone black bear stayed in the county for quite some time. Niagara County residents were then, as they are now, hoping to catch a glimpse of an awesome beast that is an infrequent visitor to our region.

Even in what is considered their regular home territory elsewhere in New York, black bears remain a rare sight. I consider myself a fairly decent naturalist and I spend a lot of time in the woods observing and/or hunting wildlife, yet I have had just a dozen encounters with bears in the wilds of Allegany County over the past 20 years.

That isn’t a number that jumps out at you and screams “overabundance.” Officials with the Department of Environmental Conservation think otherwise.

Last month the DEC issued its black bear management plan for the period of 2014 to 2024 (you can download the 41-page document at tinyurl.com/NYbearplan). In it, the agency cites a healthy and expanding population of black bears in the Empire State (an estimated 8,000 bears) as a reason for concern, as it could lead to an increase in human-bear conflicts.

In hopes of maintaining the status quo in terms of population and interactions, the DEC in that same report outlined its plans to bolster the harvest of these magnificent animals.

As it stands now, hunting of black bears is limited to the Southern Tier, the Catskills, the Adirondacks and the Finger Lakes (the last territory an outcome of a 2011 expansion). If the DEC has its way, hunting will be expanded to all of upstate New York, including Niagara County — and you know how rare bears are here!

Text Only | Photo Reprints
Opinion
Featured Ads
House Ads
AP Video
Raw: 2 Shells Hit Fuel Tank at Gaza Power Plant Raw: Massive Explosions From Airstrikes in Gaza Giant Ketchup Bottle Water Tower Up for Sale Easier Nuclear Construction Promises Fall Short Kerry: Humanitarian Cease-fire Efforts Continue Raw: Corruption Trial Begins for Former Va Gov. The Carbon Trap: US Exports Global Warming UN Security Council Calls for Gaza Cease-fire Traditional African Dishes Teach Healthy Eating 13 Struck by Lightning on Calif. Beach Baseball Hall of Famers Inducted Israel, Hamas Trade Fire Despite Truce in Gaza Italy's Nibali Set to Win First Tour De France Raw: Shipwrecked Concordia Completes Last Voyage Raw: Sea Turtle Hatchlings Emerge From Nest Raw: Massive Dust Storm Covers Phoenix 12-hour Cease-fire in Gaza Fighting Begins Raw: Bolivian Dancers Attempt to Break Record Raw: Israel, Palestine Supporters Rally in US Raw: Air Algerie Flight 5017 Wreckage
Opinion
House Ads
Night & Day
Twitter News
Follow us on twitter
Hyperlocal Search
Premier Guide
Find a business

Walking Fingers
Maps, Menus, Store hours, Coupons, and more...
Premier Guide
Front page