Let’s learn to live with black bears

To the Editor:

As a better solution to the proposed “killing” of more black bears being advocated by the North Carolina Wildlife Resources Commission, I am a strong advocate for providing more educational opportunities to better equip communities and individuals with information regarding “living safely with black bears.” 

As an iconic symbol of the wildness we all enjoy in Western North Carolina, black bears are highly valued by most residents and visitors. The controversial regulations to lengthen black bear hunting season and increase the number that can be killed — along with other proposals — are not in the best interest of the bears or the large percentage of residents who deeply appreciate wild lives and wild places. 

There are better solutions. Organizations such as the B.E.A.R. Task Force, Mountain Wildlife Outreach, Wild South and other highly qualified black bear educators in the region are well prepared to provide education opportunities for schools, organizations and individuals. Both the North Carolina Wildlife Resources Commission and North Carolina Wildlife Federation and other organizations have the resources to provide sound “living safely with black bears” information for the general public.

The voices and opinions of many of the very large percentage of WNC residents who love and appreciate the wildlife and beauty of our region need to be heard by those who manage wildlife in our state along with members of the North Carolina General Assembly. It is hoped the NCWRC, NCWF, responsible hunters, N.C. legislators and wildlife advocates will find better ways to communicate and to cooperatively work together. After all, wildlife belongs to all of us.

John Edwards

Director, Mountain Wildlife Days


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