Expand bear hunting season! Help with the overbearing population of bears in Massachusetts
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In the recent years, the black bear population in Massachusetts has been expanding rapidly. Because black bears have expand into more suburban and urban environments, sightings have risen drastically, and bears have caused damage in neighborhoods and in agricultural areas. Beekeepers have been especially affected. Even when beekeepers properly set up electric fences, it is not uncommon for bears to make their way through the fence. With each hive valued at $400-500, the resulting damage adds up quickly.
In a phone conversation with David Wattles, a Massachusetts State Fur Bearer Biologist, and Bill Crawford, a Commercial Beekeeper, it was learned the black bear population in Massachusetts is estimated to be around 5,000 individuals. It was also stated by Mr. Wattles, that to keep the population stable at that level, 10% of the population would need to be harvested each year. However, according to him, only a couple hundred are harvested each year, meaning the population is continuing to grow rapidly each year. Furthermore, Massachusetts hunters are given the opportunity to purchase only one bear tag for $5--the sales of which is used towards wildlife conservation and management within the Commonwealth.
We the undersigned, request Massachusetts Fish and Wildlife to expand the hunting season for black bears from September 1 to December 31 and to allow up to five bear tags to be sold per hunter until the population is estimated to be 2000 individuals.
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