Prohibit Killing Bears In North Carolina Bear Sanctuaries - SUPPORT HB 1072

Prohibit Killing Bears In North Carolina Bear Sanctuaries - SUPPORT HB 1072

50,265 have signed. Let’s get to 75,000!
Petition to
Rep. Mary Harrison and

Why this petition matters

This petition acts as a show of support for N.C. House Bill 1072 - Prohibit Killing Bears in Bear Sanctuaries.


At the beginning of 2022, the North Carolina Wildlife Resources Commission (NCWRC) proposed allowing bear hunting in three of the state's designated bear sanctuaries. The agency's justification was to allow bear hunters more opportunities to hunt. They also stated that the U.S. Forest Service (USFS) requested that they open up the sanctuaries to hunting due to increased bear-human conflicts. The NCWRC failed to mention that the USFS request was made in 2018, and the request was solely for Panthertown. Additionally, the problem with bear-human conflicts has since been subsequently resolved by introducing bear-proof food lockers in 2020. Over the past two years, the U.S. Forest Service (USFS) has not received any complaints regarding bear-human conflicts, and there are plans to install more food lockers as a proactive measure to prevent future bear-human conflicts. See our objection letter to the Rules Review Commission for details.

On February 25, 2022, despite overwhelming public objection to the NCWRC's proposal that included 2,744 comments, 86% percent in opposition, a virtual public hearing in which the majority of speakers disapproved of the proposal, and our petition that had over 7,600 at the time the NCWRC voted unanimously to open up the Pisgah, Panthertown-Bonas Defeat, and Standing Indian Bear Sanctuaries to bear hunting and hunting with dogs. In addition, they approved a regulation that changed the term "designated bear sanctuary" to "designated bear management area." 

On Tuesday, April 5, 2022, the NCWRC met with stakeholders at the Tri-County Community College in the McSwain Building Lecture Hall to discuss their recently adopted rule. The entire room was packed with both bear advocates and hunters. During the meeting, Representative Gillespie asked everyone who favored opening up the bear sanctuaries to raise their hands. Not a single person raised their hand. All the people in attendance, including the hunters, did not support opening up hunting in the sanctuaries. Our friends at Help Asheville Bears (HAB) filmed the meeting. Click here to watch. 

In the State of North Carolina, the Rules Review Commission (RRC) is responsible for approving or disapproving the NCWRC's adopted rules. If the RRC receives ten or more objection letters requesting a legislative review, the rule is submitted to the General assembly. We took the time to format an objection letter in compliance with the RRC's statutory regulations. The RRC received 439 pages of objection letters and comments in opposition to opening the sanctuaries to bear hunting.

At the RRC's April 16, 2022 meeting, the commission objected to the rule [15A NCAC 10D .0106] Bear Sanctuaries (4-3 vote), finding the rule was not clear and unambiguous and lacked specific guidelines regarding the criteria for establishing permit hunting in the bear sanctuaries. The NCWRC was told that to enact the rule; the agency would need to update the language, clarify the rule, and define the standards that set out what criteria they're using to determine that the rule is necessary.

The NCWRC sent a revision of the rule to the RRC ahead of their May 19th meeting. The rule [15A NCAC 10D .0106] Bear Sanctuaries was listed on the agenda under Follow-up matters. 

During the May 19th RRC meeting, the commission approved the revised rule 15A NCAC 10D .0106 - Bear Sanctuaries, and it was submitted for legislative review. 

On Wednesday, May 25, 2022, the North Carolina General Assembly filed House Bill 1072 to block the NCWRC's rule.

On May 27, 2022, the bill passed its first reading and was referred to the Committee on Rules Calendar and Operations of the House. This legislative process will continue through the long session in 2023 because the Rules Review Commission's final approval for legislative review occurred on May 19, 2022, a day after the legislative session began. If passed, House Bill 1072 will prohibit the killing of bears in bear sanctuaries.

Please act now and support this bill by completing the calls to action listed below. 

Contact the sponsors and co-sponsors of HB 1072, let them know you SUPPORT HB 1072 and thank them for listening to the vast majority of the public who oppose hunting in the Pisgah Panthertown-Bonas Defeat and Standing Indian Bear Sanctuaries.

Rep. Mary Harrison
Phone: 336-274-5574

Rep. Johnnie Autry
Phone: (919) 715-0706

Rep. Deb Butler
Phone: (919) 733-5754

Rep. Marcia Morey
Phone: (919) 733-7663

Rep. Becky Carney
Phone: (919) 733-5827

Rep. Cynthia Ball
Phone: (919) 733-5860

Rep. Allison Dahle
Phone: (919) 733-5755

Rep. Caleb Rudow
Phone: (919) 715-2013

Rep. Mary Belk
Phone: (919) 733-5607

Rep. Wesley Harris
Phone: (919) 733-5886

Rep. John Ager
Phone: (919) 733-5746

Rep. Terry Brown
Phone: (919) 733-5654

Rep. Carolyn Logan
Phone: (919) 715-2530

Email all the N.C. Representatives and tell them you SUPPORT HB 1072 - Prohibit Killing Bears in Bear Sanctuaries. Copy the email addresses below and paste them into the BCC section of your email message.,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,, 

Together we can save bear lives!

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Bear Defenders 






50,265 have signed. Let’s get to 75,000!