Opinion: Alarmed over black bear population in North Country
Friday, July 18, 2014 - 10:16 am

To the Editor:

I am writing concerning the black bear population in New York. I am very alarmed about the Department of Environmental Conservation’s Black Bear Management Plan for New York State 2014-15.

These are the proposed hunting regulation changes contained on page 22, Strategy 2.1.6. It states as follows: “Assess the potential benefits and concerns associated with bear hunting practices currently prohibited by the environmental conservation laws. (e.g. hunting with the aid of bait or dogs, trapping with cable restraints, taking bears less than one year of age), and consider other options (e.g., spring season) that may increase bear management capacity at some future date.

The DEC says “the controversial use of traps, dogs and bear all currently outlawed should be reconsidered to spur interest in bear hunting.” They feel that there is not enough bear hunting in the state.

I believe hunters have a right to hunt bear, but to consider allowing these proposed practices at some future date is not only unsportsmanlike) as hunters have told me) but also morally and ethically wrong.

Please contact your local legislators and Gov. Cuomo. Tell them that these currently outlawed practices should remain outlawed.

We have to be the voice for these beautiful creatures. Please speak up.

Shirley Merriam Cornish

Old Forge