California Bear Season Won't Be Expanded

From this story in the San Jose Mercury News:
Facing opposition from animal rights groups and Democratic lawmakers, California's Fish and Game director Tuesday indefinitely withdrew a proposal to let hunters increase the number of black bears they kill each year by 50 percent or more. The proposal, which was supported by hunting groups but had become a flash point for organizations like the Humane Society of the United States, was scheduled for a vote today in Sacramento before the state Fish and Game Commission. But just hours before the meeting, Fish and Game Director John McCamman sent a memo to the commission asking it make "no change at this time to the existing bear-hunting regulations."
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"...The proposed rules also would have allowed hunters for the first time to use global positioning system devices on the collars of hounds that they use to track bears, along with automatic signals that alert hunters when their dogs have treed a bear. State hunting managers said the rules would have offered more people the opportunity to hunt and wouldn't significantly affect the health or size of California's black bear population, now at 38,000. The growing bear population has caused problems in rural areas, menacing garbage dumps and cabins, state officials said. On Monday, 17 lawmakers signed a letter from state Sen. Leland Yee, D-San Francisco, urging the commission to vote down the proposal. "These new regulations are inhumane and lack reasonable scientific justification," Yee said.

Hunting season for black bear in California begins each fall. It ends when hunters either report up to 1,700 black bears killed or when the last Sunday in December arrives. The proposal from Fish and Game staff offered various options to increase the total quota, with one option suggesting 2,500 bears be killed a year and another suggesting there be no limit set. But animal rights groups promised a state ballot measure and a legislative battle."_

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