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Conservation Groups Urge Governor To Reject Black Bear Hunting Expansion


Conservation groups are urging Governor John Kitzhaber and the Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife to reject part of a proposal to expand black bear hunting tags in Southwest Oregon.

The "Siskyou Plus" proposal includes offering more than 200 additional black bear tags and expands the geographic area during the spring hunting season. Last week conservation groups, including Eugene-based Cascadia Wildlands, sent a letter to Governor Kitzhaber urging him to reject the expansion. Cascadia Wildlands Legal Director Nick Cady says they are worried about hunters taking a mother bear with cubs as they emerge from hibernation.

Cady: "Mother bears care for their cubs for 17 months, and even if regulations are followed, being followed perfectly by a hunter. A mother bear can be taken after a year of raising that cub. And so cubs can be orphaned legally during the final seven months of rearing."

Cady says under Oregon law; found orphaned cubs must then be taken care of by the state. This includes relocation, prolonged captivity, and possible euthanization.

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