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Commission seeks to remove black bear from "threatened" list

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Florida Black Bear Cubs

By Regan McCarthy

http://stream.publicbroadcasting.net/production/mp3/wfsu/local-wfsu-993314.mp3

Tallahassee, FL – The Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission has released its management plan for the Florida black bear it's the next step in getting the animal off the state's threatened species list. Some thought the plan would include a hunting season, but Regan McCarthy reports that's not the case.

The Fish and Wildlife Commission has been working to get the Florida Black Bear off its threatened species list, but to do so state regulations require the commission to create a management plan for the animal. Some had speculated it would include a hunting season, but imperiled species manager Kipp Frohlich says that's not on the schedule for now.

"Hunting is not being considered in this plan, we're really focused on the conservation efforts, getting the bear off the threatened list, moving forward, making sure it never gets back on the threatened list biologically."

But conservation officials say that doesn't mean a hunting season in the future is off the table. The commission is asking for public comments about its plan before issuing a final recommendation next year.