The bear necessities covered at FWC workshop


The FWC presented a workshop for Gulf County residents to learn more about the bear management needs of the community.

Wes Locher | The Star
Published: Thursday, May 29, 2014 at 09:22 AM.

The Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission held a workshop last Tuesday at the Gulf Coast State College Gulf/Franklin Campus to raise awareness for bear management units that would soon be put in place across the state.

The FWC has grouped Florida into seven sections with plans to create a bear stakeholder group within each one. Gulf County falls under the East Panhandle section, which also covers the counties of Bay, Calhoun, Franklin, Gadsden, Jackson, Jefferson, Leon, Liberty, Madison, Taylor, Wakulla and Washington.

The remaining areas are based in the West Panhandle, Big Bend, North, Central, South Central and South units.

The meeting was an open forum for residents to provide thoughts about bear management but also to present common problems and possible solutions. The quorums will help the FWC work with local and state governments to create solutions based on each area’s need.

“It gives people an opportunity to give input,” said Dave Telesco, a bear management program coordinator.

An example of the need stems from the North Florida Child Development on Field of Dreams Drive in Port St. Joe. Due to the lack of a bear-proof dumpster, the animals are constantly bypassing the makeshift locks pulling food, diapers and other waste into the woods surrounding the facility.

The bear management units would work with local government in an attempt to ensure that bear-proof items were made readily available to ensure safety and keep pollution at bay.

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