It’s time for ALL citizens to take action to save the wildlife of Florida!
I hate to say it but most of Florida is asleep when it comes to what is going on in our state with regards to our wildlife. They don’t know about the corruption of the agency that we have always trusted to protect it and how they have become an elite hunt club.
The politics behind the FWC run through branches of the government from the Governor who is a hunter and seeks to have every inch of Florida developed to the FWC board of commissioners whom he hand picked, except for two. They are big land developers, ranchers, lawyers, road builders, political high rollers, and most hunt. One commissioner/rancher is even trying to have the Florida Panther de-listed so she can kill them off from her ranch.
Most people do not hunt. So why is this all so powerful agency spending our tax dollars to promote it? Don’t we have a say? Well, not as long as you remain silent you don’t. The FWC holds five meetings a year in various locations in the state. At these meetings, the public is invited to say something. The hunters have done this for many years. So now that we know it’s time that we showed up to these meetings and had our say.
It’s going to take a mighty roar to stop this out of control, biased and blood thirsty agency and the power behind it to stop.
THE BEAR HUNT
The recent bear hunt brought to light a how corrupt things have gotten with the FWC. Things just didn’t make sense about the bear hunt. Why would they insist on a hunt mid-way during a count of the bears that has cost thousands of dollars and many man hours? Why would they say it was for the safety of the citizens then retract and say it’s because there were too many bears? Why did make so many mistakes regarding the hunt?
The quotas they set were obviously off by how many bears were taken. Their claiming it would be hard to even kill a bear because they are so elusive was obviously not true. Their objective of killing 320 bears in a week was off by a landslide when 300+ were killed in two days. Their claims to be able to stop the hunt when the quota was reached was wrong. The Eastern Panhandle met it’s quota of 40 bears early in the day but the hunt for that area was not called off until 9:00 pm that night resulting in almost three times as many bears killed. Their argument that they could trust the hunters to follow the rules was wrong. They killed lactating mothers, they baited, they killed cubs, and they killed bears after the hunt was called off as one video from a monitor showed there was no rigor when a bear was brought in the next day after the hunt was called.
Our bears did not have to be killed. The FWC did not have a count of how many bears there are. The nuisance bears in the neighborhoods there were killing when anyone called about them. And any others would not be killed
by hunters who would be hunting deep in the woods nowhere near these neighborhoods. Education regarding the bears was not forthcoming from FWC. The one and only festival to educate about the bears is held in an obscure place, the town of Umatilla. The problems bears were in Seminole County in the Lake Mary-Longwood area. FWC had not been trying to get the bear-proof trash cans implemented which had been proven to have a 95% success rate at reducing human-bear encounters.
The hunt was a blood bath for our bears. And many of us knew it would be. The FWC of course would not listen to us. They would not listen to biologists and scientists outside of their own. They would not listen to the public who voiced their opposition to the bear hunt. Seventy-five percent of calls and emails made to them were against the hunt. They would not listen to the Sierra Club, The HSUS, Speak Up Wekiva, South Florida Wetlands Association, Girls Gone Green, Animal Legal Defense Fund, Animal Hero Kids, Animal Rights Foundation of Florida, Animal Welfare Institute, Center for Biological Diversity, Compassion Works International, Environmental Action, Jungle Friends Primate Sanctuary,
or Lobby for Animals, just to name a few.
Who did they listen to? They listened to Governor Rick Scott. They listened to Rep. Jason Brodeur and the other representatives that co-signed a letter that was sent to Nick Wiley, the executive direction of FWC that they
needed to do something. They cited the reason was because of “the latest incidents involving human and bear interaction.” They suggested education of the public regarding bear safety, bear-proof trash cans and a bear hunt.
The FWC was only too happy to oblige with the bear hunt since they had been sitting on it for years wanting to have one and with pressure from hunters to have one. They seem to feel obligated to make hunting opportunities for them. Is this the real purpose for this agency? For years the hunters have been active in going to their meetings and making
friends with the commissioners in a grooming fashion to have them pander to their desires. How revolting to look back and see how this has played out. And we were none the wiser.
FWC AND THEIR TYPE OF “CONSERVATION”
They operated under a cloak of secrecy where the public had no idea of what they were really up to. They knew that the public was oblivious to what their true nature was and they took advantage of it. The all trusting
public who has always placed their trust in an agency that now even includes the word “conservation” in their name. The agency who has license plates that say things like “save wildlife”, carefully orchestrated a big hoax upon the public about how they were caring for wildlife when it was far from being true. The whole reason the FWC does any kind of
protection of wildlife is to build their numbers up so that they can provide hunters more hunting opportunities. And those license plates? Well, the proceeds don’t go to conserving wildlife.
I’m reminded of a story that was ran in one newspaper where the reporter was interviewing a duck hunter who was very upset about the turbines in the Everglades killing ducks who flew into them. And the reporter asked but aren’t you going to kill them? And he said “yes.” Preserve it so you can kill it. Folks this in NOT what people have in mind when it comes to conservation.
Conserving our wildlife so that future generations can enjoy their wonderment is what we the people want. We the majority. We who pay the most (contrary to what hunters will tell you) to pay for conservation.
And now that we know what this elite hunt club called the Florida Fish & Wildlife “Conservation” Commission is up to, we are not going to keep quiet about it.
WILDLIFE’S LOSS OF FOOD SOURCES AND THE IMPACT
There seems to be a total disregard by the FWC about the lack of food sources for the bears and other wildlife. With timber harvesting, land development and picking of the saw palmetto berries, there just isn’t as much food as there use to be. How deceiving of the FWC to even say that there needed to be a bear cull because there is not enough food for them when they are the very ones in charge to make sure there is enough food for them. And the FWC can’t say they didn’t know about the importance of the berries because their own website contains information about them and and how vitally important they are.
For at least thirty years the saw palmetto berries have been being picked on state land with daily permits being sold by the Florida Forest Service.
As the berries have become more prosperous to pick, the more the depletion of this food source has become. It wasn’t until June of 2015 that a temporary moratorium was placed on the harvesting in those areas.
The berries become ripe in August to September, a time when bears have to pack on pounds to enter into their dens. Females must have this extra weight for their pregnancies to become viable. Bears lose as much as 25% of their weight during denning. Not only are these berries important to bears but over 100 other species depend on these plants and their berries.
Along with the lack of acorns from trees this helped to create a perfect storm for the bears to come out of the woods and into the neighborhoods to seek food. And homeowners added to the storm by having garbage, dog food, birdseed and dirty barbecue grills etc. ready for them. So with lack of bear safety education and tempting bears with their wares, a few people met with calamity. Bears are naturally shy and mean no harm unless they are provoked or are defending cubs. Since the attacks that happened, bears now do not have a chance if people call the FWC on them. It’s one strike and you’re dead. And FWC has encouraged people to call, call, call. And they do. Even if the bear is just walking trough their yard. Needless deaths of more bears. FWC has euthanized close to one hundred bears
in 2015 and there remains another month and half to add to the tally.
If you have just read this and your eyes have been opened, please join us in fighting this rogue agency and corrupt government officials. One seeks to take more land to make concrete jungles and the wildlife is in their way.
The other, the FWC seeks to provide more hunting opportunities to kill our wildlife so between them, the entire state that is
wild or natural is being threatened.
Your voice and actions are important. Join one of the many Facebook groups that are educating people and keeping people informed. Don’t trust mainstream media to be telling you the truth. They are not. They are
bought. Help write letters, sign petitions, make phone calls and join rallies. Do what you can do. All voices are important.