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Bear hunt expansion plan postponed in California

April 23, 2009 | 10:14 am

Black bear2 The California Fish and Game Commission voted unanimously to postpone a decision on proposals to expand black bear hunting regulations in the state, at least for the upcoming season.

The Department of Fish and Game proposals would have allowed bear hunting in San Luis Obispo County for the first time and also permit hunters to kill more than one bear per season.

A coalition of more than 40 organizations, including Los Padres ForestWatch, Big Wildlife and the Humane Society of the United States, were on record in opposition of any regulatory changes that would increase hunting.

"Thanks to the commission's decision not to adopt this controversial proposal, black bears will continue to have the freedom to roam in San Luis Obispo County," said Jeff Kuyper, executive director of Los Padres ForestWatch.

The proposals may not be dead though. DFG officials will spend the next few months gathering information in response to concerns raised and may resubmit both bear hunting recommendations to the Commission next year.

--Kelly Burgess

Photo: Black bear.