Decision on Black Bear Snaring in Holding Until 2012

Ellen Lockyer, KSKA – Anchorage

The state’s game board has put a decision on black bear snaring on hold until 2012.   The proposal before the board’s special meeting in Anchorage would have allowed for black bear trapping with snares in six Interior game management units.

Critics of the plan protested the lack of public input on the proposal.

Wade Willis is a former state and federal biologist now working in a public advocacy capacity.

State Fish and Game representatives told the board the bear snaring plan would compliment current predator control practices in some areas. Two game management units already have bear trapping programs under a state predator control plan. Those two units were removed from the proposal.

Fish and Game officials had asked the board to defer the decision until the board of game meets in Ketchikan later this year to give the public time to weigh in on the issue. The Board agreed to that plan.  The next board meeting on Southcentral issues takes place in March of next year.

Currently it is estimated that there are some 100,000 black bears in the state. Bear trapping has not been legal in Alaska since statehood in 1959.

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