URGENT: Time is running out for black bears in Virginia!
- 3 ACTIONS YOU CAN TAKE TO HELP THE BLACK BEARS IN VIRGINIA
PLEASE FORWARD WIDELY!
Today, the Animal Welfare Institute (AWI), In Defense of Animals
(IDA), the American Environment Foundation (AEF), and two individuals
asked the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (FWS) of the U.S. Department
of the Interior, in a 14-page letter, to cancel an illegal black bear
hunt scheduled for Dec. 1 and 2 in the Great Dismal Swamp National
Wildlife Refuge in Suffolk, Va.
The letter includes substantive evidence that the FWS has failed to
comply with proper procedures and has ignored its duties under federal
law to evaluate the environmental impacts of the hunt. As part of a
cover up, they note, the agency failed to reveal that the two black
bear studies it relies on to justify the hunt both recommended that no
hunt be allowed until and unless additional studies are conducted. The
author of one study indicated that a bear hunt could exacerbate a loss
of genetic diversity. According to these studies, the Refuge's bear
population is already threatened by genetic concerns, as well as
habitat destruction and fragmentation outside its bounds.
"There is no question that the hunt violates federal law, so we expect
the FWS to cancel it immediately," said IDA Communications Director
Bears have been protected in the Great Dismal Swamp since the Refuge
was established in 1974.
James D. Parker, American Environment Foundation President stated,
"Though the FWS claims to have authorized bear hunting in 1998,
evidence documented in our submission demonstrates that the agency
never legally approved a bear hunt."
"The FWS is engaged in an intentional game of hide and seek,
withholding critical information about the Refuge's bears from the
public, while seeking to implement an illegal hunt," said AWI Wildlife
Biologist D.J. Schubert. "These bears must be protected to ensure
their existence in the face of habitat loss and genetic decline."
ACTION #1: Send a letter at: http://ga0.org/campaign/vabear_clone
-Call, email, and send a letter to the manager of the Great Dismal
Swamp National Wildlife Refuge and Marvin Moriarty, Regional Director
of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, to let them know you are
disappointed they are opening up our wildlife refuge to allow hunters
to kill bears for sport. Ask them to cancel this hunt immediately.
* Suzanne Baird, Refuge Manager
The Great Dismal Swamp National Wildlife Refuge
3100 Desert Road Suffolk, Virginia 23434
Tel.: (757) 986-3705
* Marvin Moriarty, Regional Director
U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service Regional Office
300 Westgate Center Drive Hadley, MA 01035-9589
Tel: (413) 253-8200
Fax: (413) 253-8308
ACTION #2: Please write a letter to the editor of the Virginian-Pilot
voicing your objection to the bear hunt. Send letters via the on-line
form at: http://home.hamptonroads.com/feedback/submit.cfm?id=1&url
or by email to letters@... (pilotonline.com)
-Also, please send your letter by fax to (757) 446-2051.
-and send your hardcopy letter to:
Letters to the Editor
P.O. Box 449
Norfolk, VA 23501-0449
ACTION #3: Port Folio Weekly published a story (see:
http://www.portfolioweekly.com/Pages/InfoPage.php/iID/2278 )about the
black bear hunt. Please write a letter to Port Folio Weekly, thanking
them for the article and urging readers for their support in
protecting Virginia's black. Please send letters to the editor of Port
Folio Weekly via tom.robotham@... (portfolioweekly.com)
PLEASE FORWARD WIDELY!