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URGENT: Time is running out for black bears in Virginia!

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  • AnimalAdvocacy@yahoogroups.com
    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
    Message 1 of 1 , Nov 29, 2006
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      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
      Kristie Phelps.

      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
      greatdismalswamp@... (fws.com)

      * 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
      northeast@... (fws.com)

      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!
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