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Grizzly bears, black bears, wolves, coyotes, cougars/ mountain lions,bobcats, wolverines, lynx, foxes, fishers and martens are the suite of carnivores that originally inhabited North America after the Pleistocene extinctions. This site invites research, commentary, point/counterpoint on that suite of native animals (predator and prey) that inhabited The Americas circa 1500-at the initial point of European exploration and subsequent colonization. Landscape ecology, journal accounts of explorers and frontiersmen, genetic evaluations of museum animals, peer reviewed 20th and 21st century research on various aspects of our "Wild America" as well as subjective commentary from expert and layman alike. All of the above being revealed and discussed with the underlying goal of one day seeing our Continent rewilded.....Where big enough swaths of open space exist with connective corridors to other large forest, meadow, mountain, valley, prairie, desert and chaparral wildlands.....Thereby enabling all of our historic fauna, including man, to live in a sustainable and healthy environment. - Blogger Rick

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Thursday, May 31, 2012

Why is the North Carolina Wildlife Resources Commission looking to stop the spread of Black Bears into the Piedmont area of the State just when the land is healthy enough to once again harbor a vibrant population of the Bruins?........Are they just taking the easy way out and just not wanting to educate Piedmont residents on how to coexist with the Bears?...........Backwards thinking as Wildlife Biologist and hunter John Wooding states in the article below

State's use of black bear hunters will kill wildlife success storyFrom John Wooding, Ph.D., certified wildlife biologist

The Piedmont was mostly woods when Native Americans made land use decisions. Then European farmers took over, and with African help, they cleared the forests, and the land was mostly fields. 

  Beginning 80 years ago or so, steady paychecks lured rural people to town, leaving fields idle. Idle fields do not stay fields for long in the Piedmont, and within a decade, such fields grew into young forests. The Piedmont contains more forested land today than it did in 1940 due to fields reverting to forests.

  Wild animals that live in fields are becoming rare. Bobwhite quail are a good example – they are headed towards extinction in come counties. Their time has ended.

On the other hand, wild animals that live in forests have rebounded. Deer and turkeys are back from near extinction.
 Black bears were once abundant
in Piedmont forests. They are ready to come back along with the deer and turkeys.

The habitat can once again support black bears. The mountain bear population is ready to expand into the western Piedmont. The coastal bear population is prepared to move into the eastern Piedmont.

  This is great news for people who appreciate forest wildlife. But not everyone sees it this way. The N.C. Wildlife Resources Commission does not see it this way. The conservation agency is opening new bear hunting seasons this fall to dissuade bears from spreading in the Piedmont. If hunters kill too few, and bears expand their range, the agency plans to increase hunting pressure to make sure the bear restoration is stopped.

  The state is using hunters to stop a wildlife success story. If black bears were ferocious bears, like grizzlies, I could understand. But black bears are mostly vegetarian, secretive, mild-mannered animals.
The agency knows this. However, many citizens don't, and it is common for citizens who don't understand bears to panic upon seeing one, and to immediately call wildlife officials with demands the state come get the bear.

  Bears can thus be a nuisance and extra work to the state, and conservation officials have decided the appropriate policy for the agency is to get hunters to kill the bears before they get a good paw hold in the Piedmont.

  Maybe it's just me since I'm partial to wildlife, but this seems anti-wildlife. I'm not opposed to bear hunting. Bears are great game animals, with delicious meat.  But I do think it's odd that the state conservation agency hopes to stop the natural restoration of bears into the Piedmont. It makes me question the agency's priorities and commitment to wildlife conservation.

The Piedmont region

  It would be better to let the bear population build, and then allow hunters to take a few without endangering the population. In the meantime, the agency staff should teach citizens the true nature of black bears. People in the mountains and coastal plain live with bears, and so can we in the Piedmont. If you would like to know more about the new bear seasons, the state's approach to bear management, and want contact information, go to

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