Letter: Bears are counting on us to protect sanctuaries

Graphic by Lori Deaton

Bears are counting on us to be their voice against the ominous regulation change proposed by the N.C. Wildlife Resources Commission to allow permitted hunting in three bear sanctuaries — nonbear-hunting areas for the last 50 years — giving bears no expectation of change or knowing what to do if and when their safe home turns suddenly into a terrifying hunt inside of their forest.

Proponents of regulation change state that any recommendation from NCWRC has already been vetted for its biological integrity before being proposed. They advise that those opposed to the recommendation must remember that sanctuaries were never meant to be permanent designations, only tools to achieve management goals.

But the bears didn’t get the chilling memo, and neither did those who trust what a sanctuary is and means — not what the North Carolina Black Bear Management Plan 2012-2022 tucked into its goals statement,  calling sanctuaries “de facto” sanctuaries. De facto is a well-strategized word. The real fact is what is in each bear’s eyes. The real facts are the individual lives of the bears. And another fact is that public input is part of the criteria required for NCWRC’s policymaking.

After the [Jan. 20] virtual meeting, you could feel the strength of voices standing together for the bears. How devastating this ultimate bait and switch would be to all those innocent bears who have made their home in the three protected North Carolina bear sanctuaries, just in their lives right now.

— Kay Carter


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One thought on “Letter: Bears are counting on us to protect sanctuaries

  1. Julia Gallant

    Thank you for writing this letter. It’s truly horrible. Also I don’t understand why there are places called “Wildlife Refuges” but they allow hunting. I once saw a cartoon of two deer on top of a mountain and they were looking down at a large city and one said to the other “Why don’t they thin their own damn herd?” — yes, we sure do.

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