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Florida Governor Calls For Funding For Bear-Proof Trash Bins

Wildlife authorities check a dead bear during Florida's bear hunt. Photo by Amy Green

Gov. Rick Scott wants $230,000 for bear-resistant trash bins and other measures aimed at keeping bears out of neighborhoods.

It’s part of the governor’s $79 billion state budget proposal for the coming fiscal year.

The money would fund bear-resistant trash bins and public outreach on the problem of bears in neighborhoods. In central Florida three women were mauled in 2013 and 2014.

Chuck O’Neal of Speak Up Wekiva led litigation aimed at stopping a statewide bear hunt in October. He says the funding is not enough.

“The bear-human conflicts are a symptom of mismanagement of our public lands, and we need to get back to sound management policies in order to restore the delicate balance of that ecosystem.”

O’Neal says the state must restore bears’ natural food supply.

Bears were removed from the state’s threatened list in 2012. The hunt was aimed at managing their population. Legislators will vote on the budget during next year’s session.

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Amy Green

About Amy Green

Reporter and Producer

Amy Green covers the environment and climate change at WMFE News. She is an award-winning journalist and author whose extensive reporting on the Everglades is featured in the book MOVING WATER, published by Johns Hopkins University Press, and podcast DRAINED, available wherever you get your podcasts. Amy’s ... Read Full Bio »