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Senator Stewart, District 13 — Press Release


April 19, 2017

CONTACT: Ali Ak?n Kurnaz, 850-487-5013

Black Bear Act that Protects Wildlife, Preserves Habitats Advances in Florida Senate

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. – State Senator Linda Stewart (D-Orlando) on Wednesday succeeded in moving Senate Bill 1304 in Committee on Environmental Preservation and Conservation to protect Florida black bears and preserve their habitat and food sources.

“At a time when Florida’s native black bears are facing increased pressure on their habitat their food sources, it is our obligation to ensure the preservation of this iconic species as well as the safety of our neighborhoods,” said Stewart.

Senate Bill 1304, also referred to as the Florida Black Bear Habitat Restoration Act, prohibits the hunting of bears mothering young cubs under 100 pounds, prevents the unlawful harvesting on state lands of berries that supply bear diets, and prevents controlled burns from being conducted on lands identified as habitats during the February month of denning.

“This is a great success for everybody who has been championing the preservation of Florida’s only bear species,” said Stewart. “I am committed to continuing the progress we’ve made on this issue.”

Senate Bill 1304 is a companion bill to House Bill 491, which has been introduced in the Florida House of Representatives by Rep. Amy Mercado (D-Orlando).