Gov. Rick Scott wants lawmakers to fund bear-proofing measures
From our friends at the News Service of Florida:
TALLAHASSEE - The state would set aside $230,000 for bear-resistant trash cans and outreach programs to reduce conflicts between humans and bears, as part of Gov. Rick Scott's proposed $79.3 billion budget.
The money would be used to partner with residents, local governments and businesses as a way to prevent bear attacks, according to a press release that accompanied Scott's budget on Monday. The funding request will be considered during the 2016 legislative session that begins in January.
Center for Biological Diversity Florida Director Jaclyn Lopez said in an email on Tuesday that Scott's proposal "sounds like a great start."
Lopez's organization was among the animal-protection and environmental groups that supported a lawsuit seeking to stop last month's state-sponsored bear hunt. The Florida Fish and Wildlife Commission approved the hunt, the first of its kind, with the goal of reducing the state's bear population by 10 percent.
Scott's proposed spending alone won't fix Florida's bear problem, Lopez said.