Black bear hunting proposals

Black bear hunting rules will be discussed at a series of public meetings.

BRIGHAM CITY — The Utah Division of Wildlife Resources is hosting another round of meetings across the state to gather public feedback on several wildlife management issues.

Those interested in changes to black bear hunting permits, the state's wolf management plan or brine shrimp regulations have a chance to share their feedback at a public meeting for the northern region at 6 p.m. on Wednesday, Dec. 4, at the Brigham City Community Center, 24 N. 300 West, Brigham City.

DWR is proposing some changes to the three-year plan approved by the Utah Wildlife Board in 2018 regarding the number of black bear hunting permits and the structure of the season, according to a DWR press release.

“We wanted to implement some of these changes to address concerns about fair chase and resource damage during the pursuit seasons for bears and mountain lions,” DWR game mammals coordinator Darren DeBlois said in the release. “We feel confident that these recommendations will help with that.”

These changes are being proposed due to large numbers of hunters and dogs in certain hunting units. DWR is also seeking to clarify what constitutes a "fair chase" in hunting bears and mountain lions with dogs.

Proposed changes include restricting the season in certain geographic areas; limiting the number of dogs that can be used to hunt one black bear or mountain lion to 16 and specifying that the same person may not pursue a single bear or mountain lion repeatedly, to the point of exhausting the animal and making it impossible for the animal to escape, according to a presentation by Deblois posted on DWR's website. Other changes regarding black bears are also being recommended.

DWR also wants to continue its Wolf Management Plan for another decade, according to the release, but the plan will not take effect until gray wolves are no longer classified as an endangered species.

Because they are an endangered species, gray wolves are currently managed by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service.

In addition, DWR proposes an easier process for brine shrimp companies to transfer their certificates of registration to other businesses, the release said. These certificates of registration allow companies to harvest brine shrimp from the Great Salt Lake.

More information on these recommendations can be found on DWR's website, where board meeting agendas, materials and minutes are posted.

Presentations about the changes to black bear and mountain lion permits, the wolf management plan and and brine shrimp certificates of registration are also posted online at http://wildlife.utah.gov/online-rac.html.

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