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Foes of Florida’s bear hunt gearing up for new round of protests

in Statewide/Top Headlines by

As the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission debates whether to hold another bear hunt later this year, activists opposed to the practice say they’ll stage a statewide protest to urge the FWC to vote the idea down.

Commissioners approved the controversial hunt last year, the first in the state in more than two decades.

It was scheduled for seven days, but ended after just two because hunters killed 304 bears, close to the 320-bear quota for the hunt.

“Last year’s hunt was a complete disaster. We are staging a new statewide protest on June 18th,” says activist Adam Sugalski. 

“We are also concerned because this year, they may possibly add ‘hounding’ to the hunt. Hounding is where you can let a pack of dogs go and hunt bears for you with radio collars on. It is a very destructive practice,” he said.

Meanwhile, other groups like the NRA are issuing statements in support of the hunt. The commission meets on the matter June 22nd.

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In addition to her work writing for Florida Politics, Melissa Ross also hosts and produces WJCT’s First Coast Connect, the Jacksonville NPR/PBS station’s flagship local call-in public affairs radio program. The show has won four national awards from Public Radio News Directors Inc. (PRNDI). First Coast Connect was also recognized in 2010, 2011, 2013 and 2014 as Best Local Radio Show by Folio Weekly’s “Best Of Jax” Readers Poll and Melissa has also been recognized as Folio Weekly’s Best Local Radio Personality. As executive producer of The 904: Shadow on the Sunshine State, Melissa and WJCT received an Emmy in the “Documentary” category at the 2011 Suncoast Emmy Awards. The 904 examined Jacksonville’s status as Florida’s murder capital. During her years in broadcast television, Melissa picked up three additional Emmys for news and feature reporting. Melissa came to WJCT in 2009 with 20 years of experience in broadcasting, including stints in Cincinnati, Chicago, Orlando and Jacksonville. Married with two children, Melissa is a graduate of Northwestern University’s Medill School of Journalism/Communications. She can be reached at m.ross66211@gmail.com.

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