News Release

For Immediate Release
Jaime L. Sajecki, 804-652-7921

NOTE: This news release was distributed on 6/7/2012. The information below may no longer be the most up-to-date information available, or may pertain solely to events that occurred in the past. Please contact the person listed as the contact person for this release for the most current information.

Public Comment Period to Begin for Virginia Black Bear Management Plan

The Virginia Department of Game and Inland Fisheries (VDGIF) is seeking public input on its Draft Virginia Black Bear Management Plan. The comment period will run June 11th, through August 1, 2012. The original Virginia Black Bear Management Plan, first developed in 2001, is now being revised through the involvement of public stakeholders and wildlife managers. Because VDGIF's mission is "to serve the needs of the Commonwealth," it's important the process used to develop and revise the bear plan incorporates both public values (e.g., economic, sociological, and political) as well as biological considerations.

Beginning June 11, 2012, the draft plan will be available at Members of the public will be able to review and submit comments online. Comments may also be mailed to Jaime Sajecki BBMP, VDGIF, 4010 W. Broad St, Richmond, VA 23230. The comment period ends August 1, 2012.

Guided by the VDGIF mission, the Virginia Black Bear Management Plan includes four goals that specify general directions for: (1) bear populations, (2) bear habitat, (3) bear-related recreation, and (4) human-bear interactions. Specific objectives will help guide the attainment of each goal, and potential strategies will identify how each objective will be achieved. By clarifying directions for black bear management, this plan will assist the VDGIF Board of Directors, VDGIF wildlife managers, and the public in addressing black bear issues.