Citizens panel gives state advice on controlling bears


November 05, 1995|By Peter Baker | Peter Baker,SUN STAFF

A citizens task force appointed by the Department of Natural Resources has developed and forwarded to the state a list of recommendations to control an expanding black bear population the western sections of the state.

Over the past three months, the task force has discussed ways to control or offset increasing losses of livestock, trees, grain and bee hives by Garrett County landowners.

The recommendations of the task force are:

* That DNR maintain its current black bear depredation policy with increased emphasis on education and technical support and advice.

* To establish a black bear damage compensation program to reimburse property owners for damage to property in excess of $200.

* To allow for reduction of black bear populations through a limited hunting season in areas where too many bears have become a nuisance and exceeded cultural carrying capacity of the land.

DNR defines cultural carrying capacity as the number of animals that can coexist with human populations without incident.

A hearing on the task force recommendations was held last week in Garrett County, and DNR has three other meetings scheduled -- tomorrow, Dulaney High School, Timonium; Nov. 14, Easton National Guard Armory; Nov. 16, Annapolis High School. Meetings will begin at 6:30 p.m.

More public blinds

North Point State Park has five new public duck blinds, and hunters interested in obtaining seasonal permits for North Point or Days Cove at Gunpowder Falls State Park can apply at the DNR regional office in Gwynnbrook.

Although use of the blinds for the opening two days of each split of duck season will be determined by a lottery drawing, hunters who obtain permits will be allowed to make reservations for other days during duck season as many as eight days in advance. Call (410) 356-9272.

MSSA challenges gill nets

The Maryland Saltwater Sportfishermen's Association is challenging the use of multifilament gill nets in Maryland waters and has given DNR notice that it intends to file a lawsuit seeking a ban on the nets.

MSSA contends that the use of all monofilament nets was banned in Maryland waters by act of the General Assembly in 1963. DNR's Tidewater Fisheries Division has decided to allow the use of multifilament nets, which are built of multiple strands of nylon or monofilament.

MSSA has set up a Multifilament Gill Net Action Fund to defray costs of the suit.

For information on contributions to the fund, call MSSA at (410) 768-8666.

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