“You mean there’s a Senator for all of this!” – Allen Ginsberg to Gary Snyder when first introduced to the wild mountain ranges of the Pacific Northwest.
Today in Sacramento, AB 2205, authored by Assemblymember Tim Donnelly (R-33), currently seeking the nomination for Republican candidate for governor of California, was killed in the Water, Parks and Wildlife Committee. The bill, had it passed, would have overturned California’s ban on the use of hounds to hunt bear and bobcat. The final vote, 5 ayes, 8 nays and 2 not voting was a solid victory for wildlife advocates in the state.
The ban on hounding bear and bobcat, SB 1221, was passed and signed into law in 2012. In the ban’s first year, the number of Black Bear killed, according to self-reporting sport hunters, fell by nearly half – down to just over 1000 bears from the previous year’s 1900.
Proponents of hounding bear tried in vain to make the easily refuted claim that use of hounds to hunt Black Bear is a humane, necessary and useful wildlife management tool. Fortunately, the committee heard expert testimony from wildlife scientists, legal experts and animal welfare advocates which clearly demonstrated that hunting with hounds is a burden on the bear, other non-targeted wild animals who are harassed by the presence of hounds, and of course the hounds themselves, who are often hurt, lost or killed in the hunt. Even the lead bear scientist working for California Department of Fish and Wildlife, Marc Kenyon, is on record stating that California’s bear population is managed only for recreational purposes. There is no need to kill bears in our state.
Bird Ally X sent a letter in opposition to AB 2205, as well as asked our Humboldt County Board fo Supervisors to oppose this bill. While our Board of Supervisors chose instead to support this ill-advised plan, predominantly in an effort to “grab” local control wherever possible (according to chair Rex Bohn), our representatives in Sacramento did the right thing.
We are very grateful to all the organizations and individuals who spoke for the speechless, for the wild animals, wild lands, and wild systems this bill would have harmed.
Thank you for making your voice heard! Once again, concerned wildlife advocates have preserved a necessary protection of our wild neighbors with whom we share our beautiful world!
Your support of Bird Ally X and Humboldt Wildlife Care Center makes our work as wildlife rehabilitators and wildlife advocates possible!