Double Entendre or Controlled Florida Bear Hunting

FWS-4870
And coming soon to Florida!
Picture credit: William A. Troyer – US Fish and Wildlife Service

 

In the little publicized, poorly defined FFWS meeting in Jacksonville yesterday, not much was really accomplished or confirmed about the plan to renew Black Bear hunting in this state.

We still do not really know exactly how, when, where or what is going to  happen to our Black Bears.

Another meeting is set for April in Tallahassee.

A sparse few showed up to object to hunting them, but so many more came to support the plan to begin once again hunting/killing our Florida Black Bears.

FFWS said that they are going to become much more aggressive in the way Bears are handled or controlled from now on.

Two things in the various news stories reporting this meeting stood out to me.

One was that if the hunt is approved, the hunters will not be killing bears in the conflict/troubled areas, but, they will instead be deep in the woods killing Bears that may have never even seen a Human, let alone caused any sort of problems.

And second, the news that of the 41 states where black bears live, 32 already do allow hunting.

This to me, seems to be used as a form of excuse by the Hunting groups to renew the killings.

I wonder if any of these hunting supporters have ever been to California?

I lived there for over 30 years and never saw a Bear or any other kind of wild animal, except for raccoons and deer, until I went to Yellowstone and then again when I came here to Florida nearly ten years ago.

You see, they had already hunted most of them, to extinction, long before I ever moved there.

What was missing from this Bear Meeting yesterday, was what happened to the bear populations in those states, after the hunting began.

This animal was, just a short time ago very scarce in Florida.

In this state, Bears are not the problem, people are the problem.

They refuse to do what will keep bears away from their neighborhoods and out of their yards and garages.

They leave food outside in their yards, and in open garages, they do not have bear proof trash cans, in fact some of them even outright feed the bears.

Dumpsters all over Central Florida are left open and uncovered.

For Bears, who always follow the food, this entire area is one big Bear Buffet.

Dinner is served, and they all know where to find it.

It all here for them to enjoy.

All that is, except for the ones who have already been killed by FFWS.

These bears were labeled as bad or aggressive bears, too aggressive to be allowed to live.

The idea of a resumption in Bear hunting gives me fits of terror.

Here is why.

In 1998, the year that my parents moved to this area in Central Florida in the Ocala Forest, from South Florida, the Forestry Service began what is supposed to be a safe normal process, it is called a “controlled burn.”

Well, that year the controlled burn nearly wiped out most of Central Florida.

To say it got out of hand fast, is an understatement.

So, what happens when FFWS gives Hunters, these same ones we now see out on our local roads, standing on their roofs and in the beds of their pickup trucks firing into the woods, using rifles now also armed with silencers?

This is the reason that I am very worried right now, not just for the Bears, but for all of us.

These Hunters, who continuously show that they care little for the safety of others, or their own hunting dogs, are completely  “over the moon” at the idea of finally legally being able to shoot and kill bears.

Since moving here ten years ago, we have witnessed already, some cruel and sick behavior towards Black Bears.

They have found bears dead on the sides of the roads, with their paws and feet cut off.

Now FFWS wants to give these people permission to do it legally.

Where will it all end?

I keep remembering the controlled burn in 1998 and the complete devastation that it caused to Humans and Animals alike.

But things just got out of hand.

Will controlled Florida Bear Hunting be any different?

 

Places to learn more:

No decision made on whether to allow bear hunting in Florida

Florida bear hunt likely to happen this fall

Bear policy protests

Black bears could soon be fair game for Florida hunters

Florida Mulls Return Of Bear Hunts After Increase In Urban Attacks

With black bear population on rise, Florida may allow hunts

 

No, No, No!

beardot
A magnificent Florida Black Bear

 

Update:
The FFWS Meeting will be tomorrow at 8:30 AM at the Hyatt Regency Hotel in Jacksonville,
225 East Coastline Drive on the Third floor. Phone number is 904 588-1234

Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission • Farris Bryant Building
620 S. Meridian St. • Tallahassee, FL  32399-1600 • (850) 488-4676

 

Dear Readers.

I know how very tired you must be of  seeing and hearing this, but by this time tomorrow, it may all be over for our magnificent Florida Black Bears.

The meeting will be in Jacksonville

We all knew this, it has been talked about everywhere.

But the stories have been quite remiss on every channel, as to when and where, this meeting will actually take place.

Was/is this intentional to keep those of us who are outraged by this away?

The idea that it can and will, soon be OPEN season on our Bears is inconceivable.

One of the most beautiful and majestic beings to ever live in this state will, if this is passed and I am positive it will be, hunted down, shot and killed like any of the other wild animals here, that are already being murdered for SPORT.

The idea that I/we may soon have to drive past the gruesome scene on the side of our county roads here in Lake County with these maniacs with guns and silencers will NOW be killing Black Bears, legally.

It was only one short year ago that I called and spoke with the man at the top here and he promised me that this would NEVER happen.

If you have a phone, a computer or any form of communication at hand right now,

please do what ever you can to tell FFWS that this is complete insanity.

Just a short time ago this animal was listed as Endangered and now it is about to be hunted.

Below is the Bear Petition with more information.

Please think of one of the most beautiful creatures that God has ever made,  lying dead on a road, only  to be hauled off  and dismembered, by someone who cares nothing for the beauty that it was/is, only the bragging rights for ending its life.

 

Here is the Bear Petition, please sign it and share it:   Bear Petition

https://environmental-action.webaction.org/p/dia/action3/common/public/?action_KEY=9748

 

Microbeads Petition

Toothpaste
This toothpaste has harmful and nasty microbeads in it

 

My Dear Readers, this will be short and sweet.

A petition was just sent to me and not only did I sign and share it,  I also wrote about it a few months ago on one of my other Blogs:   What Do 7 UP, Micro Beads and Lithium All Have in Common?

This petition lists many of the harmful  and deleterious effects that these nasty little micro beads are having on our planet, especially our oceans and their fragile sea life.

Won’t you please consider signing and sharing it as well?

Please go here to sign the  Ban Microbeads petition

As always, thank you in advance, for your support of this planet’s animal life~

 

Not Extinct~

Galapagostortoise              Sierra_Nevada_red_fox
A Galapagos Tortoise  Picture credit: Matthew Field        A Sierra Nevada Red Fox  Picture credit: NPS

 

Extinction is a dirty, ugly word and usually we, the two-leggeds are to blame, but this week is a time to celebrate, for two rare and exciting sightings have caused great joy around the Globe.

This post is about two extremely rare and endangered creatures who have just shown up after many years, a very, very rare Sierra Nevada Red Fox in Yosemite National Park and also some very rare Tortoises in the Galapagos Islands.

Neither of these creatures had been seen in these particular places in about a hundred years.

So the fact that they have both made public appearances nearly in the same week, gives those of us who take such great delight in their very being, a reason to cheer.

My personal only sight of a Red Fox was in the West, just this side of the South Dakota border in Wyoming nearly twenty years ago.

It was a truly beautiful creature, and it made me sad to know how very few of them are still here for us to see in America.

In both of these instances, we disturbed and/or destroyed their habitats, their food sources, their air, their water, everything in the Environment of these critically Endangered animals, making their lives so unbearable, that they finally just disappeared for a century or more.

But, now, once more, we have been given, like with the American Bald Eagle, the majestic, magnificent National Symbol of our Country, a second chance to say we are truly sorry and promise to make things right.

Yes, DDT has been banished forever from this Country and the Bald Eagle finally did recover.
But there are new toxins, some even worse than DDT, like  ” Round Up “  to take its place and we must have the courage to tell those who make and sell them, and the others like them, we will not tolerate it, not never again.

We must promise to never take these precious creatures for granted, or abuse them again.

We may never get another chance if we mess this up, can we please, for their sakes, show them the dignity and respect that they deserve?

No, we  don’t deserve it, but maybe this time, we can say  “no, not for these two,”  we will not allow them to become extinct!

 

Places to learn more:

Baby Tortoises Found On Galapagos Island For First Time In Over 100 Years

Galápagos tortoise

Rare fox seen in Yosemite

Sierra Nevada Red Fox

One of North America’s rarest mammals spotted in Yosemite for first time in nearly 100 years

MRSA and Melanomas, Good News?

Human_neutrophil_ingesting_MRSA coffee
MRSA picture credit: National Institutes of Health                        Publix Organic Breakfast Blend Coffee

 

By now you all know about my years as a Nurse and my recent battles with Melanomas, so today I wish to share two positive and potentially hopeful stories about them.

The first story is about MRSA, the serious bacterial infection and its link to the campus of USF in Tampa.

Two brilliant young microbiologists, Lindsey N. Shaw and Whittney Burda, and a very talented group of their colleagues at USF are causing the medical community and the world to take notice of their achievements and the promise that their work may very soon deliver, to stop one of the deadliest, most contagious infections, in its tracks.

Only a short time ago, a MRSA outbreak made local news here, as several Tampa Bucs players were announced to have become infected with it.

MRSA is not new to football and the repeated use and overuse of antibiotics may have enabled it to become nearly immune to them now.

This is also not new.

Antibiotic abuse has been a long time concern to me and many others in the Nursing field.

MRSA has over the years, affected both College and NFL players, who by the very nature of their sport and the conditions that surround it, can provide a nearly perfect breeding ground for it.

The NFL and American Schools have learned to deal with it quickly, as it is so highly contagious and can spread rapidly through Teams.

If left untreated, MRSA can be deadly, at the very least, it can be crippling, so this possible breakthrough at USF in Tampa, is welcome news and hopefully their discoveries will take down one of the most insidious infections mankind has ever known.

The second story is about Melanomas and the bright light that has just been shown on what may be of help to those who now, or in the future may possibly develop them.

Although the evidence is not fully conclusive, it is being said that drinking 2 or more cups of caffeinated coffee daily, may lower the risk of getting Melanomas.

As one who has, on a regular basis, consumed at least 2 cups of  Organic coffee daily for many years, this comes as very good news.

The stories linked below show the negative and positive thinking on this, but personally I am more than happy to believe that my passion for coffee may have a secondary plus side in my case.

Keep in mind, that the coffee must be regular, not decaffeinated and you should drink at least 2 cups daily or more, to have the believed beneficial effects.

As always, please do check with your Doctor before doing anything new, just in case you have always been a tea drinker~

I write this to you while sipping my delicious Publix Organic Breakfast Blend Coffee.

Could my passion turn out to be my protector?

Here’s to more good news to follow about MRSA and Melanomas~

 

Places to learn more:

Coffee & melanoma: add to annals of abused translation of observational research

Regular coffee drinking may block the worst skin cancer, a study shows

Coffee consumption linked with reduced melanoma risk

Pro Football Players Pass Staph Infections

USF team gets patent on promising MRSA treatment

USF Researchers Discover Potential Antibiotic Cure for MRSA

USF seeks licensing for potential MRSA treatment

 

Floridian Lab Rats

CDCfemaleAedes-albopictus
A female aedes-albopictus
Picture credit: CDC

 

If you are coming to Florida any time soon, you may wish to avoid our lovely lower Keys.

But, why you may ask?

They are the most breathtaking place in this state, so what could possibly make you want to avoid them?

Well, how do you feel about millions of Frankenstein mosquitoes that could be turned loose there, if the FDA approves it?

It seems that the years of overuse of pesticides has made local insects nearly immune to most of them now.

So, enter Oxitec and their cuddly little GMO mosquitoes

The thinking is that they will breed with and then wipe out the locals who cause two vicious viruses, that are presently, without cure or vaccines, and quite well spread throughout the Caribbean area.

These viruses are,  chikungunya and dengue and yes, the affected  area does include parts of Southern Florida.

The FDA is the same organization that has never seemed to be able to say no to Monsanto, or their kinfolk, who rule the chemical world.

So, my guess is that they will get an instant approval to plow ahead.

As one who has opposed GMO’s since their inception and eats organic as much as possible, I find this all quite disturbing, as we simply have no idea of the danger or consequences posed by this insect, if we are bitten by one of  them.

It is odd that we could not do this in America, we had to go to the British for these adorable little GMO mosquitoes.

They, Oxitec, has already taken 70 million of these cute little guys on the road in the recent past to the Cayman Islands and elsewhere.

So why should you/we fear these tiny, little blood suckers?

Could it be the toxic soup that they originate from, like herpes simplex and E. coli?

These new mosquitoes will breed with the locals and cause massive extinction, they say, they hope.

Aye, but there’s the rub, dear readers.

What happens to the warm-blooded humans, pets and others, in the release areas, if they are bitten by a GMO insect?

Hmmm….

They are not talking much about that.

My question, only one of many, what do the local Floridians think about this?

Better yet, how many were at a recent meeting, if they even knew about it?

A petition at Change.org has collected 130,000 signatures against this potential madness and I would truly love to hear what those in the drop zone have to say about what could be released into their back yards this spring.

Unless this British bug invasion is stopped in its tracks, we Floridians will soon become the first US mosquito lab rats.

 

Places to learn more:

Aedes albopictus

The Change.org Petition:  Say No

Millions of GMO insects could be released in Florida Keys

Action Alert: Keep Genetically Modified (GM) Mosquitoes Out of Key Haven FL

Genetically Engineered Mosquitoes Coming to Florida

Genetically Modified Mosquitoes to be Released in the US for the First Time

Millions of GMO mosquitoes may be released in Florida neighborhood

Ishi, et al.

ishi4
Our baby Ishi, so far, the only child of our sweet Harriet

 

Not wishing to put you all to sleep or bore you yesterday with a excruciatingly long post, I decided to split it in half, this then, is part two.

All the news today is not  bad, some of it is actually wonderful.

To begin…

A group of investors on the Gulf Coast here have donated over 200 acres of pristine land to be used for the benefit of Florida wildlife like the Florida Panther, red-cockaded woodpecker and Florida Black Bear.

This was an unexpected and generous thing and the animals say “thank you”

My only objections are, that hunting will be allowed on the land perhaps reducing the primary  food source for the highly Endangered Panther that calls this area home and secondly, the donors built a golf course in 2001, adding to the hundreds that are already here.

Next…

At a meeting in Tallahassee yesterday, the FFWCC laid out their plans for spending the millions that have been allocated to the state for the purpose of improving, expanding and maintaining prime and pristine wildlife areas.

One of the beneficiaries of this money and these new proposals, will be a personal favorite that we love and admire on our property here in the Ocala Forest, the long leaf pine.

This magnificent tree at one time covered most of the south-east of this country and supported many species of birds, including the nearly extinct red-cockaded woodpecker and the already gone, ivory billed woodpecker.

Another species of bird to benefit from all of this, is the now teetering on extinction, Florida Grasshopper Sparrow.

The details of the meeting will be here as they are revealed.

You can read more about the long leaf pine and Endangered birds here: Walking With the Alligators

Now for the two sad stories…

The magnificent Monarch butterfly may soon be listed as Endangered.

DUH!

We have personally watched in horror here in the Forest, as their numbers in the past few years have dropped to nearly zero.

When we first moved here in 2006, they were all over our yard, but in the past two years they have nearly completely disappeared, along with other fragile species, like our green treefrogs and green lizards, which by the way is the only lizard native to Florida.

These species are the “canary in the coal mine,” but for that to matter, someone has to ask why?

The blame for the Monarch decimation, lies squarely on the shoulders of companies like Monsanto, who know and care little, about the negative impact that their number one selling pesticide Round Up has had on the Global Environment and can I mention it doesn’t do much for people either.

Monsanto is a very powerful company and their long arms reach way into our Government and the agencies that should be harnessing them.

With the Monarch now approaching the same fate as the millions of Bison that once roamed this country, will our Government finally rein them in?

I guess that depends on whether or not we force them to, by boycotts, picketing and shunning both the company and those who choose to support them.

When I began writing this Blog, I was not convinced that anything done on Blogs had an impact on the real world, but after seeing what a Blogger did to Subway and their “rubber mat bread,” I now believe that we can and do make a difference.

We have the power to create change and we must use it for the good it can do.

This final story is the most painful for us personally.

If you have been here for a bit, you know about our baby Ishi, pictured above the day we found her.

She was the sole survivor of our resident dear Gopher Tortoise, Harriet.

We were so very grateful to have found her and are praying that she makes it to adulthood, unlike her siblings, which did not.

So, seeing this story about the kidnapping and planned murder of 170 precious, rare and Endangered ones like her, from the island of Madagascar where they live, makes our blood boil.

The idea that these monsters can take these beautiful creatures, murder them to make, God knows what, jewelry, or  ???, is simply beyond our comprehension.

Any one of them might have been our baby Ishi, so this post today is dedicated to Ishi, et al.

 

Places to learn more:

Investors donate land for wildlife habitat to DEP:

Florida funds to restore long leaf pine, endangered species habitat

Monarch Butterfly May Join Endangered Species List

Endangered tortoises found at Paris airport

Baby tortoises found at airport

Baby Tortoises

 

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