Wildlife advocates: Bear hunt will hurt local economy
LAKE TAHOE – A political advocacy group challenging the legality of Nevada’s first black bear hunt said Monday the hunt will have detrimental impacts to Lake Tahoe’s economy.
NoBearHuntNV.org, which consists of many residents of Incline Village and the rest of the Nevada side of the Lake Tahoe Basin, issued a press release, saying locals and tourists using public lands could be put in danger as a result of the hunt.
“We are faced with a huge safety factor,” the release states. “Nevada has no laws requiring (The Nevada Department of Wildlife) to consider public safety with regard to hunters, which could affect the number of tourists who annually visit the Tahoe Basin and Reno, thereby diminishing the income dollars we rely on.”
The release also refers to the establishment of “Hunt Units” in recreation areas near Incline frequented by both visitors and residents.
Marlette Lake and Spooner are within Hunt Unit 192, and Mt. Rose Wilderness Area is in Unit 196, which is close to where individuals snowshoe and cross country ski during the winter months, according to the release.
The hunt is scheduled to begin August 15 and run through December 31. Hunting is permitted from one hour before sunrise until sunset.
Nobearhuntnv.org has filed an official appeal with the Nevada Wildlife Commission – which legalized the hunt in August of 2010 – claiming the commission failed to fully consider the overwhelming public opposition to the hunt.
Commissioners, led by chairman Scott Raine, have maintained that the population of black bears in the Carson Range around Lake Tahoe – estimated to be between 200 to 300 adults – is large enough to support a limited hunt.
The commission meets in Reno on May 12-14 beginning at 1 p.m. The bear hunt petition is in the agenda for Thursday, May 12.