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Governor DeSantis fails to protect Florida’s Black Bears by signing HB 87 


TALLAHASSEE - Last week, Governor DeSantis signed HB 87, “Taking of Bears,” – marking a massive failure for Florida’s wildlife and residents alike.  

As Florida law, HB 87 poses devastating consequences for our state. Built upon the bald-faced lie that Florida faces an epidemic of ‘crack bears’ that are ingesting illegal substances and destroying people’s homes, the legislation allows anyone to kill a bear at any time without permission from the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC). 

Throughout the legislative session and beyond, Sierra Club Florida and its conservation partners have fought tirelessly against this extreme bill, which is unnecessary, threatens conservation, and is at odds with the state’s constitution that gives the FWC the sole authority to regulate wildlife in Florida. With fewer than 40 bear-human incidents reported since 2006 and no fatal bear attacks in Florida’s recorded history, HB 87 proposes a dangerous solution to an imaginary problem and does the exact opposite of keeping our communities safe.  

Floridians from far and wide joined Sierra Club Florida in the fight to stop HB 87 this session. More than 2,600 signatures were sent to Governor DeSantis and the Legislature, demanding that they kill the bill, not Florida’s black bears. 

Susannah Randolph, Sierra Club Florida Chapter Director, said, “Governor DeSantis has delivered a major failure for Florida’s environment by signing HB 87 into law. Since its inception, Sierra Club Florida has called on the Governor to put a stop to this extreme bill, and we condemn him for approving this absurd and dangerous legislation."

Javier Estevez, Sierra Club Florida's Acting Political Director, said, “This session, Floridians from all sides of the political spectrum united to send a loud, clear message: Kill bad bills, not black bears. Governor DeSantis’ signing of HB 87 further demonstrates that he has no interest in serving the will of the people or taking real, tangible action to protect Florida’s environment.”

ABOUT SIERRA CLUB FLORIDA: Founded in 1892, the Sierra Club is the oldest and largest environmental advocacy organization in the nation. The Florida Chapter boasts over 240,000 members and supporters committed to exploring, enjoying, and protecting the earth's wild places. To learn more about Sierra Club Florida, click here.

Gov. Ron DeSantis, Sierra Club Florida, Black Bears, Florida Wildlife, Florida Legislature, Florida, How dangerous are black bears in Florida?


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  • MamaMia

    Florida deserves a better governor than De Santis! With the signing of his pen, he just sentenced all our bears to the death penalty, here in Florida. It is is extremely cruel, and gun happy people will make targets out of any bear they see. The bears contend with the extreme heat, the constant "so called" controlled burns where they live, the destroying of their habitat from development, getting hit by cars, people illegally picking the saw berries, their food, and now this horrible bill! This bear that was killed on Foxden Road in Apopka.....I believe it was the big bear I watched along Welch Road back in Dec. It was there inside the state park fence, and I saw it almost daily for over a week at the end of Thompson Road. I got cell phone photos on my phone from Dec. 2, 2023. Once, we drove by, and I thought it was asleep, or dead, so we circled around, and discovered it laying down digging for grubs, or acorns. We have a sorry damn bunch of state legislators, and I am going to research just who supported this cruel bill, and other cruel bills, and I vow to never vote for any of them!

    Sunday, June 23 Report this

  • MamaMia

    Watching TV about the bear shot in Apopka, in an subdivision very close to the state park, I ask why any person would go walk their dogs at night, knowing bears frequent their subdivision? That is crazy! Also, that woman showing her video of the bear swinging around on her FULL bird feeder, filled with bird seed...where is her sign??? Just total stupidity! Why put out a bird feeder? Sounds like she was baiting the bears, to come to her yard, in order to get videos. People are downright stupid.

    Sunday, June 23 Report this