A ten-year state management plan for black bears is in the works, and the DNR is asking for public input.
Two meetings are scheduled soon in this region.
DNR large carnivore specialist, Scott Walter, says the final document will guide the management of the increasing populations of bears...
"...What we've seen over the last 30 years or so is a fairly substantial increase in the number of bears in the state. But also an increase in their range. They've spread southward at a fairly rapid clip. So they are now common is the central and southwestern parts of the state..."
Walter says the committee putting the plan together needs to consider a number of factors...
"Black bears are a popular game species. So we had to address harvest management to ensure a sustainable, healthy, black bear population. We also had to address some of the negative aspects black bears bring with them, agricultural damage, property damage, nuisance complaints, things along those lines..."
DNR staff will present the plan at six informational sessions around the state. One meeting is set for Wednesday, April 3 at the Woodruff Community Center.
A meeting is scheduled the night before, Tuesday, April 2, at the UW Stevens Point- Wausau, campus. Each meeting will run from 7-9 p.m. More information is on the DNR website.