18 April 2012 Helping Florida Residents Be Black Bear Aware Posted by: Caitlin Leutwiler | 1 comment | Share: One man’s trash is a Florida black bear’s treasure. And unless you take action to keep your garbage out of reach, you could play host to one of these furry foragers over and over again. Fortunately, Defenders is on the job. As part of our efforts to help Sunshine State residents live safely in bear country, we provide support for placing bear-proof dumpsters in locations around the state. Watch this video to learn more about our dumpster project in De Leon Springs State Park–and the instant results it saw–from Defenders’ Laurie Macdonald and the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission’s Mike Orlando. Photo courtesy Allen Loyd. 13th Annual Black Bear Festival a Success Last month, Defenders staff and our 12 volunteers were proud to host the 13th Annual Black Bear Festival in Umatilla, Florida, the “Gateway to the Ocala National Forest” and prime black bear country. With live music, good food, arts and crafts and field trips to the Ocala National Forest and Black Bear Scenic Highway, it was a day of family fun but also education for the nearly three thousand Sunshine State residents who attended on how to live peacefully alongside a rebounding bear population. To the right, Defenders’ Shannon Miller demonstrates how to build a livestock enclosure to help protect hobby livestock and pets from predators such as black bears. Bears Get Love in Alaska, Too! Since many of Alaska’s bears emerge from dens in early spring, April was the ideal time for Governor Sean to declare “Bear Awareness Month” throughout the Last Frontier. The move is an effort to “encourage all Alaskans to educate themselves on the importance of awareness and safety issues surrounding Alaska’s bears and wildlife, thereby helping to ensure the future of our Alaskan wildlife heritage.” Adopt a Black Bear to Save Real Animals in the Wild Black bear adoptions are a great way to share your appreciation for this keystone species while helping to support Defenders’ work on their behalf. Save Something Wild! Visit our Wildlife Adoption Center to adopt a black bear or one of our 26 other imperiled animals today! One Response to “Helping Florida Residents Be Black Bear Aware” Post Your Comment Click here to cancel reply. Name (required) Mail (required) (will not be published) You May also be interested in Wolf Weekly Wrap-Up Helicopter gunning kills 23 wolves in Idaho; Urge Secretary Jewell to abandon gray wolf delisting proposal — Call your representative by March 14; Washington wildlife agency urged to end support for abolishing federal wolf protections; The latest on Governor Otter’s wolf control board. Two Too Many Development Projects in the Ivanpah Valley While these projects most definitely directly impact a species that has been identified as threatened and is dependent on the habitat where they would be built, Silver State South and Stateline’s approval is most troubling for a bigger reason. You see, this isn’t just an issue for the Ivanpah Valley. Developers and agencies need to be conscious of how and where they plan energy projects all across the country. They need to look at renewable energy planning with a landscape-wide lens, understanding that building in the right places and making an effort to minimize environmental impacts from the start are essential. California’s Rim Fire: Opportunities Rise from the Ashes After California’s devastating Rim Fire, will officials take the opportunity to give nature a chance to fully recover?