Speak Up Wekiva, Inc. is a small group of volunteers who filed a lawsuit against the FWC to stop the ill-conceived and unscientific hunt of the Florida Black Bear. There are no administrative costs, office expenses or salaries paid from money donated to us. 100% of the donations are used to pay legal bills and court costs in pursuing justice for the bears.
We formed Speak Up Wekiva, Inc. in 2013 to stop the sale of state park and wildlife conservation land by the Florida Dept. of Environmental Protection. Its odd that we had to sue the agency responsible for protecting the environment in order to protect the environment; and now we have to sue the agency responsible for conserving wildlife in order to conserve wildlife - but that's the world we live in.
Under the FWC's own figures, the Florida Black Bear's population is growing at a 2% annual rate, but they want to create rules that include a hunt with a goal of 20% annual reduction. There are only about 3,000 Florida Black Bears in existence now because they were hunted nearly into extinction in the early 1990's under the sanction of a wildlife commission.
This hunt is immoral because females over 100 lbs can be shot as long as "cubs are not present." Who will monitor that? There will be orphaned cubs starving to death, as has been the case with other hunts that include females.
This hunt is immoral because an unlimited number of licenses are being sold and there will not be a quota imposed in the first two days of the hunt. After that hunters will be on the honor system to stop once the quota is reached.
This hunt is immoral because the same state government that sold off permits to harvest the Florida Black Bear's natural food supply (saw palmetto berries) is now selling permits to shoot starving bears for eating garbage in neighboring subdivisions.
Make no mistake, this hunt is immoral. Even the president of the Central Florida Bear Hunters Association has publicly stated he will not participate in this hunt because it is immoral.
This is not about hunting, this is about a runaway group of political appointees ignoring the will of the people. They must be stopped - and they will be stopped.