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Comments sought on black bear management plans

Colorado Parks and Wildlife is developing two plans for managing black bear populations in southwest Colorado and is seeking comments from the public to gauge opinions about bears in this part of the state.

To gather comments, the agency is using on-line surveys to learn about people’s interactions and interest toward bears. Data and comments from the survey will be included in the draft management plans, which will be available for public review on the Colorado Parks and Wildlife website late this summer. The plans will detail targeted population, hunting and harvest objectives.

“These management plans are developed through both biological review and by examining social considerations,” said Brad Weinmeister, terrestrial biologist in the Durango area. “Comments from the public are very important in this process.”

One plan focuses on an area west of the Animas River that includes big game management units 71, 72, 73, 74, 711 and 741 and is known as data analysis unit B-6. Counties included in this area are: La Plata, Montezuma, Dolores, San Juan and San Miguel.

The other plan, east of the Animas River, includes big game management units 75, 77, 78, 751 and 771 and is known as data analysis unit B-18. Counties include: La Plata, Archuleta, Mineral and Hinsdale.

The bear management plans will be presented to the Colorado Parks and Wildlife Commission in late fall.

The survey can be taken from May 18 through June 18; go to: https://www.research.net/s/B18DAUplan and https://www.research.net/s/B6DAUplan. Completing each survey will take about 10 minutes.

Written comments about the plans and bear management can also be submitted to Weinmeister at: brad.weinmeister@state.cous; or by mail to 151 E. 16th Street, Durango, CO 81301.

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