68A-4.009: Florida Black Bear Conservation
PURPOSE AND EFFECT: As required by paragraph 68A-27.0012(3)(a), Florida Administrative Code, the Florida black bear (Ursus americanus floridanus) has been evaluated under the listing criteria. The Commission has decided to remove the Florida black bear from the State-designated Threatened species list. This rule would provide for prohibitions, permitting, and agency activities concerning the Florida black bear subsequent to its removal from the State-designated Threatened species list.
The effect of the action would be to affirm that unauthorized take of bears is prohibited, require that permits authorizing intentional take of bears must be for a scientific or conservation purpose, and establish that in providing technical assistance to others, the Commission will base its recommendation on goals and objectives of its approved bear management plan. The proposed rule makes it unlawful to take, possess, injure, shoot, wound, trap, collect, or sell bears or their parts except as specifically provided by FWC’s rules. ‘Take,’ for the purposes of any FWC rule unless it is otherwise defined, and for the purposes of this rule, is defined in 68A-1 and includes “attempting to take, pursuing, hunting, molesting, capturing, or killing” by any means. Given the potential for illegal trade in bear parts and bear hides, the level of specificity and detail in this rule are considered necessary to aid in successful enforcement and prosecution. The proposed rule provides criteria that FWC considers in the authorization of intentional take that will allow the continuation of local governments and other partners assisting FWC in bear management. The rule also affirms that FWC will continue to engage with private landowners and regulating agencies to guide future land use so that it is compatible with the goal and objectives of this plan. Additional information is available at: http://myfwc.com/bear. Look under Read the Draft Bear Management Plan; a description of the rule is located in the Regulations and Enforcement Chapter.
SUMMARY: The proposed action would:  affirm the prohibition on unauthorized take of bears,  describe when the Commission may issue intentional take permits, and  establish that the Commission will provide technical assistance to land owners and comments to permitting agencies to minimize and avoid potential negative human-bear interactions or impacts of land modifications on the conservation and management of black bears based on the goals and objectives of its approved bear management plan.
SUMMARY OF STATEMENT OF ESTIMATED REGULATORY COSTS AND LEGISLATIVE RATIFICATION:
The Agency has determined that this will not have an adverse impact on small business or likely increase directly or indirectly regulatory costs in excess of $200,000 in the aggregate within one year after the implementation of the rule. A SERC has not been prepared by the agency.
The Agency has determined that the proposed rule is not expected to require legislative ratification based on the statement of estimated regulatory costs or if no SERC is required, the information expressly relied upon and described herein: The nature of the rule and the preliminary analysis conducted to determine whether a SERC was required.
Any person who wishes to provide information regarding a statement of estimated regulatory costs, or provide a proposal for a lower cost regulatory alternative must do so in writing within 21 days of this notice.
RULEMAKING AUTHORITY: Art. IV, Sec. 9, Fla. Const.
LAW IMPLEMENTED: Art. IV., Sec. 9, Fla. Const., 379.1025 FS.
A HEARING WILL BE HELD AT THE DATE, TIME AND PLACE SHOWN BELOW:
DATE AND TIME: During the Commission’s regular meeting June 27-28, 2012, 8:30 a.m. start each day
PLACE: PGA National Resort & Spa, 400 Avenue of the Champions, Palm Beach Gardens, FL 33418
Another notice will be published in the F.A.W. if the date or location of the final hearing changes.
Pursuant to the provisions of the Americans with Disabilities Act, any person requiring special accommodations to participate in this workshop/meeting is asked to advise the agency at least 5 days before the workshop/meeting by contacting: the ADA Coordinator at (850)488-6411. If you are hearing or speech impaired, please contact the agency using the Florida Relay Service, 1(800)955-8771 (TDD) or 1(800)955-8770 (Voice).
THE PERSON TO BE CONTACTED REGARDING THE PROPOSED RULE IS: Mr. David Telesco, Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission, Imperiled Species Management Section, 620 South Meridian Street 6A, Tallahassee, Florida 32399-1600
THE FULL TEXT OF THE PROPOSED RULE IS:
68A-4.009 Florida Black Bear Conservation.
(1) No person shall take (as that term is defined in Rule 68A-1.004), possess, injure, shoot, wound, trap, collect, or sell Florida black bears (Ursus americanus floridanus) or their parts or to attempt to engage in such conduct except as authorized by Commission rule or by permit from the Commission.
(2) The Commission may issue permits authorizing intentional take of bears for scientific or conservation purposes which will benefit the survival potential of the species. For purposes of this rule, a scientific or conservation purpose shall mean activities that further the conservation or survival of the species, including:
(a) Collection of scientific data needed for conservation or management of the species; and
(b) Removing bears from situations that constitute a human safety risk or a risk to the well being of the bear.
(3) The Commission will provide technical assistance to land owners and comments to permitting agencies in order to minimize and avoid potential negative human-bear interactions or impacts of land modifications on the conservation and management of black bears. The Commission will base its comments and recommendations on the goals and objectives of the approved bear management plan.
Rulemaking Authority Art. IV, Sec. 9, Fla. Const. Law Implemented Art. IV., Sec. 9, Fla. Const., 379.1025 FS. History–New_________.