It’s Time to Stand Up for Maryland’s Bears

Let’s stop black bear hunting in Maryland!

A record 167 black bears were reported harvested during the 2016 season in Maryland.

Maryland’s political black eye darkens next week when our state politicians again allow recreational killing of Maryland’s black bears in Western Maryland. But with your vote and mine, we can stop this disgrace. Here’s what’s happened.

This year Maryland issued 750 bear hunting permits. Even children can hunt, unsupervised. There’s no requirement for knowing how to shoot a weapon either.

Hunters can use high-powered rifles, or bows and arrows for killing and wounding all bears including cubs and females for trophy heads, body mounts, and rugs. Data collected show almost four out of 10 bears killed previously were less than one year old.

Bear hunting is a win-win for our Department of Natural Resource’s Wildlife and Heritage Division (DNR-WHD) and their political cronies in the Maryland legislature. It provides DNR-WHD’s key audience — the mere two percent of Marylanders who hunt — another “big game” animal to kill, and it generates additional revenue.

Supportive state politicians benefit from hunters’ votes and, more important, from donations from pro-hunting groups. It’s big business.

Bear hunting began in 2004, with DNR giving no evidence it was needed, rejecting polls showing the majority of Marylanders opposed it, and turning down offers to pay for alleged bear damage in lieu of hunting. Their pal, then-Gov. Robert Ehrlich vetoed our Maryland legislative review committee’s 12-7 vote against it. The practice then continued under Gov. Martin O’Malley because “There’s nothing in it for him” (as a lame duck), I heard from his staff, and Gov. Larry Hogan is another hunter’s pal.

Statewide elections are coming soon. Before voting, ask that politician glad-handing at your door if she/he will oppose this bear killing. They can’t win my vote by simply lowering bridge/tunnel tolls while letting this black eye continue. Our bears need your vote too — or they get killed for sport without it.

E. Joseph Lamp, The Baltimore Sun – Letters to the Editor October 16, 2017

Dr. Lamp is a former member of the Wildlife Advisory Commission through the Maryland Department of Natural Resources and a Maryland Votes for Animals board member.

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Lisa Radov

President and Chairman at Maryland Votes for Animals, Inc.
Lisa Radov has been passionate about helping animals since she was eight years old when she embarked on her first fundraising campaign to help stop the slaughter of baby harp seals in Canada.

Lisa has a B.A. in International Relations from the University of Pennsylvania and an MBA in Marketing and Advertising from the Tulane University A.B. Freeman School of Business. She was the Owner and Director of Marketing at Gebco Insurance Associates, Inc. from 1986- 2016 and is a Certified Yoga Instructor.

A lover of all animals, Lisa has rescued two dogs, four pet lab rats, six cats, two hamsters, and two guinea pigs.

A mother of four, Lisa has chaired fundraising campaigns and been an active board member of the Parents' Associations at her children's schools. She became politically active in animal issues when her youngest child started volunteering at the shelter where they adopted their two cats.

Lisa is dedicated to passing laws that will make Maryland a leader in the humane treatment of all animals - companion, farm, and wildlife.