Front Porch Blog

State bear population rapidly rising

[ Virginia ] Spread throughout the thick of the Great Dismal Swamp, the western mountains and, really, almost every county in the state, biologists say there are more black bears in Virginia now than at any time since before the Civil War. The increase goes back to decades-old, fundamental changes in the state’s landscape and its rules on hunting black bears, said Dave Steffen, forest and wildlife program manager with the Virginia Department of Game and Inland Fisheries. Virginia bears were nearly decimated by 1900, and widespread logging had stripped the prime habitat. It wasn’t until deforested mountains were turned into protected national forestland and the Shenandoah National Park was created in 1936 that the forests, and bears, began to come back.

News notes are courtesy of Southern Forests Network News Notes





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