Lawsuit to Stop the Black Bear Hunt
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.
Who we are: As stated above, Speak Up Wekiva, Inc. is a registered non-profit corporation in the state of Florida holding a 501(c)(4) status. You can find out more details about the corporation at www.Sunbiz.org.
Speak Up Wekiva, Inc. is a non-profit 501(c)(4) corporation and any donations to it are not tax deductible.
Thank you for coming together as a community to end this barbaric hunt.
Chuck O'Neal, President
Speak Up Wekiva, Inc.
We are finishing up our year end accounting. If you would like a copy of how the funds have been spent so far (we have a substantial amount left in the account to pursue depositions and other legal fees) please send us a comment with your email address.
Our case should be going to trial this year, so it is far from over for the Florida Black Bear. You can see all of our legal filings in the Facebook group "Speak Up Wekiva vs FWC."
Thank you for your support.
Anything to keep American guns blazing at the guiltless and innocent. You'd thought Cecil the Lion would have helped turned the corner on this cancerous behavior that does not afford food on the table. Despicable behavior. Contemptible genocide for thugs.
I have spoken to the offices of the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC) as well as the Governor. Currently, the FWC can do anything it pleases because the constitution of the state of Florida, approved by voters, allows them to function with complete autonomy. They do not answer to anyone! This hunt was approved by the commissioner and therefore it happened despite the will of the people. IF we want to see that changed, we must get our elected officials to amend the Florida Constitution and re-structure the FWC. That is the ONLY way anything can change, by law!
I am not FROM Fla., but unfortunately, because Disney lied to me about a job, I live here now. I had heard that Florida was THE biggest conservation state in the country. Nothing but lies in this state; I can't wait to get out of here. If you take away the habitat, they will come into the yards...duh...how difficult is that to understand?? To the hunters and "dentists" who insist on killing them...I can only hope that some day, someone takes a picture with YOUR bodies!
I was planning on moving back to Florida but after the BS murder the bears for no good reason at all crap, I will NEVER return back to this state to live. Iam beyond ashamed of a place I once called home 21 years before becoming a military wife. Iam now for the first time since being 16 Im almost 41, getting my license changed erasing my home of record of Florida! I want NOTHING to do with your state! ....You literally allowed them to live so you could later purposely kill them for profit! And everyone of you that allowed this is a complete disgrace to your conserve wildlife state! And I literally pray for a karmic debt on to all of you!
There are facilities set up to take the cubs. Why have you stopped searching for them. A facility claims you don't want to pay for the care. What do you think this go fund was meant for. Stop with your lame excuses about imprinting and save the cubs that are lost and dying.
There needs to be transparency of monies collected. Let us know how the money has been spent
When our governments stop listening to the people it is no longer our government. If this is not stopped and the big money special interest of the developers and the hunting clubs and their money that is buying the political green light is not stopped, its time for pitchforks and torches folks. No one wants to do this. Everyone wants to turn on the TV... but its getting bad. Our federal government is out of control.... Every agency does as it pleases... Now state governments are doing the same. And they are doing it at the open protest of millions of people. ! Time to get serious.. This means you might have to carry a sign, or stand up to the police..! Get angry. Raise a Fist. These bears can't talk. None of these poor animals can talk. They are being slaughtered again.