SACRAMENTO /California Newswire/ — Assemblymember Pedro Nava (D-Santa Barbara) sent a letter today to the Chair of the Assembly Water, Parks and Wildlife Committee requesting the committee to hold an informational hearing or begin an investigation into the Department of Fish and Game’s (DFG) policy on euthanizing animals.
Last week DFG wardens euthanized a bear in Ojai after it wandered into a residential neighborhood. Many residents feel that the situation could have been resolved without resulting in the death of the bear.
“With increased urban wild land interface throughout the state, the likelihood of wild animals interacting with people is only going to increase,” Said Nava, “We need to make sure that humane policies for addressing these problems are in place and that Fish and Game personnel respond accordingly.”
The Assembly Water, Parks and Wildlife Committee has jurisdiction to provide legislative oversight of the Department of Fish and Game.
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October 22, 2009
Assemblymember Jared Huffman, Chair
Assembly Committee on Water, Parks and Wildlife
State Capitol. Room 3120
Sacramento, CA 95814
Dear Assemblymember Huffman:
Last week, Department of Fish and Game (DFG) officials were contacted to respond to a large black bear that had climbed a tree in Ojai. As I understand it, the animal was tranquilized while in a tree, fell approximately forty feet, and was subsequently euthanized by DFG personnel.
A number of community members have contacted my office since the incident to express outrage over the killing of the animal. Some claim to have been misled by DFG officials who promised the bear would be released back into the wild.
In light of both increased development in the urban/wildland interface and the proliferation of wildfires in recent years (which can destroy black bear habitat and move animals closer to contact with humans), it seems clear that wildlife incidents similar to that which occurred in Ojai last week will only become more frequent. Consequently, I am hereby requesting a hearing or investigation by the Assembly Water, Parks and Wildlife Committee into DFG’s policy for handling situations like this.
Thank you for your consideration of this request, and please let me know how you would like to proceed with this matter.
Assemblymember, 35th District