VAN BUREN, Mo. (KFVS) - The Missouri Department of Conservation is inviting the public to some open houses to learn more about black bears.
The meetings will be from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. with a presentation at 6 p.m. on the dates and at the locations below. No registration is required.
- July 9 - MDC Springfield Nature Center, 4601 S. Nature Center Way in Springfield
- July 11 - The Landing, 110 Front St. in Van Buren
- July 18 - First Baptist Church, 202 Walnut St. in West Plains
- July 30 - MDC Powder Valley Nature Center, 11715 Cragwold Road in St. Louis
The open houses will include information on MDC black bear research projects and management efforts, its black bear management plan, potential future hunting opportunities and how to handle conflicts with nuisance bears.
Staff will also be taking comments on these and other related topics.
For more information, you can contact MDC Public Involvement Coordinator Michele Baumer at firstname.lastname@example.org or 573-522-4115, ext. 3350.
According to MDC research, most of the black bear population lives in the southern third of the state in the Missouri Ozarks, but Missouri’s population is growing, and bears are moving into areas north of Interstate 44. Wandering bears have also been seen as far north as the Iowa-Missouri state line.
Black bears are currently a protected species in Missouri. MDC anticipates a limited hunting season as a population-management method once black bear numbers reach around 500 animals. The current estimate is about 350.