WHEREAS, the original range of the Louisiana subspecies black bear (Ursus americanus luteolus) consisted of the entire state of Louisiana, east Texas, and southwest Mississippi, and
WHEREAS, black bear in the southernmost counties in Arkansas were considered U.a. luteolus by Hall in 1981, but were excluded by U.S. Fish & Wildlife because of a lack of scientific testing, and
WHEREAS, the Louisiana Black Bear Recovery Plan, completed in 1 995, encompasses only two sub populations, the Tensas River Basin and the Atchafalaya River Basin in Louisiana, and
WHEREAS, the Recovery Plan estimated a total population of 160 from the Tensas and Atchafalaya River Basins, between 200-300 in a 1999 Biological Opinion for the Kisatchie National Forest Plan and the population is estimated at 500 today, and
WHEREAS, home ranges fòr both males and females in good habitat is smaller than previously believed, and
WHEREAS, the final rule published in the 1992 Federal Register lists the species as threatened throughout its historic range and includes other free-range bears of similar appearance, and
WHEREAS, the Recovery Plan calls for a monitoring and analyzing report every five years, with modification of the black bear plan as needed.
THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED that the LWF urges that the recovery plan for the Louisiana Black Bear be reviewed and requests that the US Fish & Wildlife Service provide the required monitoring report, update population figures and habitat acreage requirements, perform needed sampling to genetically identify the Arkansas population which is expanding from the Felsenthal National Wildlife Refuge into Louisiana as far as the Ouachita NW R, and expand recovery plan provisions to include the entire historic range of the species, including East Texas, confirmed populations east of the Mississippi River and in the loess bluff lands of Mississippi and the Tunica Hills area in Louisiana, and the Louisiana Black Bear in Arkansas, if warranted.
Adopted by the Louisiana Wildlife Federation in convention assembled, 4 March 2007, in Gonzales, Louisiana.