Re: “Public comment on Washington’s spring bear-hunting season coming to close” [Oct. 14, Environment]:

The Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife Commission is considering whether it should authorize a spring bear hunt for 2022. This killing occurs at a time when bears are just emerging from their hibernation and have ravenous appetites. They become easy targets as they search for food to replenish their energy. Newly born cubs are especially at risk from being killed outright or dying from starvation if their mothers are killed.

With both a spring and fall hunting season, bears are hunted and killed in this state in every month that they are not hibernating except July. The department refers to this killing as “harvesting” as if these animals were nothing more than so many bushels of wheat.

We are killing far too many of these animals to ensure a sustainable future, and there needs to be an emphasis on conservation and ecological health. Our state’s wildlife is held in trust for all Washingtonians, yet too many of the commissioners do not understand this and see these bears only as hunting “opportunities” for a small portion of the population.

Please visit the Washington Wildlife First website at wawildlifefirst.org/campaigns/ to learn what you can do to help stop this tragedy.

David Linn, Ocean Shores, interim executive director, Washington Wildlife First