Hurlburt Field was honored by the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC) for their efforts in reducing incidents of bears on Nov. 8 in a ceremony held outside in the Hurlburt Field Air Park.
David Telesco, black bear management program coordinator for the FWC, presented the award to the base for their efforts in dramatically reducing the number of black bear incidents on the base.
A combination of educational efforts combined with deterrence has reduced the number of conflicts with black bears 70 percent. There have been only 66 calls or conflicts with bears this year, down from 224 a year ago.
On hand to receive the honor were Col Jim Slife, 1 Special Operations Wing Commander and Crystal Walsh, Chief of Natural Resources for Hurlburt Field.
“You guys are a bear safe community. You’ve done everything right,” Telesco told the assembled group. “It took a lot of work for us to get to this point.”
Telesco credited Hurlburt’s multi-pronged approach to the issue with the success of the program.
“Hurlburt is absolutely the example we want other communities to look to,” Telesco said. “That’s how you want to live in bear country.”
For more on this story, see the Nov. 17 issue of the Navarre Press.