Newspaper ad calls on Governor to appoint non-hunter to state wildlife agency

bears black

Florida animal welfare activists are calling Gov. Rick Scott to appoint a non-hunter to a vacancy on the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC).

On Wednesday, the Animal Rights Foundation of Florida (ARFF) ran an advertisement in the Tallahassee Democrat urging Scott to appoint either a nature photographer, a bird-watcher, or an individual with a background in wildlife conservation to the FWC.

A similar ad ran in Sunday and Monday’s papers, and also run Thursday as well, the final day of an FWC meeting in the town of Havana, north of Tallahassee.

The ad is also available at

Featuring an image of a black bear, the ad has a headline, “Florida’s wildlife belongs to all Floridians.” At this week’s meeting, the FWC will once again discuss bear management. In 2015, the FWC approved a black bear hunt despite strong public opposition. It was the first bear hunting season in Florida in 21 years.

“It is time that the FWC has a Commissioner who represents nature photographers, birders, hikers and other ‘nonconsumptive’ users of Florida’s fish and wildlife,” said Don Anthony, ARFF’s Communications Director. “Most residents of Florida are not hunters, yet the FWC has long been dominated by individuals with a hunting background.”

Nature photography, along with bird-watching, hiking, canoeing, and kayaking are the fastest-growing outdoor activities in America.

According to the FWC’s own numbers, “wildlife viewing” has a much greater economic impact in Florida than hunting.

ARFF believes the appointment of a photographer, birder, or wildlife advocate would add an important perspective to the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission.

Staff Reports


  • Alexis Foxx

    April 19, 2017 at 10:40 pm

    If wildlife “belongs” to anyone, it is the public, not just the minority that call themselves hunters. This initiative is one whose time has finally come. Non-consumptive users have begun demanding they be counted and I say it’s about time.

  • Wendy Jenks

    April 20, 2017 at 9:15 am

    We really need to stop defining animals as property, period. It only serves to perpetuate the concept that some forms of exploitation is acceptable (eating cows) while other forms are not (hunting bears). Until we can all come together and agree and that animals are not ours to use as we please, these hunts will never come to a permanent end.

Comments are closed.


Florida Politics is a statewide, new media platform covering campaigns, elections, government, policy, and lobbying in Florida. This platform and all of its content are owned by Extensive Enterprises Media.

Publisher: Peter Schorsch @PeterSchorschFL

Contributors & reporters: Phil Ammann, Drew Dixon, Roseanne Dunkelberger, A.G. Gancarski, Anne Geggis, Ryan Nicol, Jacob Ogles, Cole Pepper, Gray Rohrer, Jesse Scheckner, Christine Sexton, Drew Wilson, and Mike Wright.

Email: [email protected]
Twitter: @PeterSchorschFL
Phone: (727) 642-3162
Address: 204 37th Avenue North #182
St. Petersburg, Florida 33704