Stop the cruel trophy hunting of Missouri's black bears!

Missouri tourism brings an estimated $18 billion to the state every year. In 2019 more than 18 million people visited Missouri's state parks, many hoping to take in the amazing natural scenery the state has to offer or get a glimpse of wildlife. More than 23 million Americans travel each year for the purpose of wildlife watching, and Missouri provides some of the best opportunities.

Despite knowing the vast majority of Americans prefer seeing wildlife alive in natural habitats where they can display instinctive behaviors, the Missouri Department of Conservation (MDC) is proposing a trophy hunt of one of Missouri's most precious natural resources, the black bear. Black bears were nearly extirpated from the state in the 1920s and have slowly started to recover, but the current population is estimated at only 540-840 bears. Even worse, the majority of bears live in southwest Missouri in the Ozarks, the heart of Missouri's tourism industry.

Trophy hunting bears is unnecessary and cruel. Bears are slow to reproduce and are capable of self-managing their populations. To open a hunt now while the population is still recovering could have disastrous, long-term results, especially since the MDC plans to issue between 250-500 permits for the first season. Plus, the proposed season has no prohibitions on killing lone bear cubs, which is unspeakably cruel.

Please sign this petition to the Missouri Division of Tourism. Let them know you refuse to spend your tourism dollars in Missouri if they move forward with this cruel trophy hunt. Missouri stands to lose millions of dollars in economic activity by killing black bears. Let's make sure they don't put the interests of a select few trophy hunters ahead of the rest of the state.
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