Black Bear Management Plan through 2032 to provide direction for future
Environment, Virginia

Black Bear Management Plan through 2032 to provide direction for future

Crystal Graham
black bears
(© Mike –

The Virginia Department of Wildlife Resources is asking the public to review its Black Bear Management plan for the next decade.

The first bear plan, completed in 2001, has been revised twice since it was created.

Because DWR’s mission includes managing “wildlife populations and habitat for the benefit of present and future generations,” it is important that the process used to develop and revise the plan incorporates both public values and biological considerations.

The revised plan will guide bear management across the Commonwealth through 2032.

This plan describes the history of black bear management, current status of bears and bear management programs and the future of bear management in Virginia. The plan provides a framework of what needs to be done and how it should be done.

Guided by the DWR mission, the plan includes a mission statement and six goals that address the areas of populations, habitat, recreation, human-bear conflicts, and bear health and welfare. Specific objectives help guide the attainment of each goal. Potential strategies then clarify how each objective could be achieved, but without delving into the operational details.

This plan will provide clarity and direction on the goals of bear management in Virginia for the next decade to the DWR Board of Directors, DWR administrators and staff, agency partners and the public.

For more information on bears in Virginia, visit


Crystal Graham

Crystal Graham

Crystal Abbe Graham is the regional editor of Augusta Free Press. A 1999 graduate of Virginia Tech, she has worked for nearly 25 years as a reporter and editor for several Virginia publications, written a book, and garnered more than a dozen Virginia Press Association awards for writing and graphic design. She was the co-host of "Viewpoints," a weekly TV news show, and co-host of Virginia Tonight, a nightly TV news show. Her work on "Virginia Tonight" earned her a national Telly award for excellence in television.

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