Black Bear Task Force -
During the 1995 session of the General Assembly the Maryland Legislature established a "Black Bear Conservation Fund" as a special fund within the Department of Natural Resouces. Revenue for this fund is generated by the sale of a $5.00 Bear Conservation Stamp or Decal and other related merchandise (lucite blocks, t-shirts, etc.), and any gifts, grants or contributions to the state that are designated for inclusion in the fund. Annual contributions to the fund are used to reimburse farmers for agricultural damage caused by black bears. In 1996, the Department of Natural Resources (DNR) put $10,000 seed money into the program.
Eligible damage for compensation includes damage to beehives, fruit, crops, livestock, and poultry. Subject to available funding, a person may be reimbursed for damage of not less than $200 and no more than $3,000. If there is not enough money in the fund to completely reimburse all of the claims, then an equal percent will be awarded to each claim.
Bear Damage Claim Procedures:
1. The individual suffering agricultural damage contacts Wildlife & Heritage Service (WHS).
2. WHS staff conduct an on-site field investigation and confirm that the damage was caused by a black bear.
3. WHS staff forward the claim to an extension agent of the University of Maryland Cooperative Extension Service.
4. The extension agent determines the dollar value of the damage, reports it to both the individual suffering the damage and WHS.
5. DNR determines the percentage of claims to be paid according to the money available in the fund, and pays the claims.
Damage Claims and Bear Stamp Funds Paid (1996-2001):
Currently, Black Bear Conservation Fund items may be purchased at the Wildlife & Heritage Service (WHS) regional service centers, at western region state parks, and online at www.dnr.state.md.us.
All contents (c) 2003 Maryland Department of Natural Resources. All
This page last updated April 01, 2003