The need to protect livestock paired with a year of a healthy bear population could mean more hunting opportunities in Utah next year. “Over the last three years, the state’s bear population has grown by about 4 percent each year,” shares DWR Wildlife Biologist Rusty Robinson. “A few years ago, we began implementing new strategies to manage bears. We feel those strategies are working: bear populations are being kept within the sideboards of Utah’s bear management plan and we’re seeing fewer conflicts between bears and people.” The next Regional Advisory Council meeting locally will be held December 15th at 6:30pm at the Northeastern Region Office, 318 North Vernal Avenue in Vernal. You can also visitwww.wildlife.utah.gov to learn how to submit opinions and comments by email. Any decisions made will affect the 2017 black bear hunting season.