State to poll residents regarding black bears in W.Va.

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A black bear hides in a thicket in rural West Virginia
A black bear hides in a thicket in rural West Virginia. Photo courtesy W.Va. Dept. of Commerce

The West Virginia Division of Natural Resources is conducting a study of state residents’ opinions on and attitudes toward black bears and black bear management.

According to Colin Carpenter, black bear project leader for the division, residents may receive a phone call from Responsive Management, a research firm contracted to conduct the study, asking them to participate in a brief telephone survey about bears and bear management.

“Selection of residents for participation in the study is random to maintain a scientifically valid study,” Carpenter said.

“If you receive a call at home or on your cellphone for this study, please consider participating to assist the agency in better understanding state residents’ opinions on issues related to black bears in West Virginia.”

This study builds on previous surveys conducted by the division and Responsive Management in 2012 and 2006 to assess attitudes toward black bears. The study will include an analysis of trends in opinions and attitudes. The data will then be used to update the state’s Black Bear Management Plan.

Responsive Management is an internationally recognized public opinion and attitude survey research firm specializing in natural resources, Carpenter said.