Nevada judge refuses to block bear hunt in Lake Tahoe Basin
CARSON CITY, Nev. and#8212; Carson District Judge Jim Wilson Wednesday refused to block a bear hunt in the Lake Tahoe Basin, saying opponents failed to show the state wildlife commission’s regulations setting up the hunt were invalid.
A group of Tahoe residents under the name “NoBearHuntNV.org” sued to block the hunt scheduled Aug. 20-Dec. 31. They didn’t challenge the Nevada Wildlife Commission’s authority to create a bear hunt but argued the regulation governing the hunt was illegally adopted because it didn’t provide proper public notice or consider the negative impact on the area’s tourist economy.
The regulations set the season, tag quota and other rules for the hunt, including that no female bear with cubs can be killed. Although 45 tags were issued, the total harvest will be limited to 20 bears, and only six can be female.
Opponents argued a bear hunt could negatively impact their property values and their interests as small business operators by damaging the economy of the basin. Wilson, however, said NoBearHuntNV.org failed to provide any evidence its members are small business operators, so they cannot be protected under that argument.
He also rejected the group’s argument the regulation illegally established a new fee, saying the commission has that authority and NoBearHuntNV.org failed to show its members are affected by setting a new fee.
Some hikers in the group argue the regulation setting up the bear season creates dangers from hunters, their dogs and from wounded bears.
Wilson countered that the commission created the bear hunt, not the regulation. He said the regulation only set the terms, conditions and rules for the hunt.
Therefore, Wilson refused to grant opponents the declaratory and injunctive relief that would block the hunt.