- Associated Press - Tuesday, March 4, 2014

LONGWOOD, Fla. (AP) - State wildlife officials are holding seven meetings to discuss conservation and management of black bears in central Florida.

The first meeting held by the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission is set for Tuesday in Longwood.

The discussions will include the Florida Black Bear Management Plan that was approved in 2012. Part of the plan will be to manage bears in central Florida, which includes the state’s largest bear subpopulation in the Ocala National Forest and surrounding areas.

The public can attend to provide input and sign up to be members of the Central Bear Stakeholder Group.

The central plan includes Alachua, Bradford, Brevard, Clay, Flagler, Lake, Marion, Orange, Putnam, Seminole, St. Johns, Sumter and Volusia counties.

The last meeting will be March 25th in Gainesville.

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