The Virginia Department of Game and Inland Fisheries has opened the 10-year Black Bear Management Plan for public comment until Aug 1, 2012. Black bears are Virginia's only bear, and they're increasingly common in the Piedmont. This plan will dictate how bears are managed in our region.
Black bears are generally docile and rarely pose a threat to humans. They are typically very shy and avoid human contact. An exception is when they become accustomed to eating food from garbage cans and bird feeders. If you live in an area with bears, take that feeder down from April to Dec and be sure to keep your trash cans secure.