DEC adopts bear hunting season changes for fall 2014 – Black bear hunting opportunities have expanded this year — although not in the Southern Tier — as a result of regulation changes adopted by the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC), Commissioner Joe Martens announced Monday.  DEC deemed the changes necessary to limit population growth and range expansion by black bears in New York. “Bears are a tremendous resource in New York, but they can have negative impacts too, through damage to camps, crops, homes and other property,” DEC said in a release. “In extreme cases they are a serious threat to public safety. DEC’s bear plan fosters a comprehensive approach to reduce negative black bear impacts by increasing public awareness of its role in preventing human-bear conflicts, addressing individual incidents of bear damage and reducing bear populations where necessary.”