Published: Mar 17, 2014 10:44 AM EDT

ORLANDO, Fla. (AP) - The Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission is holding the first of four public meetings this week to discuss how people can get involved in the conservation and management of black bears in central Florida.
    
The initial meeting is scheduled for Tuesday at DeLand City Hall. Other meetings will be Wednesday night in Fort McCoy, Thursday in Palatka and March 25 in Gainesville. All meetings will be held from 6:30 to 8 p.m.
    
Under FWC's Florida Black Bear Management Plan that was approved in 2012, seven bear management units will be established throughout the state.
    
The meetings will give the public a chance to provide input on local bear issues and allow interested individuals to sign up for the Central Bear Stakeholder Group.

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