Senator Berthel Applauds House Passage of Critical Bear Management Legislation

June 2, 2023

Today, Chief Deputy Republican Leader Eric Berthel (R-Watertown) applauded the House of Representatives’ passage of S.B. 1148, the proposed bear management legislation following multiple violent human-bear interactions in Litchfield County and other parts of the state. This bipartisan legislation takes significant steps toward addressing this growing public safety issue by enabling residents to defend their families and property against aggressive black bears.


Senator Berthel has consistently introduced bear management legislative proposals each year since joining the legislature in 2015. His efforts helped lead to today’s passage of the most comprehensive bear management measure in the state’s history. The legislation was amended in committee to eliminate language for a bear hunt, but contains language to allow an individual to defend themself, pets, livestock, and crops.


“Connecticut’s growing black bear population poses a challenge that demands attention. It is essential that we empower citizens to exercise their basic right to safeguard their families and property from these wild animals. I’m grateful to my House colleagues for endorsing this practical and compassionate measure in the interest of public safety. I urge the Governor to promptly sign it into law,” he said.

The legislation, which also cleared the Senate in May, awaits Gov. Ned Lamont’s signature to become law.