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Important Black Bear Hearing Tomorrow

Date : Mon, 10 May 2010 14:35:42 -0400

For Immediate Release
Contact Jeff Tittel, 609-558-9100 May 10, 2010

Important Black Bear Hearing Tomorrow

DEP and the New Jersey Fish and Game Council will be holding a public hearing on the proposed the New Jersey Comprehensive Black Bear Management Policy on Tuesday, May 11th at 6 p.m. The hearing will take place at the New Jersey State Museum located at 205 West State Street in Trenton.

This bear management policy is anything but comprehensive. New Jersey has significantly cut back funds for bear management, including eliminating the bear warden program as well as cutting funds for officers providing education programs and bear aversion therapy, and other non-lethal methods of management. By cutting these funds, the state has eliminated the possibility of any type of effective bear management program and is now looking towards a hunt, which will not solve the problem of nuisance bears.

This is not a management hunt, it's a recreational hunt. Nuisance bears living under decks and in sheds will continue to cause disturbances, while docile bears living in forests, away from humans, will be targeted by the hunters.

"Whether you have a hunt or not, there is not an effective bear management plan in place. Through cuts to the bear education programs, the state of New Jersey has abandoned managing black bears," said Jeff Tittel, New Jersey Sierra Club Director.

The most important component in an effective bear management plan is education. More than half a million New Jerseyans live in bear country, but many of them do not have the expertise or experience to understand bears and know how to avoid confrontations with them. At the most basic level, people need to be taught that bears are wild animals and should be treated with respect and from a distance. People must be educated that feeding bears as they would pets is dangerous and will lead to aggressive behavior in the future.

"To many people black bears are a symbol that New Jersey has some wild places left. By having a bear hunt you are supporting the continued urbanization of New Jersey because it is hard to sell condos to people from Brooklyn if there are bears in the area," said Tittel.

Christine Guhl Program Assistant New Jersey Sierra Club

145 W. Hanover Street Trenton, NJ 08618 Tel: (609) 656-7612 Fax: (609) 656-7618 christine.guhl_at_sierraclub.org

Received on 2010-05-10 11:35:42

New Jersey Sierra Club, 145 West Hanover St., Trenton, NJ 08618, USA
tel: 609 656 7612, fax 609 656 7618
or email Nicole Dallara, Outreach Coordinator, at nicole.dallara@sierraclub.org

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