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Friends of Animals Urges NJ DEP to Stop Bear Hunt

12 August 2005

Bradley M. Campbell,Commissioner
New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection
401 East State Street
7th Floor, East Wing
P.O. Box 402
Trenton, NJ 08625

Dear Commissioner Campbell:

Friends of Animals, a national animal advocacy organization with approximately 17,000 New Jersey members, strongly urges the Department of Environmental Protection to forgo the second bear hunt that the New Jersey Fish and Game Council has approved, and to let waste management initiatives work.

We appreciate your effort in West Milford, which received a $200,000 Clean Communities grant from the state to purchase the heavy-duty cans with screw-on lids. But the cans won’t be distributed until autumn — and only to residents in six communities. [“Bear-proof garbage cans to be tested in West Milford,” New Jersey Record (18 June).]

To determine the effectiveness of bear-proof cans, your department has made “control communities” of the northern section of Upper Greenwood Lake, West Milford Lake, Lindy’s Lake, High Crest Lake and Hi Lo Acres. The department could confirm the effectiveness of these cans by letting them work everywhere. The $200,000 grant should be implemented in conjunction with the educational and prevention initiatives—including a strong emphasis on proper disposal methods at food outlets, parks, and construction sites, anchored by diligent enforcement—in all affected counties.

You have said: “We all need to play a part in reducing the risk of bear encounters. The place that effort should start is at the trash can.”

We agree.

We also laud the all-volunteer initiative the Bear Education and Resource group recently undertook in Hardyston Township in Sussex County. We believe that these initiatives ought to have a chance to work.

Some of these volunteers are young scouts. Please do not teach them that what adults do is get quickly frustrated with good work, throw our hands up, and resort to violence. Please do not teach them that New Jersey kills what it claims to legally protect. Please do not teach them to disrespect the other native beings that make our region of the country such a wondrous place to grow up and to call home.

It does not make sense to shift from the wisdom of using non-violent means—means which you rightly supported last year all the way to the state Supreme Court—to throwing up hands and taking up arms.

In all of New Jersey’s recorded history, not one human being has been killed or seriously injured by a black bear. Black bears have every interest in avoiding humans, provided humans do not lure them unnecessarily.

Yes, there have been those in Bear Country saying that the authorities are just not doing enough. Wiping out bears might be “doing” something, but it’s not the enlightened thing. Your department has very good recommendations with respect to correct waste bins, bin storage and cleaning practices, bird feeders, air horns, and the proper conduct when encountering a bear. These are effective and appropriate responses when bears become overly interested in us.

In summary, sound waste management, not hunting, will best serve New Jersey and its visitors. And teaching a sound environmental ethic, one that fosters respect and appreciation for our state’s black bears, benefits us all.

Very truly yours,

Friends of Animals
 

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In summary, sound waste management, not hunting, will best serve New Jersey and its visitors. And teaching a sound environmental ethic, one that fosters respect and appreciation for our state’s black bears, benefits us all.
Yogi the trash picking bear.... Waste management doesn't help the problem, It moves the problem. Hunt is the best way to handle the NJ Bear problem.... Have a bear hunt.... Hunters bag bears..... No More Problem.
 

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Here you go Campbell, I wrote it for you.;)


Dear "Friends" of Animals,

We thank you for expressing your concerns to our department. However at this time, it is in our best interest to have a bear hunt (2005). Special garbage containers and "community bear education" are definitely steps in the right direction, however, further steps are necessary. We are not simply throwing our hands up and resorting to violence either. We are merely controlling a population largely out of hand. Without the safe and ethic reduction of population via hunters, bear populations would expand exponentially. While Garbage containers, and bear education are important, they only go so far. Populations must be kept in check, not only for the sake of human safety, but for the well being of the bears. Severe overpopulation would eventually lead to their demise, and as a friend of the animals, Im sure thats not something you would like to see.

We assure you the bear season will go smoothly, as did the one in 2003. There is no danger of "wiping out the population" because our highly trained wildlife biologists already have limits set on how many bears must be taken. The hunt can and will be stopped before reaching this limit. Furthermore, this limit is well below the total number of bears, therefore, there is absolutely NOTHING to be concerened about.

Thanks again for expressing your concerns, hopefully you can see we have it all under control, and you can stick your head back in the bear proof garbage can! ;)

Sincerely yours,
Hassan Ben Sober:D
 

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[up] right on! what they dont tell you is that bears were probably hunted in our state back in the 1700-s and 1800-s for food im sure.i bet we controlled the attitudes and numbers of bears back then- hence the no serious injuries or deaths do to black bears in n.j.s history that we know of. if the settlers didnt sling lead at them back then im just sure the only waste management would have been the bears eating every bone of the settlers bodies :D
 
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