To the Editor:
I agree with Jon Kuncewitch's response to my earlier letter that we must identify the problem related to our bears (do we have a bear problem?) in northern New Jersey. Kuncewitch contends that hunting is the solution and compares the bear scenario with the deer scenario. We kill deer in our towns because they eat people's expensive shrubbery. That sounds like we've made attractive food available to the deer.We're doing the same thing with bears. The problem is not bear numbers. The problem is feeding the bears. A small study in Lake Tahoe reports that access to human garbage increases bear weight by 30 percent and accelerates pregnancy by several years compared to wildland bears. Again, the problem is not bears, the problem is humans and our failure to keep our garbage away from bears. The state and municipal governments simply need to enforce existing anti-feeding and garbage management laws.
Incidentally, a bear wandered into my neighborhood last week. No one chased it, no one shot it, and no one was attacked by it.