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State: Some camps inviting bear trouble
As sightings rise, officials say certain facilities won't heed warnings about trash and food
Thursday, August 04, 2005
Star-Ledger Staff
Wildlife authorities claim several children's summer camps in New Jersey's "bear country" are inviting tragedy and possible legal troubles by ignoring repeated warnings about trash and food management practices that increasingly attract bruins to their grounds.

Division of Fish and Wildlife Director Martin McHugh said his office is investigating whether it has the authority, perhaps under the state's ban against feeding bears, to issue summonses to at least four overnight camps.

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A few years ago I was talking to one of the folks who is a caretaker at Camp Marcella, which is a camp for blind children in Morris Cty, just south of the Newark Watershed. He told me they took the plastic top off the trash dumpster and had a metal one put on, with friction locks.

He watched some small bears come up and try to open the dumpster with no luck. Suddenly the all backed off and a "big SOB" came out, and jumped on top of the dumpster. Being "smarter than the average bear" he just used the metal top like a trampoline til the lock sprung...then he ate.

Bottom line--too many bears is too many bears, and regulations aren't going to fix that problem...hunting is.
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