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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:


SOUTH JERSEY "BEAR AWARENESS" SEMINAR SLATED FOR AUGUST 18th

The New Jersey Division of Fish and Wildlife (NJDFW), in conjunction with the Atlantic County Freeholders, the Atlantic County Chapter of the New Jersey State Federation of Sportsmen’s Clubs, and the New Jersey Outdoor Women’s League, invites the public to participate in a "Bear Awareness" seminar. This seminar will be held on Thursday, August 18, 2005 at 7 PM in the Walter Edge Theatre at Atlantic Cape Community College, 5100 Black Horse Pike, Mays Landing.

Both human and black bear populations have increased greatly in New Jersey since the 1980’s. As a result, bears and people are coming into contact with each other more than ever before. Although black bears have been spotted in South Jersey for several years, and are now documented in all 21 counties in New Jersey, this past spring a record number of sightings were reported to the NJDFW, which has raised questions and concerns among many residents.

This seminar was organized to help answer those questions and concerns, and to provide information to citizens on how to minimize conflicts with bears. Guest speakers will be NJDFW Black Bear Project Leader, Kelcey Burguess, and Liz Jackson, NJDFW Bear Education Specialist. In addition, attendees will have the opportunity to meet "Cyngen," one of NJDFW’s Blackmouth Yellow cur "Bear Dogs".

The seminar will discuss the history of black bears in New Jersey, bear biology, the expansion of New Jersey’s bear population, how black bears become habituated, and NJDFW’s black bear research and management program. In addition, attendees will learn what they should do if they encounter a black bear, how to "bear proof" their residence, and other tips to minimize conflicts between bears and people.

The seminar is free and will include take-home information that attendees can share with others in the community.

Educating the public about bears and how to minimize bear – human conflicts is an important part of the NJDFW’s comprehensive Black Bear Management Plan. Please take this opportunity to learn about one of New Jersey’s greatest natural resources and how you can help in their management for future generations.

You can visit the Division’s web site to read more about New Jersey Bear Facts and
"Bear Awareness" at http://www.state.nj.us/dep/fgw/bearinfo.htm.
Directions to the Walter Edge Theatre can be found at: http://www.atlantic.edu/about/directions.shtml or by calling Judy Niewender at 609/343-5039.
 
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