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Friends of Animals Urges NJ DEP to Stop Bear Hunt

August 18, 2005 | Bears

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

Comments

As a New Jersey resident, I am actively involved in trying to prevent this bear hunt. Unfortunately, Fish & Game is salivating for a "trophy". The hunters are pushing for it big time and there is no justification for this at all. I will keep pushing to stop this unnecessary cruel hunt.

Hello I think that bear hunting should stop!Why would we kill a innocent animal!People that bear hunt are just cruel and heartless!Is Everyone with me!Stop bear hunting!!

Hello I think bear hunting is just wrong! Why would anyone do something like this? People that bear hunting are killing innocent animals and bears!people that do this are cruel and heartless! So is everyone with me! If you then say; STOP BEAR HUNTING!!!

I agree on stopping bear hunt or any hunting laws in USA. It is contradictory to humane treatment laws for animals that supposedly make a difference in USA. Please send me any petitions to sign and distribute.

Myrna and others who wish to press New Jersey's decision-makers about their opposition to the bear shoot should write the DEP's Commissioner Bradley Campbell. Consider using some of the sound arguments Friends of Animals made in our 12 August 2005 letter above, but make the points in your own words. Many thanks. Priscilla Feral President Friends of Animals

there i no need for the killing of bears or weolves or deer in new jersey. first of all people choose to live in thes areas and the animals were there long before the humans decided to overpopulate lands in new jersey. second let the animals live in peace in their own enviroment and educate people not to hang out bird seed containers or leave pets unattended in the yard. don't ruthlessly kill animals instead educate humans.

I urge you to act responsibly and with kindness towards animals!

I DON'T THINK THAT THEY SHOULD HUNT ANIMALS !

I DON'T THINK THAT THEY SHOULD HUNT ANIMAL'S FOR SPORT, IF THEY'RE NOT GOING TO EAT IT, THEN WHY KILL AN INNOCENT ANIMAL. WOLVES AND SUCH DOESN'T HAVE GROCERY STORES TO GO TO LIKE YOU AND I DO, SO THEY HAVE TO SURVIVE THE BEST THEY KNOW HOW. UNLESS THE GOVERMENT WANTS TO SET OUT FOOD FOR THEM SO THEY WON'T GO HUNGRY.

There is no need to kill these creatures who are just trying to survive like "you and I". The public needs to be educated, especially if living in "bear country". Education is key . . . Please stop this unecessary hunt.

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