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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

stop the bear hunt, show people how to live with them!! stop the new homes that keep getting built, the bears were here first, now they have no place to go, its there falt! so we must take them out.... wrong.... save our woods....the bears home i see a bear all the time in my yard it NEVER try to get me in any way, i dont leave any food around for it to want so it just goes back in the woods ..please dont kill it!!!! STOP THE BEAR HUNT NOW

hi i am for the hunt and i don t hunt. this past july my dog was mauled by a black bear in my yard.i use to be against it up until that happened . did you ever see abear run about 35 miles at its target well i did my dog was only protecting me and my 2 year old girl. we were sitting by the pool andabout 50 feet away came a mother bear with 3 cubs well my 15 year old dog ran to scare it away but little did my dog know the bear turned around and didnt have a chance it attacked with a viciousness i have never seen in my life , she is 15 years old and was no threat to it, she didn t get near it to provoke it either IT just wanted to attack.what if my 2 year old had run into it ? what would of happened? well i know ,these bears do not fear us anymore, it came back 7 times since then i m afraid to be in my yard we have aot of property 10 acres.it surprised us again when we were swimming in are pool with all the noise and my girl crying and screaming outside about 50 feet away .you say noise scares them not this one. my dogs bills are over 8,000 dollars we still have to pay for and she needs another because it didn t heal right her skin is not together to her flesh it tore it loose now we have to wait until we can afford it. i have to watch it dosnt get infected.so don t tell me to save the bears wake up! there not your friend or pets or children, do are kids have to die at the hands of a bear before you get it through your heads. we don t keep garbage out we don t feed them i read your articles and laugh because we never had such abear problem in west milford in the 43 years i have lived here . i never seen them when i was young and i played in the woods ALL DAY. MIMI LINDSTROM Blog editor's note: We suggest you wake-up and realize that of the land left that's still home to free-living bears and other animals, it's not sterile, and you should make sure (1) bears don't associate you with food, and (2) bears are predators. so your kids, dog and cats need to be watched by you when they're outside. We hate hearing that anyone was injured, but shooting hundreds of bears is not going to stop the remaining bears from being attracted to outdoor grills, bird feeders and other food sources. Nor will it stop bears from wandering through your acreage.If you want to be safe from all four-legged animals, a move to the city is advised, and then you can focus on hazards caused by two-legged animals.

I don't agree. We should leave the bears alone. If we kill them most of the time we are killing the mothers. Without the mothers who will care for the poor little cubs?

My name is Brian. I am 9 years old. I think bears are our friends and we should not kill our friends. It is wrong to kill a mother bear because the baby will be left alone. You would not kill a human and leave a real baby an orphan...why would you do it to an animal. It is wrong to kill any living animal or human. We should all be treated equally. God created animals. Then he put man on earth to care for his animals - not kill them. You should be ashamed of yourselfs for even thinking of killing an animal...how would you like it if an animal picked up a gun and shot you?

I hope all of you against the bear hunt don't read about the several dogs,loving family dogs, that have been killed in their own back yards protecting young kids. Oh, that might change your mind,imagine if it was your dog.Imagine your child having to witness that death,hoping that it does not haunt them for the rest of their lives.NJ bear are not afraid of humans and that is very dangerous. what are you folks waiting for? A bear to kill a child and then it's ok to hunt the bears? In Benton,TN a black bear has just killed a 6 year old girl on April 14 06 I wonder which one of you wants to call that mother, whom may die from the attack,and tell her that bears do not kill humans and are harmless to us.You people need to stop dealing with stats and start dealing with reality that they are WILD DANGEROUS ANIMALS... [Blog editors' note: Heads-up Steve: Bear hunters are dangerous and they shot hundreds of bears to death which will not make the remaining black bears act less like bears. Friends of Animals acknowledges that bears are potentially dangerous yet that doesn't mean that shooting 10 percent will tame them ,or make food less attractive to bears. So using bear-proof garbage bins is a start in the right direction if one is living in habitat that's shared with bears. There's too much development in New Jersey; bears should be respected, given space, not lured to human food, and left alone. ]

Redirected maternal drives and submissive male behavior do not a realistic philosphy make in a universe where galaxies collide and stars explode. You can't nurture wild animals in the wild. As long as the population is exploding there will have to be some concessions made as wild animal habitat continues to decrease. I doubt sacrificing small children, pets, etc. to foraging predators at the exurban edge will be the solution. Face it, they 'aint making any more real estate. But they sure are making more people. And now you folks insist making more predatory animals as well is also the way to go. I see bears now and then so I wear a large caliber gun on my hip whenever I go into my yard. Just in case. Thanks for making that necessary. [Blog editors' note: And thanks for sharing the sanctimonious nonsense. ]

The New Jersey "Bear Management Plan" stinks and has stunk for a long time. Apparently, the stench has reached everyone's nostrils. Remove the bear exclusion zones and stop the proposed 2006 bear hunt. Together we can; divided we cannot.

So what has actually happened since the announcement of the plan to spend $200,000 for providing bear-resistant cans to 6 communities within West Milford, NJ? It's been at least 15 months since then-DEP Commissioner Campbell stood at West Milford town hall with two $50 bear-resistant cans from www.crittercan.ORG, and I haven't heard much more than that. Susan Stringfield

an animal should not be hunted. Animals need environment like we do. Hunters think that games are good but they're not. People could get meat from stores not go hunting. Hunting is very bad. Hunters should read this . Please do not hunt animals. They are an important part of the world. [Blog editors' note: If you have a look in other sections of this site, you'll find information on vegetarianism. When humans decide on the side of complete vegetarianism, we cultivate a safe, healthful way of life for all -- respecting humans and all other animals.]

My name is Suzanne Herlihy....I did live in Roosevelt, Nj..but..I moved out..just because of all the hunting and killing of animals....

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