HIGH PRIORITY fOR THE BEARS -- ACTION NEEDED

The Division of Fish and Wildlife has released its proposed 2015 Comprehensive Black Bear Management Policy (CBBMP) - a drastic expansion of the bear hunt. The full document of proposed changes can be seen here: link. Below is an abbreviated list.

Instead of ending the madness of this trophy hunt, they are proposing:

  • Adding additional days to the black bear hunting killing season
  • Allowing bow and arrow and muzzleloading rifles
  • Allowing more than one bear to be killed per person
  • Opening up more areas, statewide
  • Adding four more days after the December hunt if weather interferes with the killing
  • Reviewing the policy every seven years instead of the current five

The comment period on the CBBMP is now open.

It is critically important for you to submit comments (see sample below); please help demonstrate that bears are still important to the residents of New Jersey.

Fortunately, during this open public comment period, all of us have a role in giving bears the support they need and deserve. We know that the Christie Administration's shameful gift of a bear hunt to hunters has been a frustrating and sad experience.

Please remember that three other governors stopped bear hunts. When we demonstrate consistent support for bears, future governors can and will take action to stop the hunt. Action is so important, and takes so little time.

1. Submit comments electronically by July 17, 2015, through the following link. (Please note that once you've submitted comments through the link below, there is no need to do so again.)

www.nj.gov/dep/rules/comments/

Instructions:

  • Fill in the required boxes.
  • At "Select Rule­making from the list," scroll to "DEP Dkt. No. 04-15-04, Game Code NJAC 7:25-5.6 and 5.24 Black Bear".
  • Type your comments in the field.

You can use the wording below as a basis for your comments, or insert your own words at the beginning or conclusion.

2. Help us get more comments in by the deadline. Email us and we will send you comment cards to be signed by family, friends, and co-workers. There is no charge for the cards. The cards must be postmarked by July 10, 2015 to meet the deadline. If you have the ability to print on card stock (2-sided), here's the link  for a PDF version of our comment card.

3. You can also submit comments by mail (one letter per person) by writing to:

Department of Environmental Protection
Division of Fish and Wildlife
CBBMP
Attn: Carole Stanko
Mail Code 501-03
PO Box 420
Trenton, New Jersey 08625-0420

4. Please NOTIFY US when you have submitted your comments.

*** SAMPLE COMMENT LETTER ***

Ms. Carole Stanko:

Please register my opposition to the entire proposed 2015 Comprehensive Black Bear Management Policy (CBBMP), which drastically expands the bear hunt. I am opposed to ANY bear hunt. I am also opposed to extension of the review process to every seven years.

New Jersey's bear hunts are entirely recreational and political have no impact whatsoever in reducing human/bear interactions as stated in the CBBMP. Nonlethal means of reducing human/bear encounters are the only effective solution. However, I cannot support the CBBMP's nonlethal components because they have never been implemented in any serious manner by the New Jersey Division of Fish and Wildlife.

I cannot support the state's category system, which sensationalizes normal black bear behavior and often results in the deaths of bears.

Furthermore, I support the development of Bear Smart Communities as described in Bear Smart bills (A4017/S687).

Action Center

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Black Bear Reports

From a national perspective, APLNJ's published report examines how state game agencies use black bear hunt-lotteries as hunter recruitment tools. Read it here.

Major Report: Baiting the Black Bear

The hunting of black bear (Ursus americanus) and white-tailed deer (Odocoileus virginianus) over bait is an overlooked yet critical component of New Jersey’s black bear management program. Baiting for deer or bear changes the behavior of bears and leads to food conditioning and habituation to humans. Artificial feeding contributes to potential conflicts and property damage, alterations in bear behavior and foraging habits, increased or sustained reproductive rate, physical size, distribution, and numbers.

Baiting has significant negative impacts on a wide range of non-target species, and contributes to forest degeneration, predation on ground-nesting birds, the spread of disease and invasive plants, increased illegal activity, and increased automobile-deer collisions. Read biologist Tom Eveland's literature review here: Baiting the Black Bear.

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