The Division of Fish and Wildlife and Governor Chris Christie has proposed to lift the ban on bear hunting by May 11 in New Jersey. Previous Governor Corzine was against a bear hunt and used non-lethal ways of management. During the 70's, New Jersey's bear population was almost wiped out to just 150 bears. They have just begun to repopulate, but The Division is issuing a bear hunt due to increased bear numbers and human interactons. These incidents are due mostly to improper garbage storage, and these trash cans attract bears. It is illegal to feed bears in New Jersey (Law: Black Bear Feeding Ban: NJSA 23:2A-14), and this law requires proper garbage containment where Black Bears are present. Black Bears can be managed in a non-lethal way by using bear proof garbage cans, scaring them off with loud noises or shooting them with harmless rubber bullets,and only using bird feeders in winter when bears are in hibernation. Citizens should be made aware that it is necessary to do these things if you live in bear country. Bear-proof garbage containers should be made more readily available, or provided by the state. Please sign this to let The New Jersey Division of Wildlife become aware that a bear hunt is not necessary.
We the undersigned see that you have recently lifted the Black Bear Hunting Ban, and are writing to you with our concerns. During the 1970's, Black Bear populations in New Jersey were at an all time low. They have begun to repopulate over the past few years. We are aware that these bears are commonly found in people's trash cans looking for food, however, it is illegal to feed New Jersey bears, whether intentional or not (Black Bear Feeding Ban: NJSA 23:2A-14). The Black Bears would be managed better through proper garbage storage than with a bear hunt. Citizens should be made aware of this, and urged to replace their garbage containers with bear-proof cans. It has been proven that once the bears realize that these garbage cans are no longer a source of food, they will not bother them any more. This would be a much better non-lethal solution to the Black Bear management in New Jersey. Thank you for taking the time to read this letter, and we hope you will consider keeping the Black Bear Hunting Ban.
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