State lands just got a little safer for black bears in New Jersey this week after Governor Phil Murphy took action to protect them.
Black bears had been protected in the state since 1970, with the exception of two hunts held in 2003 and 2005. Unfortunately, despite opposition and questionable statistics used to support it, annual hunting resumed in 2010 under former Governor Chris Christie, and hundreds of bears have been senselessly killed every year since then.
However, things changed this week when the governor signed an Executive Order directing the state's Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) to close all public lands to bear hunting, including State forests, State parks, State recreation areas, State historic sites, State Wildlife Management Areas and State natural areas.
Let us thank Governor Murphy for protecting New Jersey's bears.