March 30, 2023

New Jersey Appeals Court Says No To Hunters

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In a set back move, the New Jersey Appellate Court has ruled that it will not overturn DEP chief Lisa Jackson’s ruling last week when she threw out the window the court approved bear management plan that included a bear hunt to run from December 4 – 9. The ruling only says the court would not rule against Jackson’s decision in an emergency manner. They would, however, want to hear the appeal in a normal fashion which would take too long to allow for this season’s hunt.

The ruling stated the court rejected the request because hunting advocates could not demonstrate “irreparable harm” and because of “the unsettled nature of the legal issues.” The decision stated the appeal would continue as normal ones do.

New Jersey sportsmans groups are considering asking the New Jersey Supreme Court to make an emergency ruling on Monday.

The DEP and other animal rights groups are calling this ruling a big victory. The only victory they can claim at this time is that the court wasn’t willing to overturn Jackson’s decision within the guidelines of an emergency session. This ruling put them one step closer to the state calling off the bear hunt for this year, which was their intent right from the beginning by waiting until the last minute to declare the bear management plan null and void.

“This ruling has affirmed the DEP commissioner’s authority to withdraw the bear management policy,” spokeswoman Elaine Makatura said.

“We were expecting DEP to be upheld and we feel this is an important victory for bear management in New Jersey,” said Jeff Tittel, New Jersey Sierra Club executive director.

Tom Remington