November 26, 2022

New Jersey Bear Hunt Nixed By New DEP Commissioner

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Politics, politics, politics. When the newly elected Governor of New Jersey, Corzine, took office, he made no bones about the fact that he was opposed to the bear hunt. Now it appears he has successfully pressured Lisa Jackson, New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection Commissioner, to put a stop to this years hunt.
A bear taken during the 2005 New Jersey Bear Hunt
Yesterday, Jackson announce that the bear hunt will not be held this year or any other year until all other non-lethal methods of controlling the bears have been thoroughly tried. This goes against the wishes of the New Jersey Fish and Game Council. She has rejected science and above all has refected the bear management plan that was accepted last year and recognized by the courts as a viable plan to control bear populations. This plan called for the formation of seven bear management zones, including a bear free zone in urban areas where bear are not allowed to be and police are ordered to kill any and all bears on sight in these areas. The approved plan also calls for a December bear hunt.

This is clearly a prime example of one person having way too much power in making decisions such as this. Read what she had to say about why she opted to stop the hunt. This from the Philadelphia Inquirer.

In a letter yesterday addressed to the New Jersey Fish and Game Council, Jackson said other means of controlling the bears’ numbers, such as educating the public and controlling garbage, had not received enough attention.

As a result, she said, the policy as it stands does not reflect her views that nonlethal methods should be used before allowing a hunt to proceed.

She clearly points out that her decision is based solely on her own views and none of the scientific reasons that went into the plan that was approved last year. This system of decision making is ridiculous and needs to be amended immediately.

Doug Burdin, a lawyer respresenting the Safari club, concurs.

“This is a political decision not based on sound science or the conclusions of her own scientists and wildlife managers,” said Doug Burdin, a lawyer with Safari Club International. “We’ll look into available legal remedies.”

The Safari Club has already filed a lawsuit forcing New Jersey to uphold its previous ruling that the Bear Management Plan was sound and that this plan specifically points out that hunting is a tried and proven means for controlling bear populations.

Once again, the anti-hunters are attempting to hide behind humane smoke screens in order to promote their personal agendas of denying hunters the opportunity granted them under the state’s constitutions to hunt game.

Tom Remington