Yes, Yes and Yes
Then in spite of the efforts of the animal-right/anti-hunting groups to pull out all stops for preventing Chris Christi from winning the election, he became Governor Christi.
Governor Christi’s problems are far greater than the black bear “overpopulation” issue, nevertheless he has not waivered in his support of the qualified experts that are responsible for making these recommendations; New Jersey Division Fish & Wildlife, Fish & Game Council and the expert biologists.
Unfortunately, for years the anti’s have been able to toss this political football about casting shadows of doubt over these professionals. They even forced N.J. to go out of state and solicit research from East Stroudsburg, PA. Well guess what? The University came up with an estimated N.J. black bear population of 3,438 in 2009.
So with this information, by the way, confirming what our own state F&G estimated, the N.J.F &G Council now has moved forward to include the states’ first black bear hunt since 2005 in it’s proposed bear management policy.
Already, the anti’s are rattling up the sabers once again;
Sierra Club Director, Jeff Tittel; “Today’s action by the F&G Council is a step backward for bear management in New Jersey. His group believes garbage is at the root of problems with nuisance bears. Then more alternatives:
Protect bear habitats
Hire bear conservation officers
Use non-lethal conflict resolution, educating humans on how to avoid attracting bears.
Janet Piszar, Director of the Bear Education and Resource Group called the report; “a smokescreen based on junk science”
With studies conducted by experienced state biologists and research from the highly respected East Stroudsburg University, we have Janet Piszar, the Queen of smokescreen and junk reports using all of her non-game-management expertise to fling stones once again.
Well Jeff and Janet we have been there and done that SORRY, not this time; as I have written in more than 100 articles and opeds combined; None of these actions alone have worked nor will work in reducing, containing and maintaining a safe black bear to human ratio.
WHY? Because N.J. politicians of the past have allowed these groups to interfere with scientific wildlife management resulting in the unsafe black bear population we have in New Jersey today.
Of course, everyone understands that garbage should be a part of any black bear management program but, hunting alone, has been and will always be the key to wildlife population management, especially with black bears.
For those that believe hunting is not effective consider that out of (27) states with large black bear populations (26) have successfully used hunting as the primary means of population control for decades. Only New Jersey, with successful hunts in 2003 and 2005 has allowed politics, inexperience and emotions to interfere with black bear management.
Take a quick look at what goes on in our bordering states of New York and Pennsylvania:
New York: 54,475 square miles; estimated black bear population 6000 to 7000
2006- 1592 (harvested by hunters)
Pennsylvania: 46,055 square miles; estimated black bear population 15,000
2006- 3122 (harvested by hunters)
(Lower numbers were the result of adverse weather conditions with these states now extending the black bear season when required to balance the harvest.)
New Jersey: 8722 square miles; estimated black bear population 3438
1970 to 2002 no hunting
2003- 328 (harvested by hunters)
2006 through 2009 no hunting
What can we learn from just our bordering states? That hunting has worked for decades, it results in “POPULATION CONTROL”, IT IS SUCCESSFUL WILDLIFE MANAGEMENT.
We need to reach out to Acting Environmental Protection Commissioner Bob Martin, as the anti’s will certainly be looking to pressure his office with their same old rhetoric. The Governor will not be reached, they know that.
Already we can sense the problems black bears will cause in 2010, with snow on the ground and freezing weather we have had attacks on domestic pets. A (16) year old border collie killed in Wayne, New Jersey and the bear found living unknown right under someone’s deck.
This demonstrates that “overpopulation” leads to expansion, many of the black bears live in areas of northern N.J. where state lands border developments. These bears are roaming
because New Jersey’s 8722 square miles, of which is mostly developed land, cannot accommodate a black bear population of 3438, a population that will continue to increase out of control unless wildlife managers are allowed to hold annual hunts to contain this population to a safe, coexisting number.
Do not buy this animal-right/anti-hunting non-sense that it can be done with garbage control and education alone; IT CANNOT. As laymen just use plain common-sense; we cannot allow the black bear to multiply year after year to whatever number they can reach. Once they are hunted and the population brought under control they will avoid human contact (hunting is the most effective adverse training) and with reduced numbers have room to roam back into their own natural habitant. Of course, a stray may wander into some town, but no where near the danger zones of today.
Lastly, Governor Christi has major economic problems to deal with in New Jersey, we do not need to clog up our courts and waste taxpayers money on “FRIVOLOUS” lawsuits by the anti’s to delay the inevitable black bear hunt. We also should not play to the anti’s attacks on our NJDF&W that has resulted in stopping them from performing their jobs to the fullest; meaning that the state should charge for black bear hunting permits and pick up the revenue.
No anti’s this is not about trophy hunting or F&W generating revenue it is real wildlife management and taking in fees as does every other of the (26) states; it is about HUMAN RIGHTS & SAFETY; It is about faith in experienced professionals and not the emotional rhetoric of animal-right/anti-hunting groups.
We need to start the black bear hunting season now and continue on a managed basis in the future with controlled annual hunts. We have to allow a few seasons to get the black bear population under control. To make it clear; no one especially Today’s’ NJDF&G OR HUNTERS WOULD EVER ADVOCATE HUNTING BLACK BEARS TO EXTINCTION, THIS WILL NEVER HAPPEN AS IT HAS NOT IN THE (26) OTHER STATES THAT HOLD BLACK BEAR HUNTING SEASONS.
Contact the DEP AND Governor’s office; support the experts of our own New Jersey Fish and Game Council.
Governor Christi; (609) 292-6000
DEP Bob Martin; (609) 292-2885