Department of Environmental Protection Commissioner Bob Martin rejected a request for a stay of a scheduled Northwest New Jersey bear hunt, which is authorized under the State’s recently adopted Comprehensive Black Bear Management Policy (CBBMP).
The Commissioner, responding to a Nov. 17 written request by the Animal Protection League of New Jersey and the Bear Education and Resource Group, declined to postpone an upcoming six-day hunt scheduled for a seven-county region, including parts of Sussex, Warren, Hunterdon, Passaic, Morris, Somerset and Bergen counties, that is scheduled to start Dec 6.
“The facts are clear, we have an overpopulation of black bears in New Jersey, and we must address that issue,” said Commissioner Martin. “A regulated black bear hunt is one important and necessary tool to deal with the growing number of bears, as part of the State’s overall, comprehensive approach to managing its black bear population.”
The most recent black bear population estimate for the portion of New Jersey north of Interstate 80 is approximately 3,400 animals, which is a marked rise from less than 500 in the mid-1990s. Bears also have been reported in all 21 counties, with a corresponding rise in bear complaints.