NEWS, SPORTS, COMMENTARY, POLITICS for Gloucester City and the Surrounding Areas of South Jersey and Philadelphia

Wharton State Forest Visitor/Vehicle Use to be Released
Gloucester Township Police DSgt. Mario Straccialini retires

Sierra Club Urges NJ for Effective Non-Lethal Bear Management 


Today the NJ Division of Fish and Wildlife held a public hearing on their Comprehensive Bear Management Policy and Amendments (CBBMP).  On November 15, 2022, the Governor enacted a new Comprehensive Black Bear Management Policy (CBBMP) through emergency rulemaking. An approved CBBMP is required for a bear hunt to occur. The New Jersey Sierra Club opposed the emergency rulemaking and bear hunt and urge the Murphy Administration for stronger non-lethal management efforts. Anjuli Ramos-Busot released the following statement:


“The New Jersey Sierra Club strongly urges Governor Murphy to keep his commitment to end black bear hunts and instead continues to use effective non lethal management practices. 


“We recommend that NJ DEP’s non-lethal management plan include requirements for bear proof containers in bear country and provide financial support for municipalities to pay for them. Human-bear conflicts are greatly influenced by human behaviors associated with food and waste management and the abundance of food waste. Without this critical component of enforcing garbage management in bear country, New Jersey will continue to have nuisance cases even with a hunt. 


“Better management of our garbage, efficient signage indicating Do’s and Don’ts, educational materials at trail heads, enforcement of no bear feeding and bear-proofing properties in areas with a high population (bear country) are necessary practices that will go far beyond hunting more bears. This is especially important because New Jersey is the most densely populated state in the nation. We want to see comprehensive action of these tactics before we kill more bears. 


“There are better proven solutions to limit human/bear interactions than hunting.  Bears show up in human spaces because we’ve cut them off from access to their spaces. The bears of NJ need connected natural habitats so bears and other wildlife can migrate and thrive without approaching human spaces.  We can solve this “emergency” of more bear/human interactions while getting us closer to the global goal of conserving 30% of land by 2030. 

“Governor Murphy campaigned to end the bear hunt and has flipped on his promise. He gave up on non-lethal management efforts before they started. It’s critical that New Jersey invests in effective non-lethal management efforts so that humans and bears can coexist.  NJDEP’s Wildlife Management and Public Safety Initiative should be conducted before resorting to the bear hunt on state lands. New Jersey should also require the use of bear-resistant cans, ban baiting statewide, and support bear smart legislation such as A1967 (Mukherji), S1250 (Gopal), S2769 (Cunningham). 


Protecting wildlife is a critical component of our work at the Sierra Club who have 3.8 million members and supporters nationwide. We will continue to fight for an effective non-lethal management plan in New Jersey.”