STATEMENT BY COMMISSIONER BOB MARTIN ON
OF BLACK BEAR MANAGEMENT POLICY
(10/P68) TRENTON - Department of Environmental Protection Commissioner Bob Martin released the following statement after today's vote by the New Jersey Fish and Game Council to adopt a Comprehensive Black Bear Management Policy that includes a potential hunting season in northern New Jersey for the first time since 2005.
“I wish to express my gratitude to the Fish and Game Council for its hard work in developing a science-based policy that recognizes there are a host of bear management tools that could be employed to reduce conflicts between bears and people.
“I also wish to express my thanks to the many members of the public who participated in the DEP’s extensive public comment outreach efforts. Understandably, this issue stirs passions on all sides. I will take all of these views into account as I now work with my staff and advisers in making a decision on the proposed policy. I will make this decision in the coming weeks.”
The Fish and Game Council incorporated the latest research and science into its proposed black bear management policy to deal with a growing bear population. The most recent black bear population estimate for the portion of New Jersey north of Interstate 80 is approximately 3,400 animals. Bears have been reported in all 21 counties.