NJ DEPARTMENT of ENVIRONMENTAL
FISH AND WILDLIFE AND
FISH AND GAME COUNCIL
Notice of Rule Proposal
Comprehensive Black Bear Management Policy
Game Code N.J.A.C. 7:25-5
Take notice that the New Jersey Fish and Game Council is proposing the 2022 New Jersey Comprehensive Black Bear Management Policy (CBBMP) and amendments to N.J.A.C. 7:25-5, the New Jersey State Game Code (Game Code or Code). In accordance with N.J.S.A. 13:18-28 and the State Supreme Court's decision in U.S. Sportsman's Alliance Foundation v. NJDEP, 182 N.J. 461(2005), the Fish and Game Council since 2010 has authored a CBBMP that outlines non-lethal and lethal management actions to ensure the longevity of this species, provide for human safety, and reduce bear-human conflict. The CBBMP works in conjunction with the Game Code at N.J.A.C. 7:25-5.6, which delineates season dates and bag limits for black bear and establishes safeguards to allow for the closure of the hunting season should harvest targets be reached.
In addition to the CBBMP, changes are proposed to the section of the Game Code regulating the hunting of black bear, N.J.A.C. 7:25-5.6. These changes prohibit the harvest of bears less than 75 lbs. live weight as well as adult bears accompanying these young bear and prohibit the hunting of black bear within 300 feet of a baited area.
The CBBMP and the Game Code Amendments were filed as an Emergency Rule, effective November 15, 2022, in response to public safety concerns due to a growing black bear population. The CBBMP and Game Code changes are proposed to be repromulgated to continue them in effect beyond the 60-day emergency adoption period ending January 14, 2023.
The proposal is scheduled to be published in the New Jersey Register dated December 5, 2022. A copy of the proposal (PDF) is available from: Department of Environmental Protection’s (DEP) website http://www.nj.gov/dep/rules/proposals/proposal-20221205a.pdf; LexisNexis Customer Services at (800) 223-1944 or www.lexisnexis.com/bookstore. Be advised that there may be a fee for obtaining a copy of the proposal from some sources.
A public hearing concerning the proposal is scheduled as follows:
CBBMP and Game Code Amendments
Wednesday, January 18, 2023, 1:00 to 8:00 PM (EDT)
NJ State Museum Auditorium
205 West State Street, Trenton, NJ 08625
Submit comments by close of business on February 3, 2023, electronically at www.nj.gov/dep/rules/comments. Each comment should be identified by the applicable N.J.A.C. citation, with the commenter's name and affiliation following the comment.
The Fish and Game Council (Council) encourages electronic submittal of comments. In the alternative, comments may be submitted on paper to:
New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection
2022 CBBMP and Game Code Amendment Comments
NJDEP Fish and Wildlife
Mail Code 501-03
P.O. Box 420
Trenton, New Jersey 08625-0420