Fish & Game Council: NJ has too many bears

    There are too many bears in New Jersey – that’s what the state Fish and Game Council says. And while there hasn’t been a bear hunt in the state for five years, the Council is proposing one for next winter.

    There are too many bears in New Jersey – that’s what the state Fish and Game Council says. And while there hasn’t been a bear hunt in the state for five years, the Council is proposing one for next winter.

    When Governor Jon Corzine was in office, he insisted on non-lethal methods of controlling the bear population. But the Fish and Game Council says those methods are not effective. Last week, bears reportedly broke into a home in northern New Jersey and killed household pets.

    Council Chairman Len Wolgast says the problems are escalating.

    Len Wolgast:

    In 2008 we had 69 black bears break into homes. We’ve had them killing llamas, killing pet dogs, killing sheep, goats, chickens, destroying cornfields – as all those problems increase, the need to reduce the bear population becomes more and more apparent.

    Wolgast says the plan would restrict hunting to bear-heavy regions of New Jersey. The state branch of the Sierra Club is against the plan, saying more funding is needed for education campaigns and trash management.

    The proposal now goes to the state Department of Environmental Protection, then to public hearings before it is approved or denied.

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