New Jersey Governor Urged to Solve Bear Crisis

New Jersey Governor Urged to Solve Bear Crisis
State Legislators Press Gov. Corzine to Deal with Increasing Complaints

New Jersey – -( Three state legislators have called on New Jersey Governor Jon Corzine to do something about the state’s growing bear problem

In a December 1 press release, Senator Steven Oroho (R- Franklin Burrough) and Assembly persons Alison Littell McHose (R- Franklin) and Gary Chiusano (R- Frankford Township) called on Corzine to “adopt scientifically-valid policies in light of a dramatic upswing in bear-related complaints and damage incidents.” The release was issued as new numbers compiled by the state Division of Fish and Wildlife illustrated a massive increase in bear-related complaints. Calls to the state regarding bears increased 96.7 percent in 2008.

The legislators pointed to the increasing number of damage and nuisance complaints over the past year. Those complaints increased from 896 in 2007 to 1,845 in 2008. Additionally, according to the release, complaints involving risk to public safety or property rose 155 percent.

The press release criticized the Governor’s bear management policy as being “based on little more than a reflexive opposition to hunting, disregard of science and a dose of wishful thinking.” Furthermore, it states that while the Governor “has rejected our attempts to implement a reasonable and science-based policy to deal with the escalating bear crisis, it is time for the Governor to announce what he intends to do to protect the safety of the people of northwestern New Jersey†¦”

New Jersey’s bear management policy has been a recurring issue. The U.S. Sportsmen’s Alliance Foundation (USSAF) sued the state in 2006 to permit the hunting of bears.

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