Mauro to NJ Sierra Club: “Bear hunt warranted and environmentally sound. ”
By Anthony P Mauro, Sr (c) 2011
USA –-(Ammoland.com)- After reading the New Jersey Sierra Club belief that a bear hunt is unwarranted and unfounded because it will not help to manage bears in the state of New Jersey, as well as similar comments from Sierra’s allies in the animal rights community, it occurred to me that one has to overlook some very compelling evidence to the contrary in order to cultivate such faith.
Firstly, to reach the conclusion of the animal activist one must disagree with the findings of both a Superior Court and Appellate Court, each ruling that the State of New Jersey had put together a viable, comprehensive bear management plan. The two courts agreed that the hunt should proceed.
People would also need a deaf ear to avoid hearing the pervading wisdom of biologists, wildlife managers, and State agencies across America that argue persuasively in favor of hunting as one of several necessary bear management tools.
To agree with the conclusion of the animal activist one must close their eyes to the negative psychological effects associated with human-bear conflicts in residential, commercial, and camping situations. It requires an exceptional degree of callousness in order to ignore claims of economic loss caused by bears to agriculture related businesses. This insensitivity would also extend to financial harm that would befall employers and employees of hotels, camps, and other businesses as a result of lost tourism should a bear-human conflict result in injury or worse.
To agree with the animal activist requires one to show complete disregard for human safety. There would need to be ignorance about the ways black bears respond to periods of declining food sources, and a lack of understanding about the perils associated with bear habituation. These are reasons for increased bear-human conflicts. They may in fact be the cause of recent livestock and pet deaths by black bears as well as reports of physical encounters between bears and humans.
It is the goal of animal activists to promote the rights of bears but to do so at the expense of the public health is emotional thinking; a sign of difficulty in distinguishing between emotions and thoughts. It may be the reason for the sensational claims by animal activists that the bear hunt is a grand conspiracy of New Jersey’s Governor to curry favor with hunters, roll back environmental progress and turn over the Garden State to developers and polluters. It is a radical accusation regardless of its origin.
Emotional thinking may also be the spark that ignited a handful of activists to hold a bear hunt protest in Trenton. They lectured using spurious claims based on manipulated data and research. It even earned them the “Pants on Fire” award from PolitiFact, the truth watchdog arm of the Star-Ledger. It is a distinction awarded to those making ridiculous statements.
Finally, for the animal activist to believe that during a time of dwindling habitat and prolific bear population expansion that bear-human conflict can be managed solely by garbage containment and public education is to defy common sense and rely on wishful thinking. While limiting food sources and educating the public about black bears is useful it does nothing to address the primary reasons for increased bear-human conflicts; bear population expansion, loss of habitat, and habituation. Hunting is the tool that addresses these causes.
The New Jersey Outdoor Alliance believes that a black bear hunt is a responsible, pragmatic, environmentally sound, and a science-based method for bringing the black bear population in line with the cultural carrying capacity of available habitat, which is the goal of environmental stewards.
It also provides food for the hunter and his or her family while aversively conditioning bears, which provides a measure of lasting public safety.
About: Anthony P. Mauro, Sr, (also known as “Ant” to friends and associates) is Chairman and co-founder of the New Jersey Outdoor Alliance, New Jersey Outdoor Alliance Conservation Foundation, and New Jersey Outdoor Alliance Environmental Projects. Ant's commitment to the principles of sustainable use of natural resources and environmental stewardship helped to create the New Jersey Angling & Hunting Conservation Caucus (NJA&HC). The NJA&HC is the first outdoor caucus of its kind in New Jersey and is designed to educate opinion leaders and policy makers about the principles of conservation; the foundation for healthy ecosystems, fish and wildlife.