Sierra Club: Decline in population means bear hunt can end

Posted: Updated:
TRENTON -

A New Jersey environmental group says the state’s bear hunt should end now that there has been a decline in the bear population.

New Jersey Sierra Club Director Jeff Tittle says the state should now focus on bear management to control the population.

“Bears are a symbol that we still have wild places in New Jersey,” Tittle says. “That it’s not all subdivisions and strip malls.”

A recent bear activity report by the New Jersey Division of Fish and Wildlife shows that the bear population in New Jersey has dropped by 87 percent since 2009. Bear sightings and nuisance complaints have also dropped significantly, according to the agency.

Tittle says that the Sierra Club is not against hunting when it is necessary. But he says that the New Jersey bear hunt should end before it does significant damage to the bear population.

“The fact that the bears came back to New Jersey is important. In the 1970s they ended the hunt because we had fewer than 50 bears in New Jersey,” Tittle says. “New Jersey is a wonderful state with great diversity. It’s got the beaches and the mountains, but the bears are a symbol that New Jersey is full of wild areas.”

Tittle says that the bear population should now be managed and New Jerseyans should learn to co-exist with the animals.

"What people need to do is be educated on how to bear proof property, what to do when a bear is in your area,” says Tittle. "We don't put garbage outside overnight, we have bear-proof containers. We don't put bird feeders on our decks.”

Gov. Phil Murphy has previously said that he aims to end the bear hunt during his term as governor.

A spokesperson for the governor said in a statement, "The governor remains consistent in his opposition to the bear hunt. He has directed DEP to review the available science and consult with the Fish and Game Council in order to pursue changes to the regulations authorizing the bear hunt."

  • New Jersey SlideshowsGalleriesMore>>

  • France shooting aftermath

    France shooting aftermath

    Wednesday, December 12 2018 12:07 PM EST2018-12-12 17:07:12 GMT
    Photos of the aftermath of a shooting that killed least three people in Strasbourg, France.
    Photos of the aftermath of a shooting that killed least three people in Strasbourg, France.
  • Your 2018 New Jersey Holiday Lights Photos

    Your 2018 New Jersey Holiday Lights Photos

    Monday, December 10 2018 12:00 AM EST2018-12-10 05:00:41 GMT
    Alan Woinski's display on Pascack Road in Paramus.Alan Woinski's display on Pascack Road in Paramus.

    Do you think you have a great holiday lights display? Check out some of the submissions for the News 12 New Jersey Lights Up the Holidays series.

    Do you think you have a great holiday lights display? Check out some of the submissions for the News 12 New Jersey Lights Up the Holidays series.

  • Gift Guides: Gifts for everyone on your list

    Gift Guides: Gifts for everyone on your list

    Wednesday, December 5 2018 7:37 AM EST2018-12-05 12:37:03 GMT
    From Jack-Jack, of the "Incredibles," to the newest Fingerlings toy, we have a list of the hottest toys for the kids in your list!From Jack-Jack, of the "Incredibles," to the newest Fingerlings toy, we have a list of the hottest toys for the kids in your list!

    We have a list of the best gifts for everyone on your list!

    We have a list of the best gifts for everyone on your list!

sorry to interrupt
your first 20 are free
Access to News 12 is free for Optimum, Comcast®, Spectrum Networks® and Service ElectricSM customers.
Please enjoy 20 complimentary views of articles, photos, and videos during the next 30 days.
you have reached your 20 view limit
Access to News 12 is free for Optimum, Comcast®, Spectrum Networks® and Service ElectricSM customers.
Please login or create an account to continue enjoying News12.
Our sign-up page is undergoing maintenance and is not currently available. However, you will be given direct access to news12.com while we complete our upgrade.
When we are back up and running you will be prompted at that time to complete your sign in. Until then, enjoy the local news, weather, traffic and more that's "as local as local news gets."