Gov. Murphy signs order to close state lands to bear hunt

Gov. Phil Murphy has signed an executive order that will close all state land to the 2018 black bear hunt season.
The order would ban hunting on all state-owned forests, parks, recreational areas and historic sites.
“Today, I am fulfilling my commitment to stop the bear hunt to the greatest extent of my authority by ordering the Department of Environmental Protection to prevent bear hunting on all public lands under the DEP’s jurisdiction during the 2018 season,” Murphy said in a statement.
The governor has vowed to end the bear hunt in the state.
He urged the state Legislature to take action to work to put an end to the hunt.
The New Jersey Fish and Game Council authorized bear hunts through 2021 under its regulatory authority.
Murphy says that his first concern has always been public safety. He says that he wants to review all non-lethal options before authorizing another hunt.