TRENTON, N.J. – That’s a wrap, Save Jerseyans.
On Monday, Governor Phil Murphy signed an Executive Order ending New Jersey’s regulated bear hunt which his predecessor, Chris Christie, previously revived.
Murphy’s order specifically directs the Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) to forbid bear hunting on DEP-overseen public lands for the 2018 season including all state forests, parks, recreation areas, and historic sites.
“The hunt itself dates back to 2010 when, responding to the surging bear population, Trenton permitted hunters to kill a limited number of the species over a set number of days,” explained Save Jersey founder Matt Rooney in an October 2016 post on the hunt. “Non-lethal popular control methods were researched and determined to be unfeasible. The hunt consequently moved ahead.”
In 2014, New Jersey experienced 146 dangerous black bear encounters according to the N.J. Division of Fish and Wildlife.
Conservationists and hunters immediately pushed back against the long-expected decision.
“The policy makes no sense for any person who’s read the science. Period,” opined Cody McLaughlin who serves as a trustee for the NJ Outdoor Alliance which represents 1.2 million hunters, fishermen,and trappers.