Every year New Jersey sets aside several days for a state-sponsored black bear hunt. We feel that this hunt is unnecessary, and that proper human behaviors will change black bear behavior, and ultimately decrease human-bear interactions. This way, humans are at peace, and bears are at peace, and we will no longer need to host an annual black bear hunt in the state of New Jersey. In 2012, 228 bears were killed, in 2011 469 bears, and in 2010 there were 592 bears killed. N.J. wildlife officials would like to bring the bear population down to 1,200-1,500 bears. Currently the Animal Protection League of New Jersey is supporting a bill by State Sen. Raymond Lesniak that would ban baiting bears with food and require certain residences in core bear habitat to use bear-resistant garbage containers.. There are no other current solutions to the bear control problem other than hosting an annual bear hunt. Some groups have proposed a non-violent program of bear control works better than violence and hunting. We intend to raise awareness in the Rutgers community to know how to respond to a bear sighting or prepare their homes in bear territory. This is to help keep bear complaints down in communities and promote a non-violent program of bear control. We hope to work with the Animal Protection League of New Jersey to help pass legislation, and to raise awareness in the Rutgers community. We plan distributing informational post card with information about Senator Lesniak’s Bear Smart Bill. This will help us to collect signatures and send a bulk package to Senator Bob Smith, the senator of this district, who opposes this bill. He is the Chair of Environment and Energy, and this makes him a big player when opposing this bill. We want him to feel some pressure from his constituents, and know that people are interested in a non-violent program of bear control.
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