C.A.S.H. Letters to the Editor > 2004

C.A.S.H. Letters



Dear Courier News:

Re: "Decision on Bear Hunt a Matter of Safety" (3/9/04), it is, rather, a matter of trophies.

After appeasing hunters and developers with last year's slaughter, DEP commissioner Campbell now realizes what a public relations debacle it was.

Governor McGreevey naively assumed the public would quickly forget. To his dismay, far more NJ citizens expressed their outrage on this issue than on any other.

Taking responsibility for one's mistakes is not taught in Political Ambition 101. Though Campbell now admits the bear population numbers are less than half of those used to justify the hunt, he still dishonorably claims that the hunt was appropriate. He is furiously backpedaling over the lies, while trying not to make enemies of former co-conspirators.

Campbell's letter to the Fish and Game Council stated that, while he cannot support a bear hunt this year, he acknowledges that there is still a "huntable" population - i.e. a population that can be hunted without endangering the viability or long-term population of bears in New Jersey."

Animals are huntable when there are enough of them to recreationally slaughter, without threatening the future population and, therefore, future killing fun.

He assured the Farm Bureau (3 farmers are on the Council) that he would allow them "much greater flexibility . to destroy nuisance bears."

Despite the Governor's opposition to another hunt, and Campbell's sucking up to the Fish and Game Council, the Council ignored them (and the public) and voted 8 to 3 in favor of another bloodbath.

Your pro-hunt editorial states that Campbell's decision against a hunt is "far too influenced by politics." If politics could be abused, last year, to kill bears, I welcomed its use, this year, to spare them. Experts in the field had criticized last year's inaccurate, misleading population estimates, but the documentation was ignored, as the agenda was to have a bear hunt, no matter the lack of evidence to support it. Campbell tried to assure the Council that not killing bears this year would publicly "build support for New Jersey's hunting traditions." THAT is the only reason their jobs exist. It is time for New Jersey citizens to demand a permanent ban on bear hunting and the dismantling of the Council. It should be replaced by an entity that, instead of being tied at the hip to hunters and the weapons industry, will protect wildlife and represent the over 98% of us who do not hunt.

To learn more about wildlife mismanagement, contact the below groups.

Susan Gordon, representing:

The Committee to Abolish Sport Hunting:
www.all-creatures.org/cash .

The New Jersey Animal Rights Alliance: http://www.nj-ara.org/  

The Bear Education and Resource Group: http://www.savenjbears.com/

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