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
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
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
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
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
the weapons industry, will protect wildlife and represent the over 98%
who do not hunt.
To learn more about wildlife mismanagement, contact the
Susan Gordon, representing:
The Committee to Abolish Sport Hunting:
The New Jersey Animal Rights Alliance:
The Bear Education and Resource Group: