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

C.A.S.H. Letters

PERMANENTLY BAN BLACK-BEAR HUNTS

Published in the Courier News on March 13, 2004

After appeasing hunters and developers with last year's slaughter, Department of Environmental Protection Commissioner Bradley Campbell now realizes what a public relations debacle it was.

Gov. James E. McGreevey naively assumed the public would quickly forget. To his dismay, far more New Jersey 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 -- 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 (three 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 8-3 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 more than 98 percent of us who do not hunt.

SUSAN GORDON
North Plainfield

The writer represents the Committee to Abolish Sport Hunting at www.all-creatures.org/cash ; the New Jersey Animal Rights Alliance: at http://www.nj-ara.org ; and the Bear Education and Resource Group: http://www.savenjbears.com

http://www.c-n.com/news/c-n/story/0,2111,924429,00.html


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