November 16, 32003
Governor Jim McGreevey
PO Box 001
Trenton, New Jersey 08625-0001
Dear Governor Jim McGreevy:
Native Americans have long considered bears to be the
spirits of the forest -- and during the early years of their stewardship our
environment was diverse and healthy. Environmentalists also consider bears
to be an integral part of a healthy ecosystem. Yet on December 8th, unless
you stop them, 6,000 armed men, women, and children will be invading New
Jersey to slaughter 500 bears -- risking the loss forever of these glorious
creatures. In truth, regulated hunting during the years 1958 to 1970 has
decimated the bear population. According to black bear experts, the bears
are still recovering. Don't let them go the way of the short-tailed
albatross, the whooping crane, the passenger pigeon ¾
and other species that were driven to extinction by self-serving human
Bears don't threaten humans, but in fact they will run up
trees to escape danger. Actually, so-called "nuisance complaints" have risen
in states where black bears are hunted, proving that hunting does not allay
human fears or help the situation.
As perhaps the most developed state in the nation, New
Jersey has been mocked as being a desert of giant billboards, factories and
strip malls. Despite this, bears have managed to find a way to live in peace
with us. Please do not let the selfish desire for trophies, misplaced fear,
and hubris prove New Jersey's critics to be correct.
Remember the true motives of the Division of Fish and game
and the Fish and Game Council, which is preserving their power and funds
through hunting licenses and taxes on ammunition to maintain their agencies.
Humankind has a history of wrecking delicate ecosystems.
Please preserve these last few wildlife treasures of the East Coast by
calling a halt to the killing.
Public Affairs Director,
Wildlife Watch, Inc.