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Hunters Sue to Bring Back NJ Bear Hunt

U.S. Sportsmen’s Alliance Foundation

801 Kingsmill Parkway, Columbus, OH 43229

Ph. 614/888-4868 • Fax 614/888-0326

Website: • E-mail: [email protected]

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE - Contact: Beth Ruth (614) 888-4868 ext. 214

Nov. 3, 2006

Sportsmen Sue to Protect New Jersey’s Bear Hunt

(Trenton) - New Jersey’s black bear season is in trouble again and three sportsmen’s conservation organizations have banded together to make sure that black bear hunting in New Jersey takes places this season.

The U.S. Sportsmen’s Legal Defense Fund (U.S. SLDF), the litigation program of the U.S. Sportsmen’s Alliance Foundation (USSAF), Safari Club International, and the New Jersey State Federation of Sportsmen’s Clubs have joined forces to sue the New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection and the Division of Fish and Wildlife to challenge New Jersey’s refusal to move forward with the black bear season.

Although the season is set to begin on Dec. 4, state officials have taken no action to implement the hunt.

State statutes and regulations require that a hunt take place. New Jersey’s black bear management strategy, ordered in 2005 by the New Jersey Supreme Court, calls for bear hunting as an integral management tool.

However, New Jersey Gov. Jon Corzine has directed state officials to use only “non-lethal methods” to control the state’s bear population. Despite increasing numbers of bear sightings and incidents, and the success of the state’s 2003 and 2005 bear seasons, Gov. Corzine has refused to permit wildlife officials to implement their scientifically derived strategy to manage bears and protect the public from overabundant bears this December. No permit applications have been solicited, no permits issued and no training classes scheduled.

The U.S. SLDF, Safari Club International and the New Jersey State Federation of Sportsmen’s Clubs will jointly file suit to challenge the state’s refusal to move forward with the bear hunt.

“New Jersey’s governor has decided that politics are more important than the safety of residents in bear country and the health and stability of the bear population itself,” said Rob Sexton, vice president for government affairs of the USSAF. “It is up to people who truly care about wildlife conservation to stand up and defend sound principles of wildlife management and common sense.”

The U.S. Sportsmen’s Legal Defense Fund is the nation’s only litigation force that exclusively represents sportsmen’s interests in the courts. It defends wildlife management and sportsmen’s rights in local, state and federal courts. The SLDF represents the interests of sportsmen and assists government lawyers who have little or no background in wildlife law.

See related articles:
Hunter Threatens Governor Corzine's Life - 30 Oct 2006
NJ Governor Jon Corzine stops annual bear hunt  - 28 Oct 2006


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