Opinion: For Jersey bears, a new sheriff in town

black bear

SUSAN E. RUSSELL / NORTHJERSEY.COM – The 25-pound bear cub whose small, gutted body lay near the hunters’ weigh station didn’t make it to the end of Gov. Chris Christie’s tenure. Now, there’s a new sheriff in town, one committed to public safety, not sport. Gov. Phil Murphy supports Bear Smart programs that restrict access to garbage and human-derived foods.

It’s the right thing to do. Ontario, Pennsylvania, and Wisconsin report that there is no evidence that hunting helps reduce conflicts.  When hunting reduced local Pennsylvania bear populations by 50 percent, complaints actually rose …

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