On Monday, Aug. 20, Governor Phil Murphy signed an executive order directing the Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) to close all public lands under the Department’s jurisdiction to bear hunting for the 2018 season. This includes all State forests, State parks, State recreation areas, State historic sites, State Wildlife Management Areas and State natural areas.
In response, Senator Vin Gopal issued the following statement:
“Our beautiful state lands are pristine testaments to New Jersey’s history and natural beauty. They are not hunting grounds,” said Senator Vin Gopal.
“We cannot allow these public natural spaces to be flooded with hunters, putting the safety and security of visitors at risk. While I understand that most hunters are responsible and aware of their surroundings, accidents do happen. We cannot risk the safety of our residents on state land. There are non-lethal, safe options for controlling New Jersey’s bear population that support healthy population levels and keep our parks, forests and historic sites safe for everyone.”