Assemblymen Hal Wirths and Parker Space, along with State Senator Steve Oroho, have all voiced opposition to Governor Phil Murphy's plan to ban bear hunting on state property, according to NorthJersey.com. All three believe the ban could increase the likelihood of human-bear encounters in northwest New Jersey. The number of black bears in our area is estimated to be at 3500, according to NorthJersey.com.
"New Jersey has the densest bear population in North America," says Wirths in the story. “They wander out of the woods and into neighborhoods in search of food and shelter.” "The issue has and always will be a matter of public safety," adds Senator Oroho.
Officials in West Milford will go one step further and draft a resolution to oppose the governor's ban. Town councilman Lou Signorino cites a local mauling and says the more bears there are, the more likely a dangerous human-bear encounter will happen.