Court Victory For New Jersey Bear Hunters

United States Sportsman's Alliance, Bear Hunting Magazine

(Trenton) -- A New Jersey Appellate Court will allow the Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) to develop a new black bear management plan.

The U.S. Sportsmen's Alliance Foundation and other sportsmen's groups sued the state in 2006 when DEP Commissioner Lisa Jackson arbitrarily discarded the approved plan, nixing last year's bear hunt.

On March 7, an appeals court granted a motion by the DEP allowing the state until Aug. 10 to create a new black bear management policy. If a new policy is not approved by the deadline, the court will hear appeals in the case on Sept. 6. At such time, sportsmen will argue that the 2005 bear policy, which provided for hunting, should be reinstated.

If the DEP approves a new policy within the time limit, the court will still hear oral arguments in September. This will allow the court to consider whether the new plan is lawful and what to do if it is not.

The U.S. Sportsmen's Legal Defense Fund is the nation's only litigation force that exclusively represents sportsmens interests in the courts. It defends wildlife management and sportsmens 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.

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