Tuesday, November 28, 2006

Sportsmen Ask Supreme Court to Protect New Jersey Bear Hunt

The U.S. Sportsmen’s Alliance Foundation, along with Safari Club International and the New Jersey State Federation of Sportsmen’s Clubs, are appealing to the New Jersey Supreme Court to seek an emergency injunction that would restore the state’s 2006 black bear hunt.

The groups are asking the high court to force the state to proceed with the 2006 bear hunt while the court decides whether Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) Commissioner Lisa Jackson has the authority to discard the state’s black bear management plan and cancel the hunt.

On Nov. 22, a lower court denied an immediate order to protect the hunt.

“In a perplexing decision, the appellate court ruled that sportsmen did not demonstrate how they would suffer ‘irreparable harm’ if no hunt occurs this year,” said Rick Story, U.S. Sportsmen’s Alliance Foundation (USSAF) senior vice president. “The same court ruled in our favor when we challenged the antis’ attempt to stop the 2004 bear hunt. In that case the court obviously found that we had proven irreparable harm.”

On Nov. 21, the USSAF and its partners in the suit argued before three appellate court judges that Jackson had overstepped her authority by nixing the 2006 bear hunt.

“The state’s black bear management policy was adopted based upon recommendations made by the Division of Fish and Wildlife,” said Story. “There were open deliberations by the Fish and Game Council, and input and approval by the previous Commissioner. A new Commissioner cannot simply toss out the policy because she does not agree with it.”

Sportsmen argue that Jackson’s decision was arbitrary and ignored sound science. Jackson and Gov. Jon Corzine, who indicated publicly that he opposes bear hunting, are stopping the hunt because it goes against their political beliefs, not because of scientific reasoning.

“Despite increasing bear sightings and incidents, and successful hunts in 2003 and 2005, Jackson and Governor Corzine have put politics ahead of public safety,” said Story.

The USSAF, Safari Club International, and the New Jersey State Federation of Sportsmen’s Clubs filed suit against the state on Nov. 3 to force the issuance of bear hunting permits as required by law. The groups amended the suit when Commissioner Jackson cancelled the hunt on Nov. 15.

Source: U.S. Sportsmen’s Alliance Foundation

This is very good news! Please support the organizations involved in this fight for your right to hunt. be that my joining them as a member or just writing a letter of support. If the animal rights win this case they have another victory that will serve other courts as guideline in future attempts to ban hunting in other states. The same is true if we the hunters win this case, it too will serve as guideline for other courts to defeat hunting bans.

You may not be a resident of New Jersey and think, "what has that to do with me...". Think again, everything that happens in other states or Canadian provinces has to do with protecting YOUR right to hunt or loose it.

U.S. Sportsmen’s Alliance Foundation
Safari Club International
New Jersey State Federation of Sportsmen’s Clubs

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