Boycott New Jersey . . . Save the Bears

Voice of the Times / Anchorage Daily News / December 28, 2003

With great anticipation we await word that the animal rights flapdoodles are threatening to boycott New Jersey because of its plans to permit hunters to go after black bears.

Stopping tourists from visiting the Garden State actually shouldn't be too difficult, considering you hardly ever hear of anybody taking a vacation in Newark. The casinos at Atlantic City might be a target, but the suspicion is that the folks gathered around Donald Trump's slot machines don't give a whoop about bears.

Nonetheless, you'd expect the effort to be made - in view of the fact that these animal nutzies are threatening to warn tourists to stay away from Alaska where, goodness gracious, sound game management calls for predator control to reduce the population of wolves now preying on moose.

These rabid mouth-a-teers know nothing of game management, and nothing of Alaska, for that matter. A few wolves in their neighborhoods back East apparently would be welcome.

No matter. Alaska is an easy target for anybody with a cause and a need to get a lot of TV and newspaper attention. It's good for raising money, too, from gullible but good-hearted people who will donate to almost any cause that promises to save something, anything, from rapacious and uncaring loners in the wilderness.

New Jersey, however, may be a different story. It's right across the river from Manhattan. Millions of people live in the environs and tens of thousands commute back and forth every day from New York and New Jersey.

These are city folks, and the prospect of having a black bear or two prowling their village boutiques and threatening soccer moms is not a good thing.

A boycott of New Jersey? Well, probably not.

Black bears are dangerous.

Wolves, however, live in family groups and are playful. They make for wonderful adventure films on Saturday morning TV, when the kiddies are home and mom is getting ready to entertain friends at dinner that evening.

As these protesters gather around the table, some will no doubt say they are canceling plans to visit Alaska next season. It will serve Alaska right - so there, too.

Well, we wish New Jersey well in its first black bear hunt in 33 years.
And if, in spite, we decide to cancel a family vacation trip to Trenton next summer, that's just part of the price New Jersey will have to pay for its brutal bear hunt.

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