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  • NJ S2702
  • "Pedal's Law," Prohibits hunting and establishes non-lethal control program for black bear for five years; prohibits actions that result in bear feeding; and requires use of bear-resistant containers, dumpsters, and food boxes in bear habitat.*
Introduced
(10/13/2016)
In Committee
(10/20/2016)
Crossed OverPassedSignedDead/Failed/Vetoed
2016-2017 Regular Session
This bill amends and supplements current law concerning the management of black bears and the State Game Code. This bill prohibits black bear hunting in the State for five years. In 2015, the Fish and Game Council adopted changes to the "Comprehensive Black Bear Management Policy" and to the State Game Code concerning the hunting of black bears. These changes included adding an archery and muzzleloader season in October in addition to the existing black bear hunting season in December. This bill would suspend these hunting seasons for five years. The bill requires the Division of Fish and Wildlife (division) to develop and implement, in conjunction with the Humane Society of the United States and other appropriate animal protection organizations, licensed veterinarians, and wildlife biologists, a five-year non-lethal black bear population control program for black bear. Within one year after the date this bill is enacted into law and also five years thereafter, the division would be required to submit reports to the Governor and to the Legislature detailing the non-lethal black bear population control program established pursuant to the bill, and include in the report information concerning: the status and management of the black bear population in the State; an analysis of population growth of black bear in the State; data on the black bear population, including birth rates, death rates, age, gender, distribution, home range, and movement; and an analysis of the availability and effectiveness of the non-lethal black bear population control methods implemented pursuant to this bill. Currently, under the "Administrative Procedure Act," agency rules are valid for a period of seven years unless a shorter expiration timeframe is specified in law. This bill provides that the State Game Code would be valid for a period of five years, rather than the seven years currently allowed. In addition, this bill prohibits certain actions that would result in the feeding of black bears. Current law prohibits certain acts when undertaken with the intention of feeding, attracting, or enticing black bears. This bill broadens that prohibition to include those acts that will result in the feeding, attracting, or enticing of black bears when black bears are known to frequent the area, regardless of intent. Current law provides an exemption from this prohibition for the use and placement of bait for deer. This bill also eliminates that exemption in current law, thus prohibiting the use of bait for deer hunting in municipalities located in black bear habitat. Further, current law provides for a civil penalty of up to $1,000 for certain acts undertaken with the intention of feeding, attracting, or enticing black bears; however, current law requires that the violator be issued a written warning before a fine is assessed. This bill eliminates the requirement that prior written warning be provided before a penalty is imposed. The bill also prohibits any person from storing food waste or other bear-attracting refuse outdoors in any municipality located in black bear habitat, whether at curbside for collection or elsewhere for any other purpose, unless the food waste or other bear attracting refuse is stored in a bear-resistant container or dumpster. The bill further requires public and private campgrounds and State camping facilities located in black bear habitat to provide and maintain bear-resistant dumpsters and food boxes, or alternatives approved by the Department of Environmental Protection (DEP), for the disposal and storage of food and other bear attractants. The bill also requires certain closed communities, as defined in the bill, located in black bear habitat to provide and maintain bear-resistant dumpsters, or alternatives thereto approved by the DEP, in a number sufficient to meet all of the community's output of food waste and other bear-attracting refuse. These provisions of the bill would take effect 180 days after the date the bill is enacted into law. Lastly, this bill establishes a civil penalty of $50 for a first violation, $50 to $250 for a second violation, and $250 to $1,000 for a third or subsequent violation of any of these provisions, including the current law prohibiting the feeding of bears.
2nd Reading in the Senate, Environment and Energy
Reported from Senate Committee with Amendments, 2nd Reading  (on 10/20/2016)
 
 
Date Chamber Action Description
10/20/2016 S Reported from Senate Committee with Amendments, 2nd Reading
10/20/2016 S Transferred to Senate Economic Growth Committee
10/17/2016 Senate Economic Growth Hearing (10:30 10/17/2016 Committee Room 1, 1st Floor)
10/13/2016 S Introduced in the Senate, Referred to Senate Environment and Energy Committee
Date Motion Yea Nay Other
Detail 10/17/2016 Senate Economic Growth Committee: Reported Favorably 3 2 0