ASSEMBLY, No. 2455

STATE OF NEW JERSEY

218th LEGISLATURE

 

INTRODUCED FEBRUARY 1, 2018

 


 

Sponsored by:

Assemblywoman  ANNETTE QUIJANO

District 20 (Union)

 

 

 

 

SYNOPSIS

     “Pedals’ 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.

 

CURRENT VERSION OF TEXT

     As introduced.

  


An Act concerning the management of black bear, designated as “Pedals’ Law,” and amending and supplementing various parts of the statutory law.

 

     Be It Enacted by the Senate and General Assembly of the State of New Jersey:

 

     1.    (New section)  Notwithstanding any law, rule, regulation, or provision of the State Fish and Game Code to the contrary, there shall be no open season nor any hunting by permit for black bear anywhere in the State for five years commencing on the effective date of P.L.     , c.    (C.        ) (pending before the Legislature as this bill).

 

     2.    (New section)  Commencing on the effective date of P.L.     , c.    (C.        ) (pending before the Legislature as this bill), the Division of Fish and Wildlife shall 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.

     The Division of Fish and Wildlife shall submit to the Governor and, pursuant to section 2 of P.L.1991, c.164 (C.52:14-19.1), to the Legislature a report detailing the non-lethal black bear population control program developed and implemented pursuant to this section within one year after the effective date of P.L.     , c.    (C.  ) (pending before the Legislature as this bill) and at the conclusion of the five-year program.  Both the initial report and the final report shall include 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 section.

 

     3.    Section 34 of P.L.1948, c.448 (C.13:1B-32) is amended to read as follows:

     34.  Any regulation of the council or amendment thereto adopted pursuant to the provisions of this article which relates to game birds, game animals , or fur-bearing animals, after the council has first determined the need for such action on the basis of scientific investigation and research, may apply to all or any part of the State, at the discretion of the council, and may do any or all of the following as to any or all species or varieties of game birds, game animals, and fur-bearing animals:

     a.     [Establish] establish, extend, shorten or abolish open seasons and closed seasons [.] ;

     b.    [Establish] establish, change, or abolish bag limits and possession limits [.] ;

     c.     [Establish] establish and change territorial limits for the pursuit, taking, or killing of any or all species or varieties [.] ;

     d.    [Prescribe] prescribe the manner and the means of pursuing, taking, or killing any species or variety [.] ; and

     e.     [Establish] establish, change, or abolish restrictions based upon sex, maturity, or other physical distinction.

     Notwithstanding the provisions of subsections b. and c. of section 10 of P.L.2001, c.5 (C.52:14B-5.1), or any rule or regulation adopted pursuant thereto, to the contrary, any rule or regulation or amendment thereto of the council which relates to game birds, game animals, or fur-bearing animals shall expire five years following the effective date of the rule or regulation.

(cf:  P.L.1948, c.448, s.34)

 

     4.    Section 1 of P.L.2002, c.97 (C.23:2A-14) is amended to read as follows:

      1.   a.  No person shall , for any purpose :

      (1) feed, give, place, expose, deposit, distribute or scatter any edible material , lure, or attractant [with the intention of] in a manner that will result in feeding, attracting , or enticing a black bear when black bear are known to frequent the area ; or

      (2) store pet food, garbage , or other bear attractants in a manner that will result in bear feedings when black bear are known to frequent the area.

      b.   Subsection a. of this section shall not apply [in the case of an unintentional feeding of a black bear.  “Unintentional feeding” means using or placing any material for a purpose other than to attract or entice black bears but which results in the attraction or enticement of a black bear, and shall include but need not be limited to the use and placement of bait for deer in accordance with section 1 of P.L.1997, c.424 (C.23:4-24.4) and the State Fish and Game Code] to agricultural operations .

      c.   (1)  If any person violates subsection a. of this section, the department may institute a civil action in a court of competent jurisdiction for injunctive relief to prohibit and prevent such violation or violations and the court may proceed in the action in a summary manner.

      (2) Any person who violates the provisions of subsection a. of this section shall be liable to a civil penalty of [up to $1,000 for each] $50 for a first offense, $50 to $250 for a second offense, and $250 to $1,000 for a third or subsequent offense, to be collected in a civil action by a summary proceeding under the “Penalty Enforcement Law of 1999,” P.L.1999, c.274 (C.2A:58-10 et seq.) , or in any case before a court of competent jurisdiction wherein injunctive relief has been requested pursuant to paragraph (1) of this subsection[Civil ] Suit may be brought by the State or a municipality.  When suit is brought by the State, penalties recovered for violations hereof shall be remitted as provided in R.S.23:10-19.  When suit is brought by a municipality, penalties recovered for violations hereof shall be remitted to the municipal treasurer.  The Superior Court and municipal court shall have jurisdiction to enforce the “Penalty Enforcement Law of 1999.”

      If the violation is of a continuing nature, each day during which it continues shall constitute an additional, separate and distinct offense.

      [No person shall be assessed a civil penalty pursuant to this paragraph unless the person has first been issued a prior written warning for a violation of subsection a. of this section.]

      (3) The department is hereby authorized and empowered to compromise and settle any claim for a penalty under this section in such amount in the discretion of the department as may appear appropriate and equitable under all of the circumstances.

      d.   The provisions of this section shall be enforced by all municipal police officers, the State Police, and law enforcement officers with the Division of Fish and Wildlife and the Division of Parks and Forestry in the Department of Environmental Protection.

      e.   Nothing in this section shall be construed to restrict in any way the attraction, capture, or taking of black bears by or at the direction of the Division of Fish and Wildlife for [management or] research or individual bear control purposes.

(cf:  P.L.2002, c.97, s.1)

 

     5.    (New section)  a.  Notwithstanding the provisions of any other law, rule, or regulation to the contrary, no person shall store food waste or other bear-attracting refuse outdoors on public or private property in any municipality identified as being located in habitat occupied by bears pursuant to subsection b. of this section, 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 bear-resistant dumpster.

     b.    The Commissioner of Environmental Protection shall:

     (1) adopt, pursuant to the "Administrative Procedure Act," P.L.1968, c.410 (C.52:14B-1 et seq.), rules and regulations to effectuate the purpose of this section, including but not limited to, rules and regulations that set forth appropriate standards and specifications for bear-resistant containers and bear-resistant dumpsters required pursuant to subsection a. of this section; and

     (2) compile, make public, and update annually a list of all municipalities located in black bear habitat for purposes of this section, and provide written notice of the requirements of this section and all rules and regulations promulgated hereunder to each municipality at least 90 days prior to listing the municipality as located in black bear habitat.

     c.     Any person who violates the provisions of this section shall be subject to the penalty and enforcement provisions of section 1 of P.L.2002, c.97 (C.23:2A-14), provided, however, all penalties collected pursuant to violations of this section shall be remitted to the treasurer of the municipality in which the violation occurred.

 

     6.    Section 1 of P.L.1997, c.424 (C.23:4-24.4) is amended to read as follows:

     1.    a. Notwithstanding the provisions of [section] sections 1 and [section] 2 of P.L.1970, c.180 (C.23:4-24.2 and C.23:4-24.3), and except as otherwise provided pursuant to subsection c. of this section, a person may:  (1) use bait to attract, entice, or lure a deer; and (2) kill, destroy, injure, shoot, shoot at, take, wound, or attempt to take, kill, or wound, a deer, or have in possession or control any firearm or other weapon of any kind for such purposes, within any distance of a lawfully baited area.  A person may be elevated in a standing tree or in a structure of any kind when using a lawfully baited area for hunting deer, and the baited area may be within any distance of the standing tree or structure.

     b.    For the purposes of this section, "baited area" means the presence of placed, exposed, deposited, distributed, or scattered agricultural products, salt, or other edible lure whatsoever capable of attracting, enticing, or luring deer.

     c.     Notwithstanding any provision of subsection a. of this section, no person shall use bait in a municipality identified as being located in black bear habitat pursuant to subsection b. of section 5 of P.L.     , c.    (C.        ) (pending before the Legislature as this bill) to attract, entice, or lure a deer for any purpose. 

(cf:  P.L.1999, c.231, s.1)

 

     7.    (New section)  a.  At each State camping facility identified as being located in black bear habitat pursuant to subsection b. of this section, the department shall provide and maintain:

     (1)   bear-resistant dumpsters in a number sufficient to receive all output of food waste and other bear-attracting refuse that is not otherwise stored and disposed of through alternative means that prevent the attraction of black bears with equal or greater efficacy; and

     (2)   bear-resistant food boxes in a number sufficient to store all food in the State camping facility that is not otherwise secured through alternative means that prevent the attraction of black bears with equal or greater efficacy.

     b.    The Commissioner of Environmental Protection shall, for purposes of subsection a. of this section, compile and make public a list of all State camping facilities located in black bear habitat. 

     c.     As used in this section, “State camping facility” means any facility owned or operated by the State as a camping facility, including family campsites and group campsites, but excluding primitive campsites and wilderness campsites.

 

     8.    (New section) a. The owner or operator of a public campground identified as being located in black bear habitat pursuant to subsection b. of this section shall provide and maintain:

      (1)  bear-resistant dumpsters in a number sufficient to receive all output of food waste and other bear-attracting refuse that is not otherwise stored and disposed of through alternative means, as approved by the Department of Environmental Protection, that prevent the attraction of black bears with equal or greater efficacy; and

      (2) bear-resistant food boxes in a number sufficient to store all food in the public campground that is not otherwise secured through alternative means, as approved by the Department of Environmental Protection, that prevent the attraction of black bears with equal or greater efficacy.

      b.   The Public Health Council, pursuant to the procedures set forth in section 7 of P.L.1947, c.177 (C.26:1A-7), and in consultation with the Commissioner of Environmental Protection, shall:

      (1) adopt amendments to the State Sanitary Code to effectuate the purpose of this section, including rules and regulations that set forth appropriate standards and specifications for bear-resistant dumpsters and bear-resistant food boxes, and alternatives thereto, required at public campgrounds;

      (2)  compile, make public, and update annually a list of all public campgrounds located in black bear habitat for purposes of subsection a. of this section; and

      (3)  provide written notice of the requirements of this section and all rules and regulations promulgated hereunder to the owner or operator of a public campground at least 90 days prior to listing that public campground as located in black bear habitat.

      c.   Notwithstanding the provisions of section 10 of P.L.1947, c.177 (C.26:1A-10) to the contrary, the owner or operator of a public campground who violates this section, or any rule or regulation adopted pursuant thereto, shall be subject to a penalty of $50 for a first offense, $50 to $250 for a second offense, and $250 to $1,000 for a third or subsequent offense.

      d.   As used in this section:

      “Local government unit” means a municipality, county or other political subdivision of the State, or any agency thereof.

      “Public campground” means a plot of ground, owned privately or by a local government unit, upon which two or more campsites are located, established, or maintained for occupancy by camping units of the general public as temporary living quarters, for children or adults, or both, for a total of 15 days or more in any calendar year, for recreation, education, or vacation purposes, excluding however, any public wilderness campground, “proprietary campground facility” as defined in section 1 of P.L.1993, c.258 (C.45:22A-49), and “State camping facility” as defined in section 7 of P.L.     , c.    (C.        ) (pending before the Legislature as this bill).

      “Public wilderness campground” means a public campground, or portion of a public campground, with no permanent structures or facilities, that is intended only for occasional use as an overnight tent camping site.

 

      9.   (New section)  a.  The association or corporation responsible for the administration of a proprietary campground facility identified as being located in black bear habitat pursuant to subsection b. of this section shall provide and maintain:

      (1) bear-resistant dumpsters in a number sufficient to receive all output of food waste and other bear-attracting refuse that is not otherwise stored and disposed of through alternative means, as approved by the Department of Environmental Protection, that prevent the attraction of black bears with equal or greater efficacy; and

      (2) bear-resistant food boxes in a number sufficient to store all food in the proprietary campground facility that is not otherwise secured through alternative means, as approved by the Department of Environmental Protection, that prevent the attraction of black bears with equal or greater efficacy.

      b.   The Commissioner of Community Affairs, in consultation with the Commissioner of Environmental Protection, shall: 

      (1) adopt, pursuant to the “Administrative Procedure Act,” P.L.1968, c.410 (C.52:14B-1 et seq.), rules and regulations to effectuate the purpose of this section, including but not limited to, rules and regulations that set forth appropriate standards and specifications for bear-resistant dumpsters and bear-resistant food boxes, and alternatives thereto, required at proprietary campground facilities;

      (2) compile, make public, and update annually a list of all proprietary campground facilities located in black bear habitat for purposes of subsection a. of this section; and

      (3) provide written notice of the requirements of this section and all rules and regulations promulgated hereunder to the owner or operator of the association or corporation responsible for the administration of a proprietary campground facility at least 90 days prior to listing that proprietary campground facility as located in black bear habitat.

      c.   (1)  Any person who violates any provision of this section, or any rule or regulation adopted pursuant thereto, shall be subject to a penalty of $50 for a first offense, $50 to $250 for a second offense, and $250 to $1,000 for a third or subsequent offense.

      (2) The Commissioner of Community Affairs may levy and collect the penalties set forth in paragraph (1) of this subsection after affording the person alleged to be in violation of this section an opportunity to appear before the commissioner or the commissioner’s designee and to be heard personally or through counsel on the alleged violation and a finding by the commissioner or the commissioner’s designee that the person committed the violation.  When a penalty so levied by the commissioner has not been satisfied within 30 days after the levy, the penalty may be sued for and recovered by and in the name of the commissioner or the commissioner’s designee in a summary proceeding pursuant to the “Penalty Enforcement Law of 1999,” P.L.1999, c.274 (C.2A:58-10 et seq.).

      (3) The Department of Community Affairs may in the interest of justice compromise any civil penalty, if in its determination the gravity of the offense or offenses does not warrant the assessment of the full penalty.

      d.   As used in this section, “proprietary campground facility” means the same as the term is defined in section 1 of P.L.1993, c.258 (C.45:22A-49).

 

      10.   (New section) a. The association or equivalent entity responsible for the administration of a closed community that is identified as being located in black bear habitat pursuant to subsection b. of this section shall provide and maintain bear-resistant dumpsters in a number sufficient to receive all output of the closed community’s food waste and other bear-attracting refuse that is not otherwise stored and disposed of through alternative means, as approved by the Department of Environmental Protection, that prevent the attraction of black bears with equal or greater efficacy.

      b.   The Commissioner of Community Affairs, in consultation with the Commissioner of Environmental Protection, shall: 

      (1) adopt, pursuant to the “Administrative Procedure Act,” P.L.1968, c.410 (C.52:14B-1 et seq.), rules and regulations to effectuate the purpose of this section, including but not limited to, rules and regulations that set forth appropriate standards and specifications for bear-resistant dumpsters required at closed communities;

      (2) compile and make public a list of all closed communities located in black bear habitat for purposes of subsection a. of this section; and

      (3) provide written notice of the requirements of this section and all rules and regulations promulgated hereunder to the association or equivalent entity responsible for the administration of a closed community at least 90 days prior to listing that closed community as located in black bear habitat.

      c.   (1)  Any person who violates any provision of this section, or any rule or regulation adopted pursuant thereto, shall be subject to a penalty of $50 for a first offense, $50 to $250 for a second offense, and $250 to $1,000 for a third or subsequent offense.

      (2) The Commissioner of Community Affairs may levy and collect the penalties set forth in paragraph (1) of this subsection after affording the person alleged to be in violation of this section an opportunity to appear before the commissioner or the commissioner’s designee and to be heard personally or through counsel on the alleged violation and a finding by the commissioner or the commissioner’s designee that the person committed the violation.  When a penalty so levied by the commissioner or the commissioner’s designee has not been satisfied within 30 days after the levy, the penalty may be sued for and recovered by and in the name of the commissioner in a summary proceeding pursuant to the “Penalty Enforcement Law of 1999,” P.L.1999, c.274 (C.2A:58-10 et seq.).

      (3) The Department of Community Affairs may in the interest of justice compromise any civil penalty, if in its determination the gravity penalty.

      d.   As used in this section:

      “Closed community” means a residential condominium, cooperative, fee simple community, or horizontal property regime comprised of a community trust or other trust device, condominium association, homeowners' association, council of co-owners, corporation, or equivalent entity wherein the cost of maintaining roads and streets and providing essential services is paid for by an entity consisting exclusively of unit owners within the community, but shall not mean:

      (1) an apartment building or garden apartment complex owned by an individual or entity that receives monthly rental payments from tenants who occupy the premises; or

      (2) a “proprietary campground facility,” as defined in section 1 of P.L.1993, c.258 (C.45:22A-49).

      “Condominium” means the form of real property ownership provided for under the “Condominium Act,” P.L.1969, c.257 (C.46:8B-1 et seq.). 

      “Cooperative” means the form of real property ownership provided for under “The Cooperative Recording Act of New Jersey,” P.L.1987, c.381 (C.46:8D-1 et seq.).

      “Fee simple community” means a private community which consists of individually owned lots or units and provides for common or shared elements or interests in real property. 

      “Horizontal property regime” means the form of real property ownership provided for under the “Horizontal Property Act,” P.L.1963, c.168 (C.46:8A-1 et seq.).

 

     11.  This act shall take effect immediately, except that section 5 and sections 7 through 10 shall take effect on the 180th day after the date of enactment, but the Commissioner of Community Affairs, the Commissioner of Environmental Protection, and the Public Health Council may take such anticipatory administrative action in advance thereof as shall be necessary for the implementation of this act, and sections 1 and 2 shall expire five years after the date of enactment of this act.

STATEMENT

 

     This bill, to be known as “Pedals’ Law,” 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.