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May 15, 2002


For more information contact:
Patrick Carr at (908) 735-8793

The New Jersey Division of Fish and Wildlife's Black Bear Response Team (BBRT) received a Community Service Award from the Washington Rock Girl Scout Council at a special ceremony held April 23 in Garwood. The award, which recognizes individuals or groups that demonstrate outstanding support for, dedication to and interest in the Girl Scout organization, was bestowed upon the Division for its efforts to provide information and black bear response services at the council-run Camp Lou Henry Hoover in Stillwater Township, Sussex County.

"The Division is pleased to work with the Girl Scout organization to provide young troop members with a safe and enjoyable camping experience in bear country," said Division Director Bob McDowell. "It is gratifying to have the Division recognized for its professionalism in managing the challenging issue of a rapidly growing bear population in a densely populated State like New Jersey. Camp Lou Henry Hoover runs a very successful camping program, co-existing with black bears in Stillwater Township, because they strictly adhere to the Division's policies concerning black bears."

Division BBRT biologists provided Camp Lou Henry Hoover with bear-proofing techniques and other information to foster a safe atmosphere that minimizes contact between campers and bears on the 328-acre site. In addition to providing pamphlets and techniques such as food-free areas, bear-proof garbage containers and electric fencing, BBRT staff members have spoken directly to campers offering vital information on successfully living and camping in bear country. They have also trapped and aversively conditioned bears that were persistently attempting to forage in secure containers.

"Using the Division's advice we have bear-proofed both the facilities and the campers so as not to attract bears into the camp," said Camp Director Deborah Hooker. "We appreciate the continuing efforts of Division Black Bear Response Team staff members Patrick Carr, Kelcey Burguess, Tony McBride and Mike Madonia for their many years of service to us."