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 Call 973-728-2840
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Write: 1480 Union Valley Road West Milford NJ 07480

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 Monday-Friday 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Telephone 973-728-2840

Evening Information:  973-728-2800



  • Normal trail noise should alert bears to your presence and prompt a bear to leave before you ever see it.

  • Use caution in areas (i.e. berry patches) where bears are likely to venture.  Do not leave fish entrails on shorelines of lakes or streams.  Sink entrails in deep water.  

  • Use common sense in a bear encounter - never approach the animal and observe it only from a distance.  Make it aware of your presence by clapping, talking, singing, or making other sounds.

  • If you encounter a bear at close range, remain standing upright, avoid direct eye contact, back up slowly and speak in a calm, assertive and assuring voice.









The black bear is a symbol of the last remaining wilderness areas in New Jersey

(Please stand by this video of a bear climbing a tree may take some time to download to your computer. Netscape Users can click here to view the video)


     The black bear was an important part of New Jersey's early history.  Bears were abundant in every county of the state.  Native Americans and early settlers used bear meat as food.  Their sweet fat provided an oil for frying and a base for medicines.  Pelts were used for clothing and for trading.

    Settlers changed New Jersey's landscape dramatically.  Forests, the type of habitat required by wildlife such as black bear, were cut and burned to make way for settlements, crops and grazing animals.  As a result , the black bear was pushed into the least productive and more remote areas of the state.

    Today, black bears have made a remarkable recovery from their low numbers in the mid 1800's.  However, the amount and quality of habitat and human tolerance remain the issues defining their future in New Jersey.


Last modified: December 13, 2003


  • Black bears are native to the state.

  • There are at least 500 black bears in New Jersey and their population continues to increase.

  • Black bears can run up to 35 miles per hour and are excellent swimmers.

  • Bears are excellent climbers, even as cubs.  An adult black bear will readily climb trees, both for food and protection.

  • Bears are intelligent, and have excellent senses of smell and hearing.

  • A black bear's diet consists of mostly plants and fruit.  They also eat small mammals, insects and carrion (dead animals).

  • Bears give birth every other year.  One to four cubs are born in winter dens.

  • Male black bears can weigh more than 600 pounds, but average about 350 pounds.  Females average 200 pounds.

  • Bears may live into their teens in the wild.

  • Other than a female with cubs, or during the breeding season in June, bears are solitary creatures.

  • Black bear do not typically exhibit aggressive behavior, even when confronted.  Their first response is to flee.  Black bears rarely attack or defend themselves against humans.

Remember:  Feeding bears in the Township of West Milford is prohibited.






Township of West Milford OEM


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Mailing Address:  1480 Union Valley Road West Milford NJ 07480

Site location:  13 Edgar Drive West Milford NJ 07480