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 Call 973-728-2840
Fax   973-728-2880
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





Report all bear damage and nuisance incidents to the New Jersey Division of Fish, Game and Wildlife at (908) 735-8793.







Seeing a bear is a memorable experience.  But remember, you are a visitor to their home.  The future of bears and the safety of others depends on you!

(Please stand by this video of a black bear  eating an apple may take a while to download to your computer - Netscape users can click here to view the video) 


     In order to more fully enjoy your camping or outdoor experience in West Milford, the following "Ten commandments of Camping" must be fully observed.

1.  Keep a clean camp.  Food and all items that come in contact with food carry food odors that bears can smell.

2.  Clean all utensils thoroughly immediately after use.  Never deposit food residues (i.e., cooking grease) into campfires.

3.  Place garbage where bears cannot smell or gain access to it, either in bear proof containers or dumpsters.  Don't burn or bury garbage.  Bears will dig it up.

4.  Do not eat or cook in your tent.  Avoid storing food or attractants in tents, sleeping bags, or backpacks.

5.  Treat non-food items such as gum, soap or deodorant as food.  They are attractive to a bear's acute sense of smell.  

6.  Immediately store food articles after every use in airtight containers.  Coolers are not airtight and bears often associate them with food.  Secure them in a locked trunk or truck cab concealed from view.

7.  Cook only as much food as you will eat.  Avoid as much food garbage as possible.

8.  Never attempt to feed a bear or any other wildlife.  Feeding bears in the Township of West Milford is prohibited by law.

9.  Approaching wildlife, especially black bears, can be a dangerous activity.

10.  Please keep your dog on a leash.

Bears learn very quickly.  Black bears that associate food with people may become aggressive and dangerous.  This may lead to personal injury, property damage and the need to euthanize problem animals.



Last modified: December 13, 2003



  • Remain calm.  Most bears are easily frightened into leaving.

  • Do not feed the bear!

  • Keep at least 15 feet away from the bear.

  • Make sure the bear has an escape route.

  • Yell, bang pots and pans, or use an airhorn to scare the bear away.

  • The bear may utter a series of huffs, snap (pop) its jaws, and swat the ground.  These are all warning signs that you are too close.  Slowly back away.

  • If the bear will not leave, move to your car or a building, if available.

Remember:  Bears chase off easier before they obtain food.  Keep a clean campsite.

If a bear stands on its hind legs it is merely trying to get a better view rather than acting in a threatening way.

Black bears will sometimes "bluff charge" when cornered, threatened or attempting to steal food.  Stand your ground and slowly back away.






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