Hunterdon County Chief Naturalist Tom Sheppard talks about Habits and Habitats of New Jersey’s Black Bears on Thursday, March 2

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7:30 pm at Faith Chapel Wesleyan Church, 43 Lower Landsdown Road in Franklin Township. If using GPS, enter Annandale as the town.

The program is sponsored by Rural Awareness, Inc., a non-profit civic group in Franklin. No reservations are required.

Black bears are an integral part of New Jersey’s natural heritage and a vital component of a healthy ecosystem. Sheppard will review the history of bears here since the 1970s and detail the state’s bear recovery and monitoring plan. He will share his thoughts on the up and coming issues around bears and describe the habitat and needs of our largest land mammal and what to do in a bear encounter. A bear mount, skull, and foot prints will be displayed.


Sheppard, a widely popular speaker, is a native of Hunterdon County with roots dating to the first families to settle here. Working with the County Parks Division since 2000, he has led a broad variety of informative and recreational programs on animals, birds, reptiles, insects, plants, streams, the planets, and rocks and minerals.

The next talk sponsored by Rural Awareness will be on May 4 with author Maureen Wlodarczyk onJersey! Then…Again relating quirky stories about New Jersey people and events from the early 1800s to the 1940s.