I live in NH and black bear are everywhere here and nobody has been killed by a black bear in NH since 1784. I don't fear black bear encounters here but I still protect myself with a 10mm at my side while in the woods.Just joshin’ ya.
Nj has more and more black bear encounters each year. Partially due to opposition to a bear season and partly due to people moving further west into the more rural areas. yes, we have natural areas here. Some of which are quite beautiful.