New Jersey Gov. Phil Murphy recently closed access to many parts of wildlife management areas (WMA) throughout the state in what he described as an effort to reign in budget constraints. This short-sighted action was taken unilaterally without considering how WMAs are funded.
Take Action Today! New Jersey members should contact their state legislators, but most importantly they should reach out to the Governor’s office urging his administration to reverse this short-sighted decision. The Governor’s contact form can be found here. You can find your state legislator by using the Sportsmen’s Alliance Legislative Action Directory.
In what was described as effort to save money, the Governor has failed to understand how wildlife management areas in the state are funded. These public hunting lands are mostly funded from license fees and federal excise taxes paid on the purchase of hunting and fishing equipment. The bottom line here is that closing wildlife management areas will likely not save the state any money. This overreaching decision can only be interpreted as an attack on the New Jersey sporting community that rely on these public lands for recreation and most importantly to put food on the table.
The Pittman-Robertson Act, passed in 1937, implemented an 11% excise tax on the purchase of firearms, ammunition and outdoor equipment that funds conservation and public land management efforts across the U.S. These taxes are collected, in addition to license and permit fees, and collectively fund the majority of all wildlife conservation and public land access in New Jersey. Sportsmen should be able to hunt on the land they pay to maintain.
“Efforts to close down wildlife areas is unnecessary and a ruse that it will save the state money,” said Jacob Hupp associate director of state services for Sportsmen’s Alliance. “It demonstrates a serious misunderstanding of how conservation and wildlife management is funded, and raises future concerns about how the Governor will continually attack his sporting constituents if his power remains unchecked. It is not the fault of New Jersey sportsmen and women that the administration has failed to properly prepare for a fiscal emergency.”
About the Sportsmen’s Alliance: The Sportsmen’s Alliance protects and defends America’s wildlife conservation programs and the pursuits – hunting, fishing and trapping – that generate the money to pay for them. Sportsmen’s Alliance Foundation is responsible for public education, legal defense and research. Its mission is accomplished through several distinct programs coordinated to provide the most complete defense capability possible. Stay connected to Sportsmen’s Alliance: Online, Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.