Gun Owners Ask Why Chris Christie for Governor?
Trenton, NJ –-(AmmoLand.com)- Regardless if you are a democrat, republican or independent – if you are someone who prioritizes your enjoyment of fishing, hunting and the quality of our forests you should consider the following: The Corzine administration has neglected (or perhaps in some instances, intentionally extinguishing) many of entities that oversee fishing, hunting, hiking, biking, etc.
If you’re a hunter you might be interested to know that on the list of Governor Corzine’s charitable trust contributions there is $13,000 to the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals in New York. On its website ASPCA NY states: “the ASPCA is opposed to hunting animals for sport, even if the animals killed in this way [hunted] are subsequently consumed.”
As for fishing, the Corzine Administration circumvented historical precedent by precluding the rightful involvement of recreational and commercial fishermen in the nomination process of a representative to the Mid-Atlantic Fishery Management Council. The result was the replacement of a seated recreational representative member with a delegate supported by environmental activist groups.
Below is additional evidence of how New Jersey’s outdoorsmen and outdoorswomen have fared under the Corzine administration. What will the quality of our lives be with respect to fishing, hunting, hiking, biking, etc. after another four years? Each of us has the opportunity to decide on Tuesday, November 3rd.
Mr. Christie has been vocal about his support for the outdoor community during his campaign speeches, statements on his website and during a personal interview he granted me. He attended a NJOA council member meeting to address the concerns of fishing, hunting, diving and forestry clubs and agreed to be the main speaker at last Saturday’s Rescue Our Outdoor Rally.
Mr. Christie has also received the endorsements of the Asbury Park Press, Press of Atlantic City, Courier Post, Home News Tribune and Philadelphia Inquirer.
The NJOA has done its homework and I trust each of you is doing yours. Our choice is Chris Christie for governor. Remember, election day is November 3rd. The governor’s race is very close and there is too much riding on the next four years for us to be complacent. The outdoorsmen/women of NJ can make the difference – remember, there are 650,000 of us, which is approximately 15% of all voters.Thank you.
Anthony P. Mauro, Sr
New Jersey Outdoor Alliance
Corzine Administration Report Card: Wildlife Management:
The NJ Division of Fish and Wildlife is mandated to protect and manage all wildlife in the state. In fulfillment of this responsibility, the agency is charged with managing the growing black bear population not only to safeguard the public but also for the benefit of the black bear population in relation to available habitat and ecosystem balance.
The Corzine Administration replaced commonly accepted, science based bear management methodology with a policy that attempts to manage the behavior of people. The use of educational materials and secured trash, typically utilized to augment the use of a bear population management through hunting (to minimize bear/human conflicts) has instead been used to the exclusion of hunting.
As of August 2009, black bear vs. human incidents in New Jersey shows the number of serious encounters continues to rise and includes two incidents in which bears approached or chased children. Overall, there have been 2,153 calls about bears this year with several months of reporting still remaining.
A total of 1,306 bear-related incidents were reported to the DEP in 2006, compared to 1,407 in 2007 and 2,151 in 2008. The effect of growing bear populations, the nature of the animal to be very territorial with large home ranges, the localization of bear populations in the Northwest corner of the state and bear habituation appears to be a cause of increased bear/human conflicts.
Additionally, at the same time that bear activity was escalating the Corzine administration was preventing population control it reduced funding for Black Bear management from $850,000 in 2006 to $573,000 in the current year’s budget.
The Fish and Game Council and Marine Fisheries Council play a vital role in the management of New Jersey’s fish and wildlife resources. The councils help to create and finalize each year’s hunting and fishing regulations and enable the professional and scientific management of these resources. Members of the councils are appointed by the Governor.
The Corzine Administration has neglected to adequately maintain the integrity of the composition of the two councils. Vacant seats have been left unfilled and replacements are needed for those with expired terms. The eleven member Marine Fisheries Council presently has eight members serving in expired terms and one unfilled seat. The Fish and Game Council has only eight of its eleven seats filled and five of those members are serving in expired terms.
The Mid-Atlantic Fishery Management Council is responsible for management of fisheries in federal waters which occur predominantly off the mid-Atlantic coast. The Corzine Administration circumvented historical precedent by precluding the rightful involvement of recreational and commercial fishermen in the nomination process. The result was the replacement of a seated recreational representative member with a delegate supported by environmental activist groups. The selection appears to be a part of a federal trend to exclude certain stakeholders (recreational and commercial fishermen) from fishery management. This is clearly in opposition to the intent of the Magnuson/Stevens Act.
There is also a report from Sierra Club stating that Governor Corzine made a commitment to reform the Fish and Game Council. It should be noted that no changes have occurred as of the date of this report.
Division Fish and Wildlife:
Funding for the Division of Fish and Wildlife has for over 50 years been supported by the revenues from the sale of hunting and fishing licenses. In 2005 these dedicated funds were supplemented by a general appropriation of $4.2 million because of significant increased public responsibilities. Under the Corzine administration this appropriation has been steadily decreased to $1.6 million this year. Although deer hunters contributed an additional $1 million to the dedicated fund in 2007 due to changes in deer permit fees this was offset by an equal reduction in the appropriation.
The status of the Fish and Wildlife staff is of even greater concern to the NJOA. Since 2006 the staff has lost 50 professional managers and conservation officers (25%) while the remainder of DEP has experienced only a 10% reduction and the upper administrative staff has actually increased. Also, Fish and Wildlife could loose an additional 25% of its staff due to retirements. This will create a large deficit in experience and institutional knowledge.
Marine Fisheries Administration
The Marine Fisheries Administration, responsible for managing the resources of a multi-million dollar industry with over 10,000 jobs, provides recreational opportunities for over one million anglers that contribute in excess of $100 million in state tax revenues – conversely, it is one of the most poorly funded and staffed on the Atlantic coast. This year the marine fisheries budget was reduced to an all time low of $1.8 million.
Not only has the Corzine administration failed to adequately fund and staff marine fisheries management, in 2009 the Secretary of the Treasure authorized the withdrawal of funds from four dedicated shellfish management accounts totaling $850,365. These dedicated accounts were specifically established by previously passed legislation. There is a history of overlooking the importance of adequately funding the state’s marine fisheries program for recreational anglers and future generations.
NJOA – New Jersey Outdoor Alliance is the state’s first major political action committee devoted to the task of electing outdoor-minded candidates to public office. NJOA has formed with the support of leaders of major pro-hunting, pro-angling, and pro-trapping organizations. We are not a hunting, fishing, or trapping “club” or “group,” and do not compete with the interests of such organizations. NJOA helps to ensure that strong wildlife and natural resource protection laws are produced by outdoor-minded elected officials. The best way to ensure a “conservation presence” in Trenton is to support the election campaigns of representatives who understand the relationship between a balanced ecology and hunting, fishing, and trapping. Visit: www.njoutdooralliance.org