NJ DEP Transition Team Report Available
Trenton, NJ – -(AmmoLand.com)- I’d like to thank each of you for your involvement in the 2009 gubernatorial election.
I’m confident that the prominent role the outdoor community played in helping to elect Governor Christie resulted in our concerns becoming highly visible, which led to our involvement in the Department of Environmental Protection Transition Team (as represented by the New Jersey Outdoor Alliance.)
This representation was helpful in bringing attention to a DEP that often overlooks or undervalues the conservation aspects of our natural resources. The final report from the DEP Transition Team can be found at the link that follows. See page 17, Note #5, “Natural Resource Stewardship” for the suggestions regarding natural resources. (copy and paste to your browser)
“5. Natural Resource Stewardship:
Issue: The State’s efforts toward proper management and conservation of natural resources have been lacking. As mentioned earlier, the DEP has increased its own responsibilities in other areas, and the Legislature has placed new, unfunded mandates that do not pertain to the management of natural resources, which has ultimately forced the Department to neglect this area. Furthermore, shortsighted policies have limited the effectiveness of the DEP to protect species habitat, actively manage forests and efficiently preserve land.
Recommendation: The DEP needs a renewed focus on natural resource management and conservation. The DEP must research the feasibility of a self-sustaining Department of Natural Resources or other solutions that raise this issue area to the same level of importance as other areas overseen by the Department. Furthermore, the DEP must practice stewardship of forests and threatened and endangered species habitat. Finally, the DEP must take steps to more efficiently preserve land and be a better partner with agriculture.
The Department should: • Create a task force of biologists, legislators, foresters, environmentalists, DEP personnel, Department of Agriculture personnel, business persons and representatives from the United States Fish and Wildlife Management Assistance Team to perform a feasibility study for creating a revenue oriented, self sustaining Department of Natural Resource Conservation or other potential solutions to better focus the State’s efforts on natural resource conservation.
• Transfer all real estate closures (Green Acres, DOT Rights of Way, farmland preservation, etc.) to the Treasury Department’s Division of Property Management and Construction to streamline the closing process, create consistency and eliminate costly and unnecessary delays.
• Establish a comprehensive public lands management strategy that includes forest stewardship and management of species habitat.
• There needs to be a recognition that agriculture, like every other business in New Jersey, has been overregulated and burdened by DEP rules. Farmers should be recognized as stewards to the land and treated as partners in land preservation not potential polluters.
• Revenue generation should be maximized through the use of concessions, camping and park rentals and forest management. “
Thank you, again, for your involvement in the political process and for contacting legislators and “getting out the vote.” Our political involvement is bringing attention to the importance of natural resource conservation, fishing, hunting and outdoor recreation.
Congratulations.Thank you. Anthony P. Mauro, Sr.
New Jersey Outdoor Alliance: “We’ve got your back!”
JOIN NJOA: http://www.njoutdooralliance.org/support/njoa.html
NJOA – The mission of New Jersey Outdoor Alliance is to serve as a grassroots coalition of outdoorsmen and outdoorswomen dedicated to environmental stewardship. We will champion the intrinsic value of natural resource conservation – including fishing, hunting and trapping, among opinion leaders and policy makers. We will support legislation, and those sponsoring legislation, that provides lasting ecological and social enrichment through sustainable use of the earth’s resources. Visit: www.njoutdooralliance.org