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CASH Courier > 2003 Summer Issue

Selected Articles from our newsletter

The C.A.S.H. Courier

A MAJOR STEP TOWARDS DEMOCRATIZING WILDIFE MANAGEMENT IN NEW JERSEY

By Stu Chaifetz

For the first time in the history of New Jersey, there is real hope for the wild animals that inhabit our state. A3764 expands the NJ Fish and Game Council from 11 members to 19, adding 7 people who "would be members of the public with experience in environmental protection or other fields relevant to animal welfare and with a background in the conservation of fish and game."

The bill also "...amends current law to place the Fish and Game Council within the Department of Environmental Protection generally, rather than specifically within the Department's Division of Fish and Wildlife."

And, "The bill would also amend current law to make all regulatory and policy decisions of the Fish and Game Council subject to the approval of the Commissioner of environmental Protection."

These are stunning changes in that currently the Council bows to no one and is politically untouchable. If this bill becomes law, then the Governor can be held directly responsible for wildlife management decisions.

While all this is ground breaking, what makes this legislation one of the most powerful anti-hunting bills ever introduced is the removal of this line: "and for their use and development for public recreation and food supply" from the statute defining the Council's mandated duties regarding the treatment of wildlife.

This one line has been used as a legal reason to kill every animal that the hunters and Council have desired. Without it, everything changes. From this point on, killing animals for pleasure would no longer be a legal reason to declare a hunting season. If A3764 had no other effect than this, then it would still be the most dramatic change ever to occur to hunting in our state.

I think of rabbits, pheasants, geese, deer, all wildlife killed by the Council, but especially the coyotes, who have been subjected to a hunting season since 1997. It was one line in the game code that condemned these animals and it was this published in the NJ Register, Aug. 19, 1996:

"The proposed hunting season will allow for increased recreational use of the coyote resource by New Jersey sportsmen and women." That's all it took to unleash what has become a four month long hunt. But if this bill becomes law, it won't be enough anymore.

Obviously, the hunting community is outraged and organized to fight this legislation, for they see the damage it will do to their power base. Therefore, to fight against them and for the bill, we have formed a new coalition dedicated to making this bill law: The NJ Wildlife and Environmental Defense Alliance.

We ask you to take action and help us overthrow the pro- hunting regime that has had sole power over all our wildlife. The Council has allowed the slaughter of more than 50,000,000 innocent wild animals during it's rule, all who suffered and died for the profit and pleasure that is recreational hunting.

For more information, contact:

Stu Chaifetz

The NJ Wildlife and Environmental Defense Alliance
Alliance@hnva.net
www.HonorAndNonViolence.com

 

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