April 13, 2020

New Jersey: Caucus Co-Chairs Push Back against Governor’s Order to Close State Forests, Parks

Contact: Brent Miller, Senior Director, Northeastern States & States Program Administrator

On Tuesday, April 7, New Jersey Governor Phil Murphy announced the closure of state forests and parks, purportedly to help stop the spread of COVID-19. The action was met with swift and sharp criticism from all sectors of the sportsmen’s community, including Co-Chairs of the New Jersey Angling and Hunting Conservation Caucus, Senator Steve Oroho, Assemblyman Parker Space, and Caucus Member Assemblyman Hal Wirths. 

In a statement released on April 8, the two Co-Chairs called upon the Governor to reopen the outdoor portions of New Jersey’s state forests and parks, in alignment with suggestions provided by the Congressional Sportsmen’s Foundation (CSF) and 50 partners in the sportsmen’s conservation community. 

As reported in the statement, Assemblyman Space commented, “We cannot accept closing state parks and forests that have been paid for by our taxpayers. Trout season in New Jersey opens Saturday, and we are shutting down prime fishing locations that already have been stocked. This makes no sense and is a waste of resources.” 

CSF will continue to engage with the Governor’s office to work towards favorable resolution of this situation for the Garden State’s sportsmen and women. 

Studies conducted at both the state and federal level have found that the number of hunters and trappers have been on a generally declining trend over the past several decades. To increase recruitment, retention, and reactivation (R3) of hunters and trappers, which initiative do you think would have the greatest impact?

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