In response to recent news that Governor Murphy has decided to close many Wildlife Management Areas due to budgetary constraints, the New Jersey Outdoor Alliance (NJOA) and the 10th District Legislators agree that this plan doesn’t make sense. Senator Jim Holzapfel and Assemblymen Greg McGuckin and John Catalano are calling on the Governor to reconsider these closures and reopen the areas that are funded through profits made from the users of the parks and license fees.
Senator Holzapfel and Assemblymen McGuckin and Catalono joined the New Jersey Outdoor Alliance calling on the Governor to reconsider his decision to close wildlife management areas across the state due to budget considerations. (The Nature Conservancy)
The legislators have released this statement regarding the Governor’s decision and support the NJOA and the immediate reopening of these wildlife management areas.
“We agree with the NJOA; these furloughs and closures make no sense from a budgetary standpoint,” said the 10th District Legislators. “Wildlife Management Areas are publicly funded through fishing and hunting licenses. It has only been a matter of weeks that these areas have been reopened, and now the Governor believes he can save a few dollars by furloughing their staff and slashing their funding. It’s not fair to the park employees and our residents who help fund and preserve these open spaces.
“Most importantly, why didn’t the Governor furlough the employees when no one was allowed to use the facilities during the lockdown?” the legislators questioned. “Instead of paying full salary for employees to stay home for three months, he could have saved enough money to keep them open now when people can enjoy them. This is yet another example of poor planning by our Governor and his Administration.
“Our concern is that if the Governor continues to restrict access to wildlife management areas, are our state parks next? Furloughing staff and closing these areas could lead to more potential shutdowns and then we are back where we began in March,” added the Legislators. “We were very vocal calling for the reopening of these areas during the lockdown and we will continue to monitor this issue to ensure that our parks system stays intact during this difficult time.”
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