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Despite the ouster of the lawmakers who proposed changing the way the state of New Jersey manages wildlife, sportsmen again face an attack on their hunting & fishing traditions.

In November, New Jersey sportsmen took to the polls and are credited with helping to defeat two lawmakers who worked to take sportsmen out of the fish and wildlife management equation. At issue was Assembly Bill 3275, a measure that would have drastically changed the makeup of the Fish and Game Council.

Despite the best efforts of New Jersey sportsmen, the threat has returned. Assembly Bill 1202, sponsored by Assemblyman Anthony Chiappone (D- Bayonne), would again drastically change the make up of the Fish and Game Council and place it within the Department of Environmental Protection (DEP), rather than specifically within the Division of Fish and Wildlife.

?Sportsmen must again pull together to send the message that our community will not stand idle while lawmakers attack the traditions of law-abiding sportsmen,? said Evan Heusinkveld, director of state services for the U.S. Sportsmen?s Alliance

The bill also calls for the Director of the Division of Fish and Wildlife to be appointed by the Commissioner of the DEP. Appointees are to be recommended by anti-hunting/fishing organizations such as the Humane Society of the United States and the New Jersey Animal Rights Alliance.

Worse yet, the bill gives the Commissioner of the DEP the sole authority to cancel seasons, without public hearing. In addition, it mandates that all future wildlife regulations, including season dates and bag limits, be subject to the approval of the Commissioner.

Take Action! New Jersey sportsmen should insist their Assemblymen to oppose AB 1202. Call (609) 292-4840 or use the Legislative Action Center at www.ussportsmen.org, to let them know the bill will lead to the collapse of hunting and wildlife conservation in the state.
 
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