Sunday, July 01, 2007

Fishing and Hunting in New Jersey? Fugghedaboutit!

Another liberal interest group is about to be satiated, at the expense of every New Jerseyan who enjoys a lazy day of fishing, or a good hunt for buck deep in the Jersey's all in the details of Assembly Bill A3275 (PDF File here, NRA analysis here and below):

On Thursday, June 14 the Assembly Environment and Solid Waste Committee approved A3275 by a 5-2 vote and it now heads to the full Assembly. This bill seeks to drastically change the membership of the Fish & Game Council from six sportsmen and three farmers -- who represent various geographical regions of the state -- to seven political appointees recommended by the Governor. The current system has served New Jersey and its sportsmen well for over a half-century. There is no justification for this dramatic change of course.

"Animal rights” extremists testifying in support of A3275 derided hunting as a “15th century” means to wildlife management and touted this legislation as a “21st century” tool for wildlife management. They also expressed their desire to rid the Fish & Game Council of anyone with a “hunter driven background.”

Yup - if passed, this is the end of fishing and hunting in the Garden State as we know it. Get all those pesky, knowledgeble, folks out of the way, and replace them with a handful of politcal appointees designed to appease the far-left enviornmental zealots. Locks up a few more votes for the Governor, but harms anyone who might be inclined to pick up a fly-fishing rod on a spring morning.

More from the New Jersey Herald:

....the bill replaces an 11-member council made up of farmers and sportsmen nominated to the governor by farming and sportsmen's groups, with a seven-member body, all appointed by the governor with "advise and consent of the Senate."
The council is charged with going over the rules and regulations of what species may be hunted or fished, and when, based on scientific studies. The council is also charged with oversight of the Division of Fish and Wildlife.

The current make-up requires a balance from across the state, with a farmer and two sportsmen from each of three regions. The other two members include the chair of the Endangered and Nongame Species Council and an expert in land use management and soil conservation.

The only requirement of the proposed new members is that they have "knowledge of and interest in the conservation of fish and wildlife" and not have any direct personal financial interest which might reasonably be expected to impair their judgment on matters before the council.

The biggest changes, however, are in language. Gone are "public recreation and food supply" as reasons for establishing hunts. Instead, the council's code is for the purpose of "providing a properly managed and balanced system."
Added to the duties of the council are provisions to investigate "the use of non-lethal alternatives for dealing with wildlife conflicts, exploring eco-tourism opportunities to promote the State's diverse wildlife; and pursuing opportunities to preserve land for wildlife habitat."

Assemblyman Guy Gregg, R-Sussex, Morris, said the fact that the bill is coming up now, a year after introduction, is an indication of the political battle lines being drawn. "When you see a bill to make a council a bunch of political appointments, it's a sure sign the governor doesn't like what's happening."
Last year, despite a report from the Fish and Game Council that a bear hunt should be held, Gov. Jon Corzine said he opposed a hunt and Department of Environmental Protection Commissioner Lisa Jackson canceled the hunt.

So there it is. Corzine wants to be able to control recreational sport himself, so he has had a bill introduced to allow him to hand-pick lackeys that will do his bidding, and get rid of those pesky experts whom just happen to have a non-politically based understanding on how to manage the enviornment.

And what happens the first time a hungry bear kills a child in New Jersey? Will Corzine stand up and admit he values the lives of the bears more than that of a human infant? Will he admit that he killed that child in the hopes of getting an endorsement from the Sierra Club, and that the ends justify the means?

What a horrible Governor; more a tinpot dictator than a man who governs for the people. I loathe him as much as I do his bitch-boy Bob Menendez. And yet, as long as the bulk of New Jersyans are held under the sway of the Democratic Party, this kind of legislative power play will continue.

We will wake up, but not until it is way, way, too late...

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