Yesterday I received this email from NJOA, NJ Outdoor Alliance (see below), https://www.njoutdooralliance.org/, a non-profit group representing “outdoorsmen and outdoorswomen” and a lobbying group to fight for their represented group’s rights, mainly around hunting and fishing and trapping issues ( a subject for further debate). They also claim to represent forestry and animal welfare groups (? on the latter). In any case, I take issue with the content of this email in regards to the first sentence which claims to have implemented the Wharton State Park,( known to many of us as Wharton State Forest), Motor Vehicle Plan (Wharton State Forest is appx. 125,000 acre State Forest in Southern New Jersey and our state’s largest State Forest). I also have to assume that the word “inpliment” used in their email, which is not a word, was it to mean “implement” (?) which is a word that closely resembles their word but which most directories explain to mean “to put into effect”. When it comes to the Wharton Motorized Access Plan (MAP) the NJOA did NOTHING BUT BLOCK its implementation, after the MAP went into effect, with their money and lobbying power. By some sort of proxy, they really represented Mudders (4×4 off-roaders who abuse the forest), dirt bikers (enduro riders) who have appx. 20 sanctioned events in the Pinelands every year but continue to abuse the forest day in and day out after their events (an interesting note is that the Pinelands is the only part of the state authorized to hold these events, they are not held in Stokes State Forest, Round Valley reservoir or other state parks like Island Beach State Park) , and ATV riders who operate illegally in on all public lands in New Jersey. NJOA claims to have a “voting block of 800,000” outdoor peoples (who knows how each of those 800,00 really vote – they make a large assumption that these people vote in favor of NJOA objectives – and reality is the our lawmakers fall for this type of rhetoric). Yet NJOA doesn’t seem to represent the hikers, kayakers, birders, equestrians and all folks who are interested in the “quiet” enjoyment of our forest, heck, aren’t they outdoor folks too (perhaps it is because they are the quiet majority that like QUIET in stead of uproaring voices, mud, destroyed wetlands, and noise in their forest)? Opposing the MAP was a HUGE MISTAKE by NJOA. They apparently misrepresented that the Wharton MAP was something that was going to close all activities, especially hunting and fishing, in Wharton and was going to be eventually impossed on all of our State Forest in the favor of “tree huggers” (this idea could have stemmed from the possibility some of its management may have friends and family who are, in fact, off-road abusers). Well, the suppossed,”800,000 persons” voting block were possibly hoodwinked! The Wharton MAP would have given hunters, and others needing access, a permit to do so but in the meantime would have prevented the continued destruction of our State’s largest natural resource. It would have given hunters access to the forest without huge mud wallows that are not traversable, quiet enjoyment during their hunt ( who wants to be on stand waiting for the prized buck when 15 dirt bikes come roaring through your hunting area), and roads that first responders can not use to get to hunters in case of any emergency that may befall them. That is just the stuff that hunters have lost out on because of NJOA’s interference, what about the birders, hikers, kayakers, and parents taking their young ones on a hike to teach them the quiet enjoyment and peacefulness of our forest (the original intent for the preservation of our public lands)? NJOA did not help anyone but the off-road crowd to allow them to continue their relentless destruction of our beautiful public lands. Don’t get me wrong, as a past hunter and serious offshore fisherperson (I made a handsome living as a fishing tackle sales representative for many national companies in the industry), I feel that NJOA has done terrific work in many areas – but they BLEW this one!!!
It appears that “conservation” voting is for the betterment of the people and their natural resources, “conservative” voting appears to be a vote for special interest and money.