Fish, wildlife resolutions advance

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TRENTON — Resolutions sponsored by Assemblyman Parker Space and Assemblywoman BettyLou DeCroce touting New Jersey’s rich wildlife, fishing and hunting heritage today received Assembly Agriculture Committee approval.

Both measures passed 5-0.

The first measure, sponsored by Space, celebrates 125 years of fish and wildlife conservation by the state Division of Fish and Wildlife.

“The division plays the key role in managing our wildlife species here,” said Space, the owner of Space Farms Zoo in Wantage. “Division staff work to protect and manage the state’s diverse fish and wildlife species, including threatened and endangered species, the habitats they depend on, and the variety of recreational opportunities associated with New Jersey’s great outdoors.”

Space’s father, Fred, served on the Fish and Game Council from 1963 to 1971 and was chairman from 1969 to 1971.

In addition to managing the state’s fish and wildlife resources, the division is involved in numerous education programs, including Hooked on Fishing, Not on Drugs. HOFNOD is a unique, nationally recognized program designed to encourage school-aged children to avoid tobacco, drug, and alcohol usage by providing alternative activities that involve learning to fish, appreciating aquatic and environmental resources, and developing positive life skills.

The second joint resolution (AJR-148), sponsored by Space and DeCroce, designates the fourth Saturday of September as New Jersey Hunting and Fishing Day.

“Hunting and fishing are great activities that all New Jerseyans should try,” Space said, himself an avid hunter. “They are not only a part of our great traditional American heritage, but according to the Congressional Sportsmen’s Foundation, in 2011 New Jersey’s hunters and anglers spent $1.26 billion right here in the Garden State,” Space stated.

Deer, wild turkeys and waterfowl can be found on more than 750,000 acres of public lands, including 27 state parks and forests that are open to hunters. Additionally, New Jersey’s 127 miles of coastline, hundreds of miles of bay shore, and numerous inland lakes and tributaries provide some of the best and most diverse fishing in the country.

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