Author Topic: Trentonian Article  (Read 3439 times)

apmaurosr

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Trentonian Article
« on: October 14, 2007, 10:43:35 AM »
Full steam ahead for the New Jersey Outdoor Alliance

“We’re mad as hell and we’re not going to take it anymore” has been tossed around as the mantra for much-maligned New Jersey sportsmen, not friends of the Corzine administration.

Perhaps, but that’s been said before, with little or no action on the part of the state’s hundreds of thousands of hunters and fishermen when threatened with legislation that could deep six their favorite activities.

Well, finally, there seems to be an organization that realizes that it’s too late to act when the barbarians are at the gate or the bombers are swarming overhead, and is doing the most as far as activism for sportsmen that I’ve seen in nearly 40 years of outdoor writing.

The group is called the New Jersey Outdoor Alliance (www.njoutdooralliance.org) and is making itself known to sportsmen, and perhaps more importantly, state legislators.

It is not often in this space we deal with issues, nor succumb to knee-jerk reactions every time a perceived threat comes down the pike. Soapbox columns should be served up like rich desserts, sparingly.

I’d rather write about cane pole fishing for bluegills, a lost art.

However these are troubled times and a clear and present danger lurks for outdoorsmen and women. So much so that it was a main topic at a meeting of the Clover Rod & Gun Club last week. Clover has its roots in Trenton, starting nearly 60 years ago.

The gist of the recent rally in South Jersey was that some 1,000 sportsmen gathered, inside and out of the building. Others say it was closer to 800, but whatever, it seems sportsmen are finally getting off their duffs and realizing there is indeed a threat via two bills that would, or could, end hunting and fishing in this state.

Alarmist, paranoid? Perhaps. I used to think just the same, but it’s not fun and games anymore. There are organizations out there with heaps of money and tons of volunteers who have nothing more to do with their silly lives than force their idiotic values on others. Think Pilgrims. Thou shalt not have fun. Lord forbid we actually eat what we kill.

Legislative bills A-3275 and S-2041 would effectively put the kibosh on the state Fish and Game Council and stack it with political appointee hacks by the governor, who might be in favor of feral cats and the rights of rats.

Right now there are 11 members, made up of farmers, sportsmen, conservationists and even non-game reps. Seems fair, and the names are sent to the Gov for approval. The bills in question would knock it down to seven, with choices recommended by the legislature. Golly gee, no politics there.

This is not saying that all appointees over the years have not had some political strings to pull. Of course they did. It’s the way the game is played. But at least those folks were qualified and knowledgeable about wildlife in New Jersey and not appointed as somebody’s dumber-than-dirt brother-in-law or flunky owed a favor by the current administration.

Good news is that the NJOA is gaining ground and rallying the troops.

The next battleground is Oct. 28, 4 p.m. at the Clarksburg Inn in Monmouth County.

The rallying point is at 465 Stage Coach Road in Clarksburg. Try (609) 259-2558 or www. Clarksburginn.net.

This just in. One of the co-sponsors of this hideous legislation, Linda Greenstein, D-14, has supposedly taken her name off the bill.

Also, Freehold Township has passed a resolution basically saying the proposed legislation is horse manure.

There was a recent story in the local press that New Jersey dwellers are fleeing the state in record numbers. What a surprise. Crime, the highest property taxes in the nation and more and more…denying the right to protect ourselves with Draconian gun laws.

Do you want to fight the bad guy busting through your door with a .44 magnum or a rolled up copy of this newspaper?

That, and the above-mentioned threat to sportsmen, is a reason some are calling “We Gotta Get Out of This Place,” a theme song and leaving for more sportsmen — friendly spaces.

But with the NJOA making an impact, we just might stay put for a while and fight the good fight.

TRENTON WINNER

Congrats to Zoltan Tgyed of Trenton for second place in the Blackfish category with an 18 Œ-inch fish at the gov’s tourney on LBI.

Gov’s cup winner went to Martin Moseu of Collingswood for a 37-inch and change striper.

Corzine was a no-show. Second-team did. Lisa Jackson, DEP Commish, handed out the awards.

— Rick Methot is the outdoor columnist for The Trentonian. Contact him at rikwrite@aol.com
« Last Edit: October 27, 2007, 03:45:02 PM by Meadowmucker »