The Changing of the Guard

Now is the time for action.

Dear Sports folks,
    Since our inception in 2007 the New Jersey Outdoor Alliance (NJOA) has worked to protect the rights of the citizens of New Jersey to hunt, trap and fish.  The opposition has always been better funded through donations from national anti-hunting animal right groups.  The only way we could attempt to keep the playing field fairly level was to take our position directly to the legislators.  Over the years we were able to convince key people on both sides of the aisle that we had a sound position that was based on the best science available and not emotion when it came to managing wildlife.  
The process is simple but time consuming.  Most sportsmen never give a second thought to what takes place behind the scenes to protect their rights.  They clean up and service their equipment, purchase their licenses and prepare for another season.  Never fully understanding what it has taken to get to this point.  It involves setting up one on one meetings with legislators and explaining how important hunting and trapping are in a sound wildlife management plan.  The question of safety would always be an issue because of the misinformation spread by the other side.  We are able to prove, by presenting the facts, that hunting and trapping are both safe and necessary to allow for the harvest of excess wildlife in a healthy expanding population.  All of this being accomplished by a small group of volunteers that feel that the right to hunt, fish and trap in New Jersey is important.
The passing of Assemblyman Dancer last week points up the fact that the ranks of legislators who we can count on has decreased dramatically over the past two years.  We have lost a total of five assemblymen and one senator who were our go to people and as a result we see the number of bills introduced that could negatively affect hunting, trapping and fishing increase dramatically.  With a new Senate President and Governor Murphy still in office we are not in a very enviable position to push or even protect our agenda.
I have been working to protect the rights of sportsmen and women for over 46 years and at the age of 78 I have to ponder if I have the energy and the time to start building relationships with a new group of legislators.  I guess what I am attempting to say is that it’s time to start passing the torch to the next generation who will continue our fight.  While I am not looking to exit any time soon, the death of Assemblyman Dancer at the age of 73 drives that point home.
If hunting, trapping and fishing are important to you it’s time for you to get off your ass and get involved.  Talk to your friends and clubs encouraging them to join the NJOA, donate, support our fundraisers and get involved in spreading our message before it’s too late.  What we need right now are a few good men and women who are willing to step up to the plate and get involved.  There is a place in the organization for people of all skill sets.  The only thing you need is a love of the outdoors and a desire to see hunting, fishing and trapping continue in New Jersey.
If you are interested in becoming involved or just learning more about the organization you can contact me at, or give me a call at (609) 965-3089 after 7:00 PM.
Ed Markowski, President
New Jersey Outdoor Alliance
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