ABOUT THE CAMPAIGN
Holding the State
Protecting Our Public Lands
For more than a half a century, New Jersey has invested billions of dollars creating a public lands system which houses tremendous beauty and biodiversity and should be the envy of every state in the union. It is critical to our society to have a well-funded and well-managed park system.
We need to keep these places open and available for wildlife to thrive and for the public to have safe access for eco-friendly recreation. The public should be able to safely travel the roads and trails, enjoy the serenity of nature, and have ample interpretive resources to understand our parks and forests through naturalist tours and educational materials. Wildlife must be a priority in all management decisions. Recreational forms that should be prioritized because of their compatibility with nature are walking, hiking, biking, wildlife viewing, photography, hunting, fishing, horseback riding, paddling, and responsible motorized travel on designated roads.
New Jersey's State Parks, Forests, Wildlife Management Areas, and
Natural Areas are sorely neglected.
However, New Jersey's State Parks, Forests, Wildlife Management Areas, and Natural Areas have become sorely neglected. Natural resource and law enforcement staff have been reduced due to inappropriate budget cuts, natural resource inventories and protection plans are not being implemented, and natural beauty is becoming spoiled by destructive activities that undermine ecological health, the public trust, and our previous investments.
Fix Our Parks has published The New Jersey State Lands Management Report, which identifies the problems and concrete solutions to address the issues.
We need to increase funding dedicated for protection and restoration of natural resources in our parks and natural areas, and enhance trail and wildlife viewing amenities. We must assist state agencies to be coordinated towards one mission: to protect wildlife habitat and provide access for eco-friendly experiences for all. Law enforcement must be directed and funded to guard against activities which destroy the public trust. In addition to increasing funding for staffing, we must encourage NJDEP to provide a supportive and welcoming environment for volunteers. Volunteers are critical to public lands management in NJ, and the state should look to NY for legal models of volunteer support - especially extending liability protections to volunteers, instead of requiring volunteer organizations to indemnify the state of NJ. The latter is unfair to small organizations and places a disproportionate legal burden on them. Volunteers should be rewarded, not punished.
Specific Campaign Goals:
Ensure enforcement is taking place with appropriate fines and penalties against activities such as illegal off-road vehicle riding, poaching, and dumping of trash and debris.
Give more power/authority to the Superintendents to have the flexibility to complete projects.
Partner with groups and volunteers to create a state-wide or regional friends organization for New Jersey state parks and forest areas.
Advocate for more funding for state parks, forests, and wildlife management areas, so there are more resources and personnel to complete projects and monitor these lands.
FIX OUR PARKS PRESS CONFERENCE
WHO WE ARE
Organizations & Citizens Committed to Parks and Lands Protection
Fix Our Parks was organized by groups committed to protecting and promoting New Jersey's parks, forests and historic landmarks. Members and supporters include both organizations and concerned citizens who are committed to ensuring that New Jersey's political leaders and the state managers and employees tasked with protecting parks, forests and natural areas have the resources needed to do their jobs.
Founding organizations include: