Wednesday, June 17, 2009
NJ Wildlife Management Areas
New Jersey's Wildlife Management Area System, administered by the Division of Fish and Wildlife's Bureau of Land Management, preserves a diversity of fish and wildlife habitats from Delaware Bay coastal marshes to Kittatinny Ridge mountain tops.
The WMAs range in size from the 0.68 acre Delaware River Fishing Access Site at the Pennsauken WMA to the 30,000-acre Greenwood Forest Tract in Burlington and Ocean counties.
The areas provide outdoor recreational opportunities for New Jersey residents and visitors from out of state.
The purchase of the 387-acre Walpack Tract in Sussex County in 1932 marks the start of the system. The tract was purchased as a "Public Shooting and Fishing Ground" by the Board of Fish and Game Commissioners who were the forerunner of today's Fish and Game Council.
Today there are more than 324,000 acres in 120 areas which represents more than 44% of New Jersey's state-owned public open space.
The purchase of lands for the Wildlife Management Area System was initially funded entirely from the sale of hunting and fishing licenses, but, beginning in 1961, Green Acres bond issues have paid for about half of the present holdings.
The infusion of Green Acres monies has also broadened the mission of the Wildlife Management Area System from areas where fish and wildlife habitat is protected and enhanced, to providing a variety of compatible recreational and educational opportunities.