Friday, July 22, 2011

Morristown, NJ. Jockey Hollow. No Hunting at Morristown National Park. Public Hearings.

Dear Friends of NJ Wildlife,
Many of you may be in the midst of vacation plans, but if your schedule permits. won't you come out to join us in Jockey Hollow for the public meetings on July 27 and/or 28th? Directors and members of the League of Humane Voters, the Animal Protection League of NJ, and members of the press will be in attendance. It is critical that we have a large turnout for these meetings. PLEASE come out and lend your voice to 'science, not slaughter.' Also, please be sure to submit comments via the link below.
We hope to see you in Jockey Hollow on July 27th and 28th.
Thank you on behalf of NJ Wildlife!
Merrilee Cichy


Animal Protection League of NJ

Morristown National Park to Lift Hunting Ban

The National Park Service has for decades resisted managing park lands to maximize deer and permit sport hunting. As a result, and with natural fluctuations, the Morristown National Historical Park deer population remained stable - until the Morris County Parks Commission initiated hunts in surrounding areas.

Sadly, the Service has yielded to years of pressure from a commercial- conservation "partnership" to do both. The Steering Committee of "Teaming with Wildlife" is dominated by gun, ammunition, and archery manufacturers whose stated goal is increased hunter access, especially in populated areas. Access is key to hunter retention and recruitment aimed at reversing a precipitously declining client base. National and state Audubon societies are the chief 'conservation' component of the coalition. See the list of local area hunts below under Background Information.

Please Attend Public Hearings
Mark the dates, and attend public meetings to demand scientifically coherent and humane deer policy on public and private lands.

The dates and times of the public meetings:

Wednesday, July 27, 2011, from 7-9 p.m.
Thursday, July 28, 2011, from 2-4 p.m.

The location for both meetings is:

Morristown NHP
Washington's Headquarters Museum
30 Washington Place
Morristown, New Jersey 07960

Please Submit Comments

Please submit your written comments by August 14, 2011 at the following link:

Background Information

Mendham Township

Shiff Nature Preserve


Thirdly, Black River Wildlife Management Area manages habitat for deer, serving as a reservoir for deer killed as pests in surrounding locales. Great Swamp National Wildlife Refuge enhances habitat for deer. Schiff Nature Preserve, while killing deer, conducts in some cases annual controlled burns, which provide food and habitat for deer, in over a dozen locations. The Park plan permits business as usual, adding a National Park to the pervasively hunted tracts within the county. With few refuges left, deer will seek out residential properties. Hunts will ensue.

The key to fewer deer is a lower fertility rate. Both the proposed killing and habitat enhancement obtains the opposite effects.

  • White-tailed deer respond to hunting pressure with higher productivity. By removing competitors for food, hunting either raises productivity, or, in areas where food is plentiful, arrests deer in the rapid growth phase of the reproductive cycle.
  • Among other management goals, the National Park Service proposes opening forest canopies so that sunlight reaches the floor. This is classic enhancement of deer range. White-tails browse and forage on warm weather grasses and woody stems.

Predictably, hunted deer sought refuge within Morristown National Park. Moreover, surrounding hunts are preventing deer from dispersing from park lands. The issue is not the number of deer - clearly, the species is within biological carrying capacity. Rather, it is where the white-tail is pushed and pulled, by hunting, and habitat enhancement.

Stating that hunting in adjacent parks and suburbs has forced deer to seek refuge in Jockey Hollow in Morristown National Historic Park (emphasis ours), Morris County and New Jersey Audubon staffers admonish the Park Service to be "a responsible neighbor" and install an annual hunt. Jockey Hollow, alleges the Morris official responsible for adjacent hunts, is a "textbook" example of what the deer - not the hunt managers - have wrought.

That hunting would drive deer into Jockey Hollow was a foregone conclusion. In response to killing programs, does increase their home range by an average of 30% (Henderson, Warren et al 2000). Hunting increases birth rates, or keeps rates high. In 2000, wildlife advocates notes:

On the fly, local managers are conducting random, patchwork kills that not only stimulate birth rates, but drive panicked animals into neighboring areas or towns. The pattern is circular. Baited kills at Baltusrol Gulf Club are causing 'a heavy influx of deer into the Watchung Reservation.' (Watchung Report, 1999). Deer fleeing heavy gunning during the Watchung annual kill seek refuge in adjacent neighborhoods (Watchung Report. 1999.) After the Reservation hunt began, surrounding boroughs initiated hunts. The refuge-seeking justifies more reservation killing. On the heels of Millburn Township 2001 deer kill, the Township began receiving complaints from 'neighborhoods where deer hadn't been seen before.' Kills ensued (Russell 2000).

Managing both habitat and hunting for deer will inarguably result in annual sport hunts and driving deer into the few unhunted areas left: residential properties.

Susan E. Russell

Wildlife Policy Specialist

Animal Protection League of New Jersey

Keep Life In the Park (K.L.I.P.)

Be a voice for New Jersey animals. Join the League of Humane Voters of NJ!

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