|The New Jersey Outdoor Alliance on Tuesday released a statement calling Governor Phil Murphy’s new order to close all state and county parks “ridiculous” and urging the state to review the impact this could have on mental health.
The group, which represents the state’s 794,000 hunters, anglers and fishermen, called on the Governor to reopen state and county parks with the same set of commonsense social distancing and occupancy guidelines that have worked for New Jersey thus far so that sportsmen and other outdoor recreation enthusiasts can continue to practice healthful activities that are a boon to mental and physical health in a time when morale is critically important to our state.
“It’s no secret we disagree with the Governor on many policies, but the New Jersey Outdoor Alliance gladly gave the Governor credit for his common sense just last week because it was a no-brainer then just as it is now – keeping 9 million New Jerseyans locked in their homes for 12 or more weeks is ridiculous and an overreach” said NJOA spokesman Cody McLaughlin, “We have guidelines for social distancing, and we, in good faith, committed to those guidelines. Yet once again, with no legislative oversight in a “free society”, Governor Murphy has decided to act unilaterally on something that is not proven to help anything. Meanwhile, the hundreds of thousands of trout that have been stocked on those state and county parks will go to waste, and key components of healthful solitary recreation are now being sacrificed on the altar of fear and good headlines. It’s asinine, plain and simple.”
NJOA went on to enumerate the various methods of social distancing and what we can expect from a state crammed into close quarters with no outlet for healthful mental and physical activities.
“Nobody is saying open the floodgates, but chaining yourself to your couch for several months is dumb and helps nobody.” said NJOA spokesman Cody McLaughlin, “Domestic violence incidents are on the rise due to “cabin fever”, so-called ‘coronavirus’ parties by an increasingly activity-starved and fed-up populous are on the rise, the list goes on. The state is sitting on a powder keg of frustrated and scared individuals, and the smart move is to keep a policy of key social distancing guidelines to protect health and safety. All we’re asking for as sportsmen, taxpayers and conservationists is the same we’ve always asked of this administration:
- 1. Respect for the passion we have for our lifestyle
- 2. Decisions based on sound science
- 3. For the admin to work with us
We’ve received none.”
Facts about the New Jersey sportsman community:
- New Jersey boasts nearly 800,000 hunters, fishermen and trappers and millions more who enjoy hiking, biking, camping and kayaking our states woods and waterways.
- Hunting, fishing and trapping account for nearly $1.26 billion in spending each year.
- New Jersey sportsmen support nearly 17,000 jobs within New Jersey.
- More than 70% of conservation funding in New Jersey is paid for by New Jersey sportsmen.
- Outdoor sports are a safe, fun activity that can alleviate the “cabin fever” of residents while still maintaining important social distancing guidelines put in place by officials.
About the New Jersey Outdoor Alliance: New Jersey Outdoor Alliance’s mission is “preservation through conservation.” NJOA serves as a grassroots coalition of outdoorsmen and outdoorswomen dedicated to the conservation of natural resources and environmental stewardship that champions the intrinsic value of fishing, hunting and trapping, among opinion leaders, policy makers, and the public at-large. To learn more about the organization, please visit: https://njoutdooralliance.org/.