DEP Seeks Public Comment on Major Update to State Wildlife Action Plan (DEP News Release, 12/11/17)
NOTE: To access specific portions of the plan, please use the bookmarked Table of Contents on Page vii in New Jersey's State Wildlife Action Plan (pdf, 32mb)
The 2017 revision to New Jersey's 2006 and 2008 Wildlife Action Plans was performed as required by the United States Congress pursuant to the State Wildlife Grant Program. It represents the first complete revision to the original 2006 plan, and was guided in part by the Association of Fish and Wildlife Agencies's "Best Practices for State Wildlife Action Plans - Voluntary Guidance to States for Revision and Implementation." The Division of Fish and Wildlife (DFW) intends to continue to review and revise the 2017 Plan in order to fill remaining information gaps, provide additional clarity and guidance to plan users, and prioritize conservation efforts. This ongoing revision process is outlined in Chapter 5, Section I (pdf, 32mb) of the Plan. A complete revision to the 2017 Plan will be required again in 2025.
The revision process took coordination with a variety of other agencies and stakeholders, detailed in Chapter 5, Section II (pdf, 32mb). These efforts included the formation of an Executive Committee to help guide the revision process, as well as regular coordination with both the Endangered and Nongame Species Advisory Committee and the Fish and Game Council. A briefing was also provided to the Aquaculture Advisory Council. All such coordination with the councils occurred as agenda items during regularly scheduled public meetings. Additionally, three Action Development Workshops were held in 2015, with a list of attendees (see Appendix L) (pdf, 32mb) representing a wide variety of invited conservation stakeholders from municipal, county, state, and federal government agencies, energy companies, academia, nonprofit organizations, and environmental consultants.
In the early stages of Plan revision, DFW made multiple attempts to contact three recognized Native American tribes that owned or managed land in New Jersey at that time (the Ramapough Lenape Nation, the Nanticoke Lenni-Lenape Indians, and the Powhatan Renape Nation). DFW requested meetings to discuss proposed revisions to the Plan, as well as ideas the tribes might share regarding conservation needs and the Plan's focus and priorities. While DFW received no replies to our solicitations, tribes that continue to own or manage land will be contacted again during the formal public comment period via certified mailings to ensure they are afforded an opportunity to provide input.
DFW has also afforded opportunities for the general public (see Chapter 5, Section III-A) (pdf, 32mb) to comment on the Plan, via updates to this webpage as individual elements of the Plan were advanced, or via participation in the public meetings noted above. DFW will be posting the Plan for a public comment period of no less than 30 days, commencing in early December and ending on January xx, 2018. DFW will review all comments received, make revisions or changes to the plan as necessary or appropriate, and summarize these efforts in a final State Wildlife Action Plan to be submitted to the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service in early 2018.
Please use the form below to submit comment on The State Wildlife Action Plan Revision Process only; there are separate comment forms for each aspect of the Plan. Be sure to complete fields that are designated as "* = required".