Legislation sponsored by Assembly Democrats Vincent Mazzeo, Gabriela Mosquera, Raj Mukherji, Bob Andrzejczak, Bruce Land and Eric Houghtaling to enter New Jersey into the Interstate Wildlife Violator Compact to better protect and manage the state’s wildlife and natural resources received approval from the Senate Budget and Appropriations Committee on Monday.
The Interstate Wildlife Violator Compact (IWVC) is an agreement among participating states to provide reciprocal sharing of information regarding hunting, fishing and trapping violations.
The IWVC requires participating states to report wildlife violation convictions to compact members. When New Jersey receives notices of violations of hunters, fishers and trappers from other states, the New Jersey Division of Fish & Wildlife would review the conviction and determine if the violation meets the requirements for suspension in New Jersey.
“Joining the rest of the nation in the IWVC allows us to better crack down on those taking advantage of our hunting, fishing and trapping laws while respecting those sportsmen who are doing everything right,” said Mazzeo (D-Atlantic). “I am proud of the broad organizational support that this legislation has received. The heart of this compact is about information sharing, and there’s no reason why New Jersey is currently just one of two states not involved. We are way past due to join.”
The bill (A-2763) would enter New Jersey in the Interstate Wildlife Violator Compact. New Jersey is one of just two states in the nation that have not yet joined the compact.
“While the majority of the country is working together to protect their natural resources, we are doing it alone. That makes no sense,” said Mosquera (D-Camden/Gloucester). “It’s time that we join this collaboration between states to better protect what makes our individual states unique.”
“The IWVC is an asset,” said Mukherji (D-Hudson). “Sharing information can help us operate more efficiently and boost our enforcement efforts to ensure individuals who have broken these laws in other states cannot move on to our state and endanger our wildlife and natural resources.”
“Joining can help prevent individuals who have shown a disregard for wildlife laws in other states from doing the same here at home,” said Andrzejczak (D-Cape May/Atlantic/Cumberland). “It’s time for New Jersey to join the majority of the country and enter into the Wildlife Violator Compact.”
“There is no reason for the state to be lagging behind, when there are so many benefits that come with being a compact member,” said Land (D-Cape May/Atlantic/Cumberland). “Joining the IWVC can help promote compliance of our regulations and better protect our wildlife resources.”
“Only two states in the nation have not joined the IWVC, and it’s a shame that New Jersey is one of them,” said Houghtaling (D-Monmouth). “Working to ensure that those convicted of illegal fishing, hunting or trapping cannot engage in those activities here in New Jersey is a matter of living up to our values as a state and doing our part to protect America’s wildlife.”
The bill has received broad support from all walks of the outdoor community, including the New Jersey Division of Fish & Wildlife, the New Jersey Conservation Officers Association, the New Jersey Recreational Fishing Alliance, the New Jersey Outdoor Alliance, the New Jersey State Federation of Sportsmen’s Clubs, the Sierra Club, the Humane Society of New Jersey and Environment New Jersey.
The bill, which gained unanimous Assembly approval in June, now awaits further Senate consideration.