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 is now law.
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 now must 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 will allow 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.”
The new law (A-2763) enters New Jersey into the Interstate Wildlife Violator Compact. Prior to its enactment, New Jersey had been one of just two states in the nation that had not yet joined the compact.
“While the majority of the country was working together to protect their natural resources, we were doing it alone. That didn’t make sense,” said Mosquera (D-Camden/Gloucester). “Joining this collaboration between states will 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 the Wildlife Violator Compact will 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).
“There was 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.”
“It was a shame that New Jersey was one of only two states in the nation that had not joined the IWVC,” 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 legislation 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 measure gained unanimous approval from both houses of the legislature before being signed into law on Monday.