Friday, July 21, 2006

NEW JERSEY NEWS: More parks open to hunting, seasons extended, contraception tactics fail

The Morris County Park Commission wants to add hours and more locations in county-owned parks for deer hunting, and improve communication with hunters, property owners and towns during the fall hunting season.

Rob Jennings, the park commission's wildlife manager, has told park commissioners that the proposals are aimed at reducing the number of deer-car collisions and controlling the deer population to allow damaged forests and other habitats to regrow.

Hunting remains the most effective deer control method, Jennings said -- pointing to less-than-hoped-for results of a program that tested deer contraceptives at Giralda Farms in Madison, with one-third of the treated deer getting pregnant.

The number of deer-car accidents in Morris County nearly doubled from 2003 to 2004, Jennings said. In 2003, there were 1,276 reported crashes, and 2,331 in 2004. Statewide statistics showed the same pattern, he said, with 7,689 in 2003 and 13,599 in 2004.

Hunterdon County also recently opened more of its park system for deer hunting.

To highlight how forests can be regenerated, Jennings showed the commission a photograph of a deer fence in a county park. One side shows brown grass and little leafy vegetation, while the plant life inside the fence is green and thriving.

Seeing deer along roadsides or in neighborhood yards in the middle of the afternoon is a symptom of the problem, he said. It means there is little for deer to eat in the forests and fields, and that they have become too familiar with suburban life to be spooked.

"They are supposed to run away," he said.

Jennings said high deer densities were listed among the most serious threats facing threatened and endangered wildlife species today. Migratory birds, for example, are hampered in their search for breeding grounds by over-browsed forests, he said.

The county's response to the size of the deer herd, Jennings said, is guided in part by the 2005 policy statement by the New Jersey Audubon Society, which called for increased hunting.

That report on forest health cited several effects of over-browsing by deer, including the increase in invasive organisms, including plants, insects and disease; the loss of the beauty of the state's natural habitats as they collapse under attack from elements from which they have no natural defense; and continued damage to the ground cover and mid-level plants in forests.

The Audubon Society report said: "With freedom from predators, high birth rates and increased longevity, suburban areas can experience exponential deer population growth."

Jennings also cited a 2004 Pennsylvania Audubon Society report that said that state's forests are in trouble and "over-browsing by the excessive white-tailed deer is the main problem. Even to the untrained eye, the absence of plants at lower levels and razor-straight browse lines (the maximum height to which deer browse) is obvious."

The Pennsylvania report continued, "Virtually every unfenced private or public forested area in our region suffers from this problem."

Morris County Freeholder Jack Schrier, a former member of New Jersey's Fish and Game Council, said the county parks'plans mirror those supported by the state council, which call for encouraging public and private landowners to allow hunting on their properties.

Schrier has resigned himself to the notion that, until a more effective alternate method is found, hunting will be the primary method of controlling the deer herd. But, he said, this is not necessarily working. Hunters annually take between 30,000 to 70,000 deer, he said, but the state's deer herd is estimated each year at more than 300,000.

Schrier said it might be too soon to judge the Giralda Farm project, even though the results seem disappointing. The program calls for using an experimental drug, hormone-based GnRH, that has been successful when used in other mammals, he said. The drug does not yet have U.S. Food and Drug Administration approval. A decade ago, the county ran a pilot contraceptive program with another product that was not FDA-approved, which also proved unsuccessful.

The $200,000 Giralda Farm program is budgeted for five years. It is not designed to replace hunting, but to test whether alternative control measures are effective in areas where hunting cannot be done.

Schrier, a key supporter of the Giralda Farm program, said that, "I'm reluctant to say we are back to square one."

Jennings said the county's hunting program is not aimed at just killing deer, but is part of a program to make habitats uncomfortable for them. Then they move on, he said.

A recent survey in Lewis Morris Park in Morris Township, where hunting has been allowed since 1991, showed the deer population is about 11 to 20 deer per quarter mile, a significant reduction. The result, he said, is that native plants and grasses are returning to the woods and fields of the park.

The Morris County Park Commission wants to add hours and more locations in county-owned parks for deer hunting, and improve communication with hunters, property owners and towns during the fall hunting season.
Rob Jennings, the park commission's wildlife manager, has told park commissioners that the proposals are aimed at reducing the number of deer-car collisions and controlling the deer population to allow damaged forests and other habitats to regrow.

Hunting remains the most effective deer control method, Jennings said -- pointing to less-than-hoped-for results of a program that tested deer contraceptives at Giralda Farms in Madison, with one-third of the treated deer getting pregnant.

The number of deer-car accidents in Morris County nearly doubled from 2003 to 2004, Jennings said. In 2003, there were 1,276 reported crashes, and 2,331 in 2004. Statewide statistics showed the same pattern, he said, with 7,689 in 2003 and 13,599 in 2004.

Hunterdon County also recently opened more of its park system for deer hunting.

To highlight how forests can be regenerated, Jennings showed the commission a photograph of a deer fence in a county park. One side shows brown grass and little leafy vegetation, while the plant life inside the fence is green and thriving.

Seeing deer along roadsides or in neighborhood yards in the middle of the afternoon is a symptom of the problem, he said. It means there is little for deer to eat in the forests and fields, and that they have become too familiar with suburban life to be spooked.

"They are supposed to run away," he said.

Jennings said high deer densities were listed among the most serious threats facing threatened and endangered wildlife species today. Migratory birds, for example, are hampered in their search for breeding grounds by over-browsed forests, he said.

The county's response to the size of the deer herd, Jennings said, is guided in part by the 2005 policy statement by the New Jersey Audubon Society, which called for increased hunting.

That report on forest health cited several effects of over-browsing by deer, including the increase in invasive organisms, including plants, insects and disease; the loss of the beauty of the state's natural habitats as they collapse under attack from elements from which they have no natural defense; and continued damage to the ground cover and mid-level plants in forests.

The Audubon Society report said: "With freedom from predators, high birth rates and increased longevity, suburban areas can experience exponential deer population growth."

Jennings also cited a 2004 Pennsylvania Audubon Society report that said that state's forests are in trouble and "over-browsing by the excessive white-tailed deer is the main problem. Even to the untrained eye, the absence of plants at lower levels and razor-straight browse lines (the maximum height to which deer browse) is obvious."

The Pennsylvania report continued, "Virtually every unfenced private or public forested area in our region suffers from this problem."

Morris County Freeholder Jack Schrier, a former member of New Jersey's Fish and Game Council, said the county parks'plans mirror those supported by the state council, which call for encouraging public and private landowners to allow hunting on their properties.

Schrier has resigned himself to the notion that, until a more effective alternate method is found, hunting will be the primary method of controlling the deer herd. But, he said, this is not necessarily working. Hunters annually take between 30,000 to 70,000 deer, he said, but the state's deer herd is estimated each year at more than 300,000.

Schrier said it might be too soon to judge the Giralda Farm project, even though the results seem disappointing. The program calls for using an experimental drug, hormone-based GnRH, that has been successful when used in other mammals, he said. The drug does not yet have U.S. Food and Drug Administration approval. A decade ago, the county ran a pilot contraceptive program with another product that was not FDA-approved, which also proved unsuccessful.

The $200,000 Giralda Farm program is budgeted for five years. It is not designed to replace hunting, but to test whether alternative control measures are effective in areas where hunting cannot be done.

Schrier, a key supporter of the Giralda Farm program, said that, "I'm reluctant to say we are back to square one."

Jennings said the county's hunting program is not aimed at just killing deer, but is part of a program to make habitats uncomfortable for them. Then they move on, he said.

A recent survey in Lewis Morris Park in Morris Township, where hunting has been allowed since 1991, showed the deer population is about 11 to 20 deer per quarter mile, a significant reduction. The result, he said, is that native plants and grasses are returning to the woods and fields of the park.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Tips for Being a Successful Landlord

In today’s apartment rental market there are several things that are “must do’s” for becoming a successful landlord. The reason you’re playing the real estate rental game is to have the check in your mailbox on the first of the month, right? Here are a few tips that can help you to achieve this with as little aggravation and frustration possible.

First and foremost is finding the right tenant to rent your apartment, house or other rental. This is the most important ingredient in the recipe. Checking the prospective tenant’s credit history to make sure they are paying their bills is one of the best ways you can screen. A tenant that pays their bills on time most likely will send you their rent on time. Establish a clear system on collecting rent, handling complaints from the tenant and how you will contact them if you need to gain access to the apartment.

Secondly, get all the important terms of the tenancy in writing. You have the option to have a basic rental agreement or draw up a formal lease. Whichever you decide, the important thing is to document the terms that you and the tenant agreed to. Clarify who is paying the utilities, the rental price and any other agreements made between you and your tenant.

It’s a good idea to stay on top of the repair and maintenance needs of your property. When you are notified of something that is broken or not working, repair it as soon as possible to prevent further damages. You may also lawfully enable the tenant to withhold rent, sue for injuries caused by defective conditions or move out without notice.

On a similar topic make sure you are carrying enough property and liability insurance to cover yourself in any situation. A well designed insurance program can protect your rental property from losses caused by everything from fire and storms to burglary, vandalism, and personal injury lawsuits.

I hope that this has been helpful to you. Just remember, as long as you follow these simple tips you will be on your way to a happy and fulfilling landlord future. Best of luck!

ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Eric Goldstein, associated with www.AllSpacses.com which Conveniently Connects All People with All Spaces in All Places, has been dedicated to the real estate rental market for over 8 years. He has assisted over 25,000 landlords with their renting needs. Any questions about renting apartments, houses or other rentals feel free to visit www.AllSpaces.com or email him at Eric@AllSpaces.com.