The New Jersey Nature Conservancy Exposed for Unethical Conduct


A Nature Conservancy “magnet”

The Nature Conservancy (TNC) recently conducted a solicitation initiative featuring an adorable black bear cub clinging to a tree. Its mission, “Protecting Nature,  Preserving  Life” (see photo above).

Further, to thank donors for their contribution of a certain amount, the Nature Conservancy sends a tote bag with the same adorable bear cub and mission statement.

There is no doubt that these solicitations send the message that The Nature Conservancy protects and preserves bears.

The Nature Conservancy’s website boasts, “You can Trust the Conservancy” and that its conduct is “beyond reproach.”

In February 2015, PUBLIC TRUST Wildlife Management, in an effort to gain support for the protection of black bears, brought TNC’s solicitation campaign and its message to the attention of The NJ Nature Conservancy’s executive director, Dr. Barbara Brummer, as well as board members of The Nature Conservancy. This was critical, as Dr. Barbara Brummer, as chair of the Endangered and Non-Game Species Committee, is also a trustee of the Fish Game Council.

However, at the NJ Fish and Game Council meeting on Tuesday, March 3rd, Dr. Barbara Brummer voted FOR the proposed amendments to expand the lethal management of bears in the Comprehensive Black Bear Management Plan. Dr. Brummer voted FOR the bow hunting of bears and cubs, and extended seasons……..a polar contrast to its solicitation message and stated mission!

After investigation by PUBLIC TRUST Wildlife Management and via the Open Public Records Act Law  it was revealed that The Nature  Conservancy cumulatively  was granted $322,382.24 from 2010 to 2013, by the NJ Department of Environmental Protection which houses the Division of Fish and Wildlife.

Barbara Brummer’s conduct, as the chief officer of The NJ Nature Conservancy— recipient of these funds  strongly  suggests  a quid pro quo relationship.  

When the DEP’s $322,382.24  grant was brought to the attention of Barbara Brummer, her comment was that, ‘this was from the Department of Environmental Protection, not the Division of Fish and Wildlife, and is a whole other department’.

The unethical conduct of soliciting donations with an adorable bear cub photograph, and a mission statement of “Protecting  Nature, Preserving Life”, along with claims that “You can Trust the Conservancy,” and “we are beyond reproach” must be exposed.

Please spread this message far and wide: The NJ Nature Conservancy supports the proposed recreational bow hunting of bears, yet uses images of adorable bear cubs intended to give the impression that they will protect and preserve the lives of bears. Clearly, they are NOT about “protecting nature or preserving life” and should be held accountable for their betrayal of the public trust.

Official complaints were lodged for unethical conduct with Charity Navigator and Charity Watch.


Janet Piszar, is founder of PUBLIC TRUST Wildlife Management, est. 2011, PO Box 646, Chatham, NJ  07928. The article has been reprinted with permission.

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