By Janet Piszar

One great challenge for non-profits is development –the expansion of its funding base and the recruitment of additional donors.   A strategy is to soft-pedal– if not conceal– its policies, practices or affiliations that are offensive to large groups of constituents.  Of this, the NJ Audubon Society (NJAS) is guilty.

It takes integrity to decline a mission-compromising gift-horse…..especially a thoroughbred.  Enter NJ’s Division of Fish and Wildlife (DFW) with its regular significant grants.  Open Public Requests have shown that the Division (yes, using taxpayer funds) have made numerous grants of  hundreds of thousands of dollars to the NJAS.

In March, 2005, the NJAS wrote an obscure Policy White Paper, “Forest Health and Ecological Integrity Stressors and Solutions.” On page nine, it cites, “Wildlife management to facilitate hunting opportunities has been a key contributor to deer over population.”

Thus, the NJDFW creates the problems with deer/wildlife that it professes to resolve with hunting.  The concealment and affiliation are integrity issues; the NJAS is aware of the DFW’s practices, but will not hold it culpable; rather, it enables the con game.  The NJAS holds public seminars about deer over-browsing in efforts to expand open space for hunters.  At these seminars (I have attended several) it cites reasons for deer overpopulation:  few predators, development that confiscates habitat, deer fecundity, etc.  However, the NJAS  conceals its own key realization of the state’s deer/wildlife management for excess inventory and  shootable surplus.

The NJAS will not reveal the DFW’s production for excess deer that result in over-foraging — as long as the grants continue.  State grants allow the AS to expand its private ownership of open space.  In partnership, the NJAS allows hunters onto its lands to support the DFW goal of expanded hunter access….classic quid-pro-quo.

Another compromise of integrity is the NJAS support of the controversial 10- year logging program on Sparta Mountain.  The NJAS knows that logging is stressful to birds, particularly migrating birds that need stop overs to recover from long journeys.  Hunting on NJAS lands, too, is stressful to birds, particularly during winter months when birds are already stressed.  The NJAS was granted $140,000 from billionaire Peter Kellogg of Short Hills, NJ, for its support in the project.  Kellogg is the owner of the elite Hudson Hunting Farm and previously granted $60,000 seed money to the NJ Outdoor Alliance, a hunters’ lobby organization.  The NJAS repeatedly compromises its integrity in favor of its bottom line.

Meanwhile, we work tirelessly to expose the DFW’s manipulation of deer and wildlife for the pleasure of hunting and the sale of hunting licenses— the Division’s economic necessity. Most importantly, the NJAS and DFW violate the basic tenet of the Public Trust Doctrine….a publicly owned natural resource must be managed for the public benefit –not the 1% and shrinking  NJ hunter population. Thus, the NJ Audubon Society is a major part of the problem.

The public is demanding wildlife management based   on genuine science and non lethal methods. 


Janet Piszar, President, PUBLIC TRUST Wildlife Management or PTWM). Please visit them here:









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Committee to Abolish Sport Hunting / C.A.S.H.
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