Unexpected Wildlife Refuge has a new manager
We are pleased to announce that we have hired Michael Puleo as our onsite manager for the Refuge. Michael is an avid naturalist, backpacker and forager. He is a long time animal and environmental activist and holds a B.S. in Environmental Science. He is a vegan. Raised in the New Jersey Pinelands region, his experience and knowledge of indigenous animals and plants will be a welcome part of our public outreach and education efforts. You can contact Michael through our office telephone (856.697.3541) or E-mail ( email@example.com).
Aerial view (C Compton)
Refuge headquarters ('cabin')
Refuge moving forward to replace failing headquarters building
Our headquarters building, which we affectionately refer to as the cabin, is showing signs of its age. There is considerable deterioration of important structural components. Our initial plan was to do a major renovation, but the cost of doing this would equal a modest, new building replacement. We have now received preliminary approval from The Pinelands Commission to replace the cabin.
We desperately need a headquarters building; it is not a luxury for the Refuge and the replacement we have in mind would be modest and environmentally-friendly. The most important function for this building is to provide living quarters for our onsite manager, a critical component of keeping the Refuge -- and wildlife -- safe from harm. Once we have a firm figure for this new building, we will begin raising funds in earnest. You do not have to wait for this appeal! We have set up a special account for this purpose and your donations, now, whatever the amount, will be added and gratefully received.
Although making a comeback, beavers are far from safe
We reported previously that the North American beaver is making a strong comeback. But, this persecuted keystone species is still being trapped and killed in New Jersey. Beaver trapping 'season' runs from this 26th December through 9th February. During October, for a mere $2 fee, trappers can apply for a permit to trap in 30 locations throughout the state! The permit itself costs $15 and permits are even awarded via the lottery system. We are appalled that these iconic and fascinating animals continue to be cruelly trapped and killed in NJ despite an increasing awareness of their importance to the health of our ecosystem. Unexpected Wildlife Refuge provides a safe haven for beavers and continues to work hard to protect the species.
You can help beavers by contacting your state legislators and ask that they sponsor a bill to put an end to beaver killing in New Jersey.
Jake and 'crew'
Dave and Jake
Another successful Eagle Scout project at the Refuge
We are always in need of volunteers to help with keeping our trails cleared and posted so that visitors can enjoy the Refuge. Earlier this month, we were fortunate to have the volunteer services of Jake Bornyasz, a Boy Scout seeking Eagle Scout status. With tireless supervision by Refuge Trustee Dave Sauder, Jake and his 'crew' spent a day clearing one long section of our trails. They also took down signs that had been nailed to trees (no longer allowed, for the trees' sake) and re-installed them on metal posts. We thank Jake and his friends for this great service to the Refuge. We have much more to do and you can contact us to volunteer, whether you are a Boy Scout looking for a community service project or just want to help the Refuge. Call us at 856.697.3541 or E-mail us: firstname.lastname@example.org.
Refuge featured in the New Jersey news media
NJ.com, a leading digital news provider in New Jersey, has published a nice article about the Refuge and its important role in protecting wildlife and habitat. You can read the entire article here: https://www.nj.com/gloucester-county/index.ssf/2018/09/nearly-800_acre_habitat_in_the_nj_pinelands_is_a_r.html. We hope you will enjoy and share widely.
Update on NJ bear hunting -- your help still needed
The New Jersey bear hunt started on Monday 8th October. Shockingly, within just two days, 59 of these majestic and sentient animals were killed by bow hunters.
Governor Murphy has failed to deliver on his campaign promise to end New Jersey’s bear hunt. Please continue to pressure the Governor and state legislators to do something permanently to protect this species critical to the ecosystem.
Call (609-292-6000) and tweet Governor Murphy (@GovMurphy promised to cancel the #bearhunt).
Urge NJ Governor Phil Murphy and legislators to ban leghold traps
In 1984, the Refuge was part of a coalition that was instrumental in getting leghold traps banned in NJ. Other types of inhumane traps continue to be legal, including the notorious Conibear. The Fish and Game Council (FGC) recently circumvented this law by allowing 'enclosed foothold traps', which are still inhumane.
When the FGC declared in 2015 that the 'enclosed foothold' trap was 'humane' and not prohibited by the 1984 law, Unexpected Wildlife Refuge joined a coalition of 32 other organizations, including the Animal Protection League of NJ and the Animal Welfare Institute, in a campaign to block this decision. A lawsuit against the FGC was filed. Incredibly, the following year, a state appellate court ruled that the modified trap was deemed not cruel and inhumane, and could continue to be used in NJ.
We ask all NJ residents to do the following:
Urge your legislators to support
Senate Bill S179, sponsored by Senator Vin Gopal, and Assembly Bill A3110, sponsored by Assemblypersons Daniel Benson and Raj Mukherji (if you do not know who your legislators are or how to contact them, click here for the legislative contact Web page) Governor Murphy agreed that leghold traps are "horrible"; he can invalidate the Fish and Game Council's regulation with a simple executive order;
ask him to do so, now: 609.292.6000; PO Box 001, Trenton, NJ 08625
The steel-jaw leghold trap and its ilk cause appalling suffering not only due to the pain and damage from the jaws closing in a vice-like grip on the animal's foot, leg, or other part of the body, but also from the efforts of the animal to escape this. They have already been outlawed in many countries.