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Wildlife Management Area User Survey Report


November 19, 2018

Under contract from the Division of Fish and Wildlife, the Environmental Science Program at Stockton University conducted brief in-person surveys on state Wildlife Management Areas (WMAs) from May 1, 2016 to April 30, 2017. The survey was designed in conjunction with Division staff to collect information on users' recreational activities, visitation frequency, satisfaction, knowledge and opinion of habitat management practices, willingness to pay and opinions about fee structure, and basic demographic information (e.g. age, gender, zip code, etc.).

Wildlife Management Areas were initially established as public hunting and fishing grounds, the first being the 387-acre Walpack Tract in Sussex County in 1932. With today's total acreage of 353,475 in 122 areas, the WMA system has expanded its role as areas where fish and wildlife habitat is protected and enhanced while simultaneously providing a wide range of consumptive and non-consumptive recreational and educational opportunities.

Given the increasing demand for wildlife-related recreational opportunities, as well as shifting trends in recreational use, understanding who is using WMAs, what they are doing in these areas, and how they feel these areas should be managed is critical to maintain a sustainable future for the state's WMAs. In addition to gathering the data cited above, the report provided five recommendations.

View the report linked below for study findings and recommendations.

NJ Wildlife Management Area User Survey Report (pdf, 1.6mb)

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Department of Environmental Protection
P.O. Box 402
Trenton, NJ 08625-0402

Last Updated: November 19, 2018