||(We had voiced our opposition to the permit fee via Assemblyman Jeff Van Drew, who agreed with our position and, in turn, presented the argument to Commissioner Campbell. This is Campbell's response to Van Drew.)|
November 21, 2003
Dear Assemblyman Van Drew:
I am writing in response to your October 21, 2003 letter regarding the concerns of your constituent Mr. Fred Lentz about the permit fee for fishing tournaments on Wildlife Management Areas.
I am perplexed by the South Jersey Bass Club Association's objection to the $17 permit fee since special use permits for other organized activities on State Wildlife Management Areas range from $50 to $100 per day. The fee is to offset the costs of staff time required to coordinate events and other costs, such as additional trash pickup, which larger events usually require. The Department of Environmental Protection's (DEP's) Division of Fish and Wildlife coordinates over 120 events each year.
DEP's reporting of tournament results has always been carried out in cooperation with the angler clubs. The data is useful to DEP as it determines how it may most effectively support successful tournaments in the future. The information is also useful to angler organizations when planning future tournament locations.
As with the tournament permit, these fees often help compensate for the added costs incurred with larger organized activities. In this case, the $17 fee charged to anglers is a modest amount compared to the fees paid for other types of activities.
Bradley M. Campbell, Commissioner
cc: Mary Helen Cervantes, Assistant Commissioner, Communications & Legislation