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For Immediate Release: April 14, 1998 Contact:

Hope Gruzlovic

Governor Christie Whitman joined New Jersey Secretary of Agriculture Art Brown, Jr., and New Jersey Environmental Protection Commissioner Bob Shinn today in announcing that farmers suffering serious economic losses as a result of deer foraging in their fields are now eligible for deer fencing under a joint initiative of NJDA and DEP.

"Every year New Jersey’s deer population takes a big bite out of agriculture’s bottom line," Whitman noted. "This important program will give farmers an effective, humane way to keep deer from literally eating their profits."

"Garden State farmers lose millions of dollars worth of crops each year to deer herds," Brown said. "By increasing the amount of funding available through the Fish and Game deer fencing program, we can help prevent production losses which ultimately jeopardize the viability of our farms."

NJDA has added $300,000 to DEP’s Division of Fish, Game and Wildlife’s (FGW) 1998 deer fencing program to maximize distribution of effective fencing to farmers. FGW will purchase and distribute the fencing and farmers will be responsible for installation and maintenance. The fencing will be six feet high, topped with two strands of high tensil wire and have a service life of approximately 20 years. "The Division of Fish, Game and Wildlife works to reduce deer populations in the primary agricultural areas of the state through a very liberal hunting season," said FGW Division Director Bob McDowell. "However, there are many areas in the state where hunter access is limited or prohibited, resulting in very high deer populations. When farmers suffer economic losses, the division helps them implement deer damage control programs that include deer depredation permits and protective fencing and repellents." McDowell added that fencing is the preferred and most effective option.

Applications for the supplemental deer fencing program will be available beginning April 15 at any County Agricultural Cooperative Extension office, FGW and NJDA offices in Trenton, or at the FGW field offices listed below. Applications must be returned to FGW or postmarked no later than May 29. For further information, farmers can contact FGW at (908) 735-8793 or (609) 292-6685.

FGW field offices:
Clinton WMA, 7 VanSyckles Road, Hampton;
Assunpink WMA, 386 Clarksburg-Robbinsville Road, Robbinsville;
Southern Regional Office, 220 New Brooklyn-Blue Anchor Road, Sicklerville; and
Pequest Natural Resource Education Center, 605 Pequest Road, Oxford.