Postcard campaign aims to prevent hunting on Raritan Township parkland

by Rick Epstein,  |  published on December 29, 2012

Just in case the Township Committee is thinking of giving hunters access to its open space, Margaret Andersen wants them to think again.

The township resident says she has discussed the issue privately and publicly, mostly with “strangers,” and as a result 107 people have signed postcards she has provided opposing hunting on township open space. Andersen has sent the signed cards to the township, and the receipt of them was acknowledged without comment at the township’s Dec. 18 committee meeting.

Mayor Oliver Elbert explains the township currently doesn’t allowing hunting on its land. Once the buffer zones prescribed in the hunting regulations are subtracted from most township-owned acreage, there is little space for hunting. “The Township Committee has grappled with (the idea of allowing deer hunting on its land) over the years, but there’s never been a will to move forward with it,” he said in an interview on Dec. 27.

But now “we’ve been very fortunate. We’ve been able to preserve some nice tracts of land, and I think she’s just worried” that hunting will be allowed on them. This year the township has acquired the 108-acre Urbach farm between the Cherryville Hollow and Klinesville roads. The nearby 58-acre Ewing farm on Thatcher’s Hill and Sand Hill roads is in the process of being acquired by the county.

Andersen is a prolific writer of letters to the editor of the Hunterdon County Democrat. Most of her letters assert that hunting is a cruel and ineffective way to control the deer population. “The more you kill,” the more fawns the survivors produce, she says.

But she said that this campaign is “rooted in safety concerns and the impact on residents living near” the parkland, and she specifically mentioned the Urbach property.

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