The Bureau of Land Management is responsible for maintaining New Jersey Fish and Wildlife’s Wildlife Management Area System of more than 360,000 acres in 122 areas and include approximately 1,100 miles of roads (19 paved and 1,081 unpaved). These areas are maintained and managed for a diversity of wildlife species through forest/field manipulation and habitat improvement, as well as for public access. The bureau is also responsible for stocking fish and game birds, maintenance of buildings and grounds, development of visitor facilities, construction of parking areas and boat ramps. The bureau is involved in the preservation of open space through the Green Acres Land Acquisition Program.
Most of this bureau’s activities focus on the Wildlife Management Area System and providing access to hunters, anglers and wildlife enthusiasts. The system had its beginning with the purchase of the 387-acre Walpack Tract in Sussex County in 1932. This land was purchased as a “Public Shooting and Fishing Ground” by the Board of Fish and Game Commissioners, the forerunner of today’s Fish and Game Council. From this modest beginning the present system was developed, representing more than 44% of New Jersey’s state-owned public open space resource.