TRENTON – The state Department of Environment Protection is asking nature enthusiasts to consider contributing to its new Wildlife Habitat Supporter program supporting the state’s 122 wildlife management areas.

The program was announced Monday, ahead of Giving Tuesday, a movement encouraging donations to charitable causes that is held on the Tuesday after Thanksgiving, following the shopping-focused Black Friday and Cyber Monday.

The DEP’s dedicated fund will support conservation and education efforts and other outdoor initiatives, including hiking, birding, boating and wildlife viewing available at New Jersey’s wildlife management areas, which encompass nearly 360,000 acres statewide.

“Nature lovers (and those who love them) will have the opportunity to support wildlife and habitat conservation in New Jersey and receive a First Edition Wildlife Supporter decal for their donations, which will help ensure the protection of these priceless lands for future generations,” said DEP Commissioner Shawn LaTourette.

Donation levels to the Wildlife Habitat Supporter Program start at $10. Contributors who donate $25 or more to the program will receive the collectible decal.

Maintenance of the WMAs generally is funded by hunters and anglers.

The DEP said donations to the program will be dedicated for management and restoration of fish and wildlife habitat; enforcement of fish and wildlife regulations; restoration and protection of endangered and nongame species; fish and wildlife educational programs and signage; and improved public access to recreational facilities in wildlife management areas.

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