NJ closes 5 wildlife areas to curb illegal swimming and ATVs

NEW JERSEY — The state should close six areas in New Jersey’s Wildlife Management Areas that have “attracted large crowds and unauthorized activities” like illegal swimming and off-road driving, officials said.

The ban will be temporary, according to the New Jersey Department of Conservation, Fish and Wildlife. The sites will close on May 25 and reopen on September 6.

“NJDEP Fish and Wildlife regrets having to close these areas and understands the frustration of law-abiding users of the wildlife management system,” the agency said. “Illegal activities at these locations have created dangerous situations for the public, and public safety is of the utmost importance to Fish and Wildlife Conservation Police officers and personnel.”

The closure affects the following sites:

  • Lake WMA Schedule (Monroe Township, Gloucester)
  • Greenwood Forest WMA (Ocean County, two locations)
  • Menantico Ponds WMZ (Millville, Cumberland)
  • Wildcat Ridge (Rockaway Township, Morris)
  • Winslow WMA (Winslow, Camden)

Signs will be posted in closed areas and New Jersey Conservation Police officers will enforce the restrictions.

Violators can face fines between $50 and $1,500 for a first offense, according to the state law cited by NJ.comwith additional violations costing thousands of dollars and possible ATV impoundment and liability for forest damage.