State Wants to Privately Lease Public Land

The State of Delaware announced a proposal to lease two sections of state forest.  In a social media post the Delaware Forest Service stated that they are planning on implementing a pilot program that would give exclusive hunting rights on two sections of Redden State Forest.

According to a post on Facebook:

The Delaware Forest Service is currently developing a one year pilot for hunting whitetail deer on the Tunnell Tract and the Long Tract at Redden State Forest. The main goal of this program is to help control the deer population. Through the State bidding process, expected to open this Spring, the awardee will have exclusive deer hunting rights to the specific contracted tract from September 1, 2018 through January 31, 2019. Forest Service staff, along with DNREC wildlife biologists, will evaluate the effectiveness of this deer management program to determine if it should continue past the pilot stage

The Delaware Forest Service is currently developing a one year pilot for hunting whitetail deer on the Tunnell Tract and…

Posted by Delaware Forest Service on Tuesday, January 30, 2018

Delaware hunters are not happy about the program. They voiced there displeasure to Delaware Online.

“Our tax money buys this land,” said hunter Guy Pusey of Greenwood. “Our tax money pays the people that work there. It’s the principle of it here. It’s just wrong.”

“I’m trying to figure out the facts and take everything with a grain of salt until I get information myself,” said James Blackstock, a Smyrna resident who primarily hunts on public lands. “When I called, I was told they kind of jumped the gun on the social media post and they’re not sure what they’re going to do.”

Hunters are worried that if the program is a success it would mean  more land would be locked up by those that can afford to to pay leaving the little guy with no access.