Conserve Wildlife Blog

Help Golden-winged Warblers Thrive in Sparta Mountain WMA

February 24th, 2016

Comments on the Sparta Mountain WMA Forest Stewardship Plan are due Tuesday, March 1, 2016

by Emily Hofmann, Environmental Education Intern

Photo by New York-New Jersey Trail Conference

Photo by New York-New Jersey Trail Conference

Wildlife in the Sparta Mountain Wildlife Management Area (WMA) need your help! Submit your comments on the new Forest Stewardship Plan by Tuesday, March 1, 2016.

 

Conserve Wildlife Foundation supports the new Forest Stewardship Plan for the Sparta Mountain WMA located in Sparta Township, New Jersey. The original Forest Stewardship Plan was introduced in 2009. The New Jersey Division of Fish and Wildlife, in partnership with New Jersey Audubon, recently updated and expanded upon the plan. The new revisions show a commitment to creating healthier forest habitat for wildlife, while abiding by the strict guidelines provided by third-party certification, along with agency regulations.

 

The new ten-year Plan, drafted by New Jersey Division of Fish and Wildlife and New Jersey Audubon Society, and conducted under an existing Forest Stewardship Plan for the wildlife area, will allow conservation actions to continue. The plan addresses the following key goals:

  • Improve the health, structure and diversity of the forests;
  • Create young forest habitat for birds and other wildlife that are of conservation concern;
  • Enhance foraging, nesting and roosting habitat for cavity dwelling birds and bats;
  • Suppress the spread of invasive species;
  • May provide basking habitat for turtles;
  • Protect and maintain views and vistas;
  • Improve passive recreational opportunities;
  • Protect water resources;
  • Monitor and evaluate stewardship activities

 

Kelly Triece, our Private Lands Biologist, has pointed out that 80% of New Jersey forests are currently between 60-99 years old, while only 5% of the forests are between 0-19 years old. CWF supports forest stewardship projects, like those presented in the new plan, that seek to even out this clear disparity and promote more diversity in age class of New Jersey forests. Increased diversity in forest age brings increased diversity in plant and animal species. This type of forest habitat has the potential to support over 125 bird species, including the Golden-winged Warbler.

 

Golden-winged Warbler. Photo by D. Kenny Golden.

Golden-winged Warbler. Photo by D. Kenny Golden.

 

The public comment period is an opportunity for you to support forest stewardship that will improve the health of the forest and create young forest habitat; essential for protecting the state endangered Golden-winged Warbler, as well as numerous other flora and fauna.

 

The Department of Environmental Protection needs to hear from you! To submit comments, visit DEP’s website. Provided below is a draft set of comments which you are welcome to use, as well as revise and submit. Remember, the deadline is Tuesday, March 1, 2016.

 

Learn More and Take Action:

 

Emily Hofmann is the Environmental Education Intern for Conserve Wildlife Foundation of New Jersey.


Suggested text:

To the New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection,

Please accept the following comments in support of adoption and implementation of the Sparta Mountain Wildlife Management Area Forest Stewardship plan. This new plan builds on an existing plan that has been under implementation for several years. The new plan seeks to addresses the long-term health of the forest and the critically important lack of young forest habitat by working to create new young forest habitat patches over the next ten years. In addition, the plan includes explicit goals to protect and enhance hydrologic resources, monitoring of priority wildlife populations, provide compatible wildlife recreational opportunities and adherence to strict third party certification principles and criteria. This plan is important because the resident and migratory birds, mammals, reptiles and amphibians that rely on young forest habitat are struggling to maintain themselves in places they were once commonly found. Throughout the Northeast, young forest habitat has diminished as forestland has been converted to development and abandoned farms and homesteads have matured to woodlands. As a consequence, a wide variety of wildlife have experienced the loss of the scrubby, patchy, disturbed portions of the forest that they rely on for food and cover.

The plan was developed based upon an understanding of the needs of wildlife in the Highlands Region and with a specific focus on ensuring that forest health is improved. The plan authors thoroughly reviewed the history of the region, considered the important water resources of Sparta Mountain, evaluated wildlife needs, recreational desires and community connections, and brought all of this together with a keen eye toward improving the health and vigor of the forest. The plan has gone through an extensive review by experts at the Department of Environmental Protection, has taken input from a wide-range of stakeholders and meets the requirements of a third party certification system. The plan is appropriate and needed given the mission of the NJ DEP and the NJ Division of Fish and Wildlife, the agency charged with management of the wildlife area and conserving wildlife. I encourage the Department of Environmental Protection to adopt and implement the Sparta Mountain Wildlife Management Area Forest Stewardship Plan.

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14 Responses to “Help Golden-winged Warblers Thrive in Sparta Mountain WMA”

  1. bill wolfe says:

    I am shocked by how CWF is wiling to mislead its members and the public and mindlessly spout NJ Audubon’s spin and talking points.

    The DEP plan calls for logging more than a SQUARE MILE of prime intact forest in the heart of the NJ Highlands. THose forests are critical to many RTE species of plants, amphibians, reptiles and birds – that habitat will be destroyed. The land was purchased with Green Aces money for permanent protection, i.e. preservation. The prime objective of the Highlands Act was t preserve remaining large blocks f contiguous intact forests, not to LOG THEM!

    Logging is exempt from NJ DEP wetlands, stream buffer and Highlands regulations and the Highlands Regional Management Plan – these rules require 300 foot buffers and 1,000 feet for vernal ponds – logging will destroy those buffers.

    The golden wing warbler will not benefit, as NJ populations have largely hybridized with blue wing warbler – bog turtle? Are you kidding me? So, not only will the logging plan destroy habitat, reduce water quality and disrupt recreational use and enjoyment, IT WON”T WORK!

    This is a trojan horse developed to promote the interests of commercial logging, hunting and Audubon & DEP staff funding needs. It’s all about money – tell your members and readers the truth!

  2. bill wolfe says:

    Folks that would like to see photos of prior logging on SMWMA that would be gristly expanded, see:

    http://www.wolfenotes.com/2016/02/take-a-look-at-dep-audubon-forest-stewardship-on-sparta-mountain/

  3. Allison Cocuzzo says:

    I grew up in NJ and have been a resident of Beaver Lake in Hardyston for over 50 years. It is a great disappointment to discover that NJ Audubon is actively supporting this effort. I am very concerned about the plan’s potential impact on the lakes and the environment, and am surprised to learn that the plan does not need to follow the Highlands Act, which protects New Jersey’s canopy forest and the water supply. In contrast it will destroy the environmental integrity of this forested site, whose canopy helps maintain our clean drinking water. Logging will also cause erosion of the soil, increase runoff, flooding, and non-point source pollution. It will even harm the trout streams and could kill the trout. We believe the proposed Forest Stewardship Plan will essentially clear-cut Sparta Mountain’s forest even though it refers to a selective “Seed Tree System” of cutting. This plan will destroy critical natural resources, violate the objectives and goals of the Highlands Act, and go against the Regional Master Plan (RMP).

    This plan will destroy an important forest in the Highlands Region and get rid of its protections. The biggest threat to the region according to the Highlands Regional Master Plan is maintaining the forest’s edge, the alteration of habitat, and fragmentation. This proposed Forest Stewardship Plan for Sparta Mountain will actually increase fragmentation by clear cutting the forest and lead to water pollution. We have seen irreparable damage in forests after the project has ceased from logging practices that bring in heavy machinery from ruts, gullies, and other equipment.

    Logging operations will lead to more erosion and storm water runoff impacting pristine streams, reservoirs and aquatic ecosystems. Destroying the canopy forest will lead to a loss of biodiversity in our forests as more deer and invasive species take over. Invasive species infestations would require herbicide use which could impact sensitive streams and areas above reservoirs and water supply intakes. This plan is exempted from soil conservation plan in the Natural Resources and Conservation Service, which is problematic because there will be run-off and siltation coming off the site. Since the DEP Forest Stewardship Plan does not protect C1 streams, it will lead pollution in the Russia Brook, which is a DEP designated trout production C1 stream. Based on a study by the USGS, increases in sediment and temperature result in toxic effects of increased stream concentrations of nitrate and aluminum from logging runoff. The USGS also found that clear cuts caused 100% mortality of trout:

    We should not destroy an entire ecosystem to create habitat for one bird species (golden-winged warbler). One of the species that the Highlands currently protects is the neo-tropical song birds. There are 75 different species of these birds that would be impacted by the Sparta Mt. plan. These include endangered species like the Long Ear Bat, Northern Harrier, Pied-billed Grebe, Black Rail, and the Upland Sandpiper. These birds are not only losing habitat here, but also in South America where they come from. If forests are clear-cut, and fields are created for other species, it will impact those birds. Even more troubling is there is no guarantee that private interests like loggers will restore the land.

    In the past, we have seen logging in environmentally sensitive areas causing streams to run brown for years later and the runoff cannot be controlled. Opening up the canopy will allow invasive species to take over. This plan will threaten natural features like wetlands, waterways, threatened and endangered species habitat, and steep slopes. This plan does not address controlling invasive species, deer overgrazing, and maintaining the forest canopy, which are critical components of good forest management plan to maintain a native, diverse, and healthy forest ecosystem.

    This land was originally designated as High Conservation Value Forest by the Forest Stewardship Council, which means that it is not supposed to be logged. FSC decided to play political games without any public input or oversight by changing the characterization. It is outrageous that they can change this designation not based on any facts. What makes it even worse is that they can ignore the environmentally sensitivity of the site, so they can allow this property to be logged. FSC is a private non-governmental group that are too cozy with the timber industry.

    The New Jersey Sierra Club worked with many other groups to save this area from development and turn it into protected open space and it is held in the public trust. We are concerned that this plan will not only be environmentally destructive, but limit public access to trails and open space. The DEP must not allow the Mountain to be logged and you must withdraw this plan. The DEP should be protecting forests, not logging them. I would strongly suggest the plan be modified to follow the Highlands Act. We want the best long term plan for this wonderful region in our beloved New Jersey.

  4. DeLo says:

    When I walk in the woods I bring a plastic bag and pick up any garbage I see. Let’s keep our natural areas as pristine as possible and Mother Nature will do the rest!

  5. Katherine Evans says:

    Shame on you, CWF! You’ve been duped! Or, could it be….
    Propagandizing, or sheer ignorance?
    This plan is a disastrous scheme,a money grab and a political nightmare.
    This plan is ludicrous, the science is beyond flawed, the stakeholder contacts were non-existent. This is the antithesis of forest management.
    Shame on Audubon, Fish and Game, and unless you stop misleading the unwitting “Conserve Wildlife” followers, shame on you too!

  6. RT Walker says:

    February 26, 2016​​

    Richard T. Walker comment on the Sparta Mountain WMA Forest Stewardship Plan

    Prior to commenting, I wanted to take a look at what other “stakeholders” had commented. I clicked on the link and found one comment, which was from a biologist at the Ruffed Grouse Society, who is located in Pennsylvania. I’m not sure how that person or her organization is considered a “stakeholder” in this process, when people who have homes WITHIN THE BOUNDARIES of the WMA are not. The person who commented, did so in a letter dated prior to the release of the plan. Interesting. And so starts the tale of an “interesting” plan.

    I live in Sparta, NJ and have been coming to this region of New Jersey my entire life (52+ years). My family is lucky enough to own two houses on Beaver Lake in Hardyston. Beaver Lake is surrounded by the Sparta Mountain WMA. No one from Beaver Lake was notified by either the DEP or the Audubon Society of any impending plan, even though contractors for the Audubon Society were given access to the WMA by Beaver Lake’s board of directors. That seems rude to me. It makes me think that someone is trying to hide something. It starts things out on the wrong foot. A gentleman from the DEP mentioned at a meeting on Wednesday that the DEP wanted to be “good neighbors.” Good neighbors don’t go around making plans behind their neighbor’s backs. Interesting.

    I have attended the Sparta Town Council meeting, a meeting at a private home in Sparta with two representatives of the Audubon Society, and I recently attended the Hardyston Town Council meeting. The one word that I have come up with to describe what I have heard at these three meetings is, “disingenuous.” (The definition is: “not straightforward or genuine.”)

    Need an example? At the private meeting at the Sparta residence a representative of the Audubon Society mentioned that if we cut down a portion of trees, and there was some incident – a blight, perhaps, any damage would be lessened because there were less trees there. The comment gave me pause, and I asked something like this, “So if we have 100 trees, and we cut down 50, and then there is a blight, are you saying that when those remaining 50 trees die, there will be less of an impact? 100-50-50 still equals 0.” Interesting and disingenuous.

    Another example? At that same private meeting a representative of the Audubon Society mentioned that if they used 300-foot setbacks from water, rather than the 25-foot setbacks described in the plan, only 5.8 acres of Beaver Lake property would be at risk of being effected, and that the chance of that occurring was minimal – basically saying that if they moved the setbacks to 300 feet, Beaver Lake would be untouched. At the meeting in Hardyston, he changed that to mean that the 300-foot setback would TOTAL 5.8 acres. Either way, it is a moot point, as Beaver Lake owns the land around the lake – it is private property. The issue does become important when looking at the streams that run into Beaver Lake. As erosion is significantly increased (reportedly up to 25% more in the first few years – the plan runs for 10 years, so the erosion will be constant, but from different locations, apparently), that erosion may end up in Beaver Lake. Beaver Lake recently completed a hydro-raking program to help eliminate plant growth from the Lake. Sediment in the Lake would be detrimental to Lake activities, and the actual life of the Lake. Let me mention, that the hydro-raking project was done with private funds. Will the DEP or Audubon Society be willing to guarantee that sediment from their activities will pose no risk to enter Beaver Lake? If the sediment does enter Beaver Lake, will DEP and the Audubon Society pay for the cleanup? What would be the cost to homeowners?

    Final example: One gentleman was concerned that his property and family might be a little too close for comfort while there neighboring woods were burned. The gentleman from the Audubon Society claimed that there was very little chance that it would actually occur. If there is little chance that it would occur, why is it in the plan? Similarly, the same gentleman kept quoting averages as to how much may be cut. Those averages seemed to be WAY off from what the plan says is the maximum. From reading the plan, it appears that up to 20% of the WMA could be cut.

    (The representative of the Audubon Society said that they were changing the way they were thinking about things, and the project. If that is true, the plan needs to be re-done completely. If it’s not true, the word disingenuous comes back to mind.)

    The reason that I am concerned with sediment runoff is because I live across the street from Upper Lake Mohawk. I have lived there for the past 3 summers. I have yet to go into the Lake, as it has been shut down due to a similar hydro-raking project. How does that affect home values? Let’s be honest, it drags them down – no one wants to live on a lake that they cannot enjoy and is an eyesore! In addition to the hydro-raking at Upper Lake Mohawk, new drainage had to be installed to separate the sediment from the water entering the lake. The drains need to be cleared of sediment a few times a year. This is not an inexpensive project. Imagine if Beaver Lake had to do the same thing! Would the State foot the bill?

    So let’s get to the points:

    1. Without any kind of Environmental Impact Statement, no chainsaw should have been lifted since 2012. Of course, there has already been cutting going on at an unknown cost. Cutting needs to stop, while someone finds out exactly what is going on. There were way to many “may”, “could” or “might’s” used in both the Audubon and DEP presentations. If you don’t know – don’t act. It is irresponsible to do otherwise.
    2. The plan should work within the constraints of the Highlands Act, and the intents of the Highland’s Council’s Regional Master Plan. There is no reason that we shouldn’t have development within 300 feet of a stream, but allow trees to be cleared, causing sediment to enter the same stream.
    3. What are the economic costs of the plan? A feasibility study is usually done to determine that. I don’t see one. Why not? What is the cost to our infrastructure? Who will bear the cost of repairs? What is the effect on real estate values? The part that does speak to economics mentions that the money would be used for “green jobs.” Cutting down trees is now considered to be a “green job?”
    4. There should be full disclosure of the arrangement between DEP and the Audubon Society. Is there federal or state grant money involved? How much? If there is no plan, is there no grant money given?
    5. There should be full disclosure of the bidding process for the work. How much will be paid to the loggers? How much will they be able to sell the trees for? What is their profit margin? How many bidders are there for the work? Why was the winner chosen?
    6. Part of the plan calls for a burn very close to a neighborhood in Sparta. Didn’t anyone think that would raise red flags with the townspeople? What alternatives are there?
    7. The plan calls for the use of pesticides in certain areas for certain purposes. Why? How can our safety, and the safety of our water be guaranteed?
    8. “The Golden Winged Warbler is a Trojan Horse,” was a comment at the Hardyston Township meeting. Even if we could save the Warbler locally, are temperatures driving them to cooler climates anyway? Have the Warbler been mating with other species, eliminating it in this region already? What other species will be affected in a negative manor. I did some quick research – between 150 and 200 species of plants, bugs and animals become extinct every 24 hours. There is no stopping nature.
    9. Nature is the best caretaker for the environment. One of the things that rubbed me the wrong way was that the so-called experts seemed to think that they knew better. Unfortunately, they didn’t even know what they were going to cut, and based on the reactions to those cuts, where they would go next. For an 87-page plan, there are still too many unknowns. They need to say, “We are going to cut here, and we expect this result. If we don’t get that result, we will do this. If that doesn’t get the desired result, we will do this.” There are still too many unknowns. Maybe a 10-year plan is too ambitious. Why not make it shorter, to be able to react and change if necessary? Doesn’t that seem more prudent? Not doing so makes me wonder about the money – who is getting paid, for how long, etc.
    10. How will the areas be protected in the future? How will the roads used be put back to the way they were in the past? Who will police the area? I know the gentleman from the DEP said that the State has enforcement officials. Where are they now? The place is overrun by ATV’s and dirt bikes, which are not permitted in the first place.
    11. The plan is too open-ended. There are too many questions left unanswered.

    In summation, I admit that I do not have all of the answers. I wish that the NJDEP and NJ Audubon Society would admit the same, and not act until they were sure of the answers.

  7. Susan Dorward says:

    Before you submit a comment, please review the Highlands Coalition’s alerts. Their highly qualified experts have thoroughly reviewed the plan. Their mission is to protect the Highlands. http://www.njhighlandscoalition.org/HTML/alerts.html

  8. Barbara says:

    To the New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection,
    Please accept the following comments in support of adoption and implementation of the Sparta Mountain Wildlife Management Area Forest Stewardship plan. This new plan builds on an existing plan that has been under implementation for several years. The new plan seeks to addresses the long-term health of the forest and the critically important lack of young forest habitat by working to create new young forest habitat patches over the next ten years. In addition, the plan includes explicit goals to protect and enhance hydrologic resources, monitoring of priority wildlife populations, provide compatible wildlife recreational opportunities and adherence to strict third party certification principles and criteria. This plan is important because the resident and migratory birds, mammals, reptiles and amphibians that rely on young forest habitat are struggling to maintain themselves in places they were once commonly found. Throughout the Northeast, young forest habitat has diminished as forestland has been converted to development and abandoned farms and homesteads have matured to woodlands. As a consequence, a wide variety of wildlife have experienced the loss of the scrubby, patchy, disturbed portions of the forest that they rely on for food and cover.
    With the “out- of -control” development in New Jersey, preservation and stewardship of land is essential. The enormous increase in housing developments and shopping plazas not only destroys habitat for plants and animals, but also has negative impact on humans. For example the increase in asphalt has caused an increase in flooding because there is nowhere for the water to go. It’s time to start valuing wildlife, nature and health as we did in the 70’s and 80’s.

  9. Melissa says:

    I grew up in NJ and have been a resident of Beaver Lake in Hardyston for over 50 years. It is a great disappointment to discover that NJ Audubon is actively supporting this effort. I am very concerned about the plan’s potential impact on the lakes and the environment, and am surprised to learn that the plan does not need to follow the Highlands Act, which protects New Jersey’s canopy forest and the water supply

  10. Ken Duffy says:

    This is one of the most idiotic ideas. Haven’t we learned from the past? They don’t log, they clear cut. The erosion is horrific, there is no habitat for anything and it’s 20 years for a reforestation. Somebody’s pockets are being lined……it’s a horrific scam and a shame this is trying to be forced upon us. I have been a resident at Beaver Lake for 57 years and always loved the outdoors, wildlife and peacefulness the woods offer. I wish all parties involved rethink this and follow the Highlands Act.

  11. Bill Wolfe says:

    Do you respond to comments on this blog? Seems ilk many legitimate issues have been raised.

    I was architect of DEP’s Category 1 stream designation and 300 buffer program as well as drafted the environmental sections of the Highlands Act.

    If conserve Wildlife staff or members – or NJ Audubon – would like to learn about or debate the criticism I have, please see these 9 posts – then bring it on:

    http://www.wolfenotes.com/2016/02/christie-dep-managing-state-parks-public-lands-forests-as-cash-cows/

  12. Bill Wolfe says:

    ps – I was told that NJ Audubon is deleting critical posts from their FaceBook page – I can see why!

  13. Diana Huston says:

    I have been a resident at Beaver Lake New Jersey for 63 years. I have walked the forests surrounding Beaver Lake and Lake Gerard. I am shocked and disturbed that groups such as yours and the Audubon Society are supporting a plan that will obviously devastate these pristene and healthy forests in order to . . . . Preserve the habitat of a bird????? A wood turtle? Seems a bit counterproductive to me. Destroy trees for a bird and a WOOD turtle? In the process, irreparable damage will be done to the environs of Sparta Mountain.

    There are quite a few experts who have found a good deal of fault with this plan. Lack of evidence supporting the benefit of this proposed plan is only one criticism. How is it that this plan does not have to follow the Highlands Act? This plan will adversely affect the streams and lakes in the area. You don’t have to be a scientist to see that there is some other reasons that this “forest stewardship” plan is being proposed. None of the stakeholders in the area were informed of this plan, and it is obvious why. Because this is a horrible plan that has nothing to do with preserving or protecting wildlife and everything to do with, what . . . Perhaps there is some money to be made???

    Diana Huston

  14. Kelly Triece says:

    Thank you for your concern about the Sparta Mountain WMA Forest Stewardship Plan. CWF supports the Plan, which aims to create a mosaic of forest structures through uneven-age management, and provide habitat for many rare wildlife species found in Sparta WMA. The Plan aims to manage 3-10% of the WMA for early successional habitat over a ten year period. To balance the maximum 10% early successional habitat, about 10% of the property is also being managed for old-growth forest. This means 110-310 acres out of about 3,4000 acres are being managed for early successional forest habitat.

    What is early successional habitat? Early successional habitats are young forests, with vigorously growing grasses, forbs, shrubs and trees which provide excellent food and cover for wildlife. In a naturally occurring system, fire, wind, flooding and other disturbances create early successional habitat periodically. Historical records indicate up to 10% of northeastern United States remained in early successional habitat, as part of the pre-settlement landscape. The Sparta WMA Plan aims to mimic these naturally occurring systems and create 3-10% early successional habitat at Sparta WMA.

    Overall, New Jersey has just under 2 million forested acres, but 90% of our forests are between 21 to 119 years old and lack the structural diversity the species needs. While most of Sparta Mountain does have stands (sections of forest) aging between 60-99 years old, it does not contain any completely intact forest pockets that were not deforested during the 19th and 20th century.

    Stands that are targeted for early successional habitat management at Sparta WMA, aim to create habitat for the Golden-winged Warbler (GWWA). This management of early successional habitat, or young forest, is important because it provides breeding habitat for the Golden-winged Warbler (GWWA), a state endangered bird, and other wildlife species. GWWA are Neo-tropical songbirds, and they migrate to North America every spring and summer to breed. They have specific breeding habitat requirements, typically openings or gaps within forests, often with wetland features, in areas with more than 70% forest cover in the surrounding landscape. The Golden-winged Warbler is not the only scrub-shrub dependent bird species considered to be “at-risk”. Currently, 85% of shrub obligate birds and 35% of forest birds are on the decline in North America. Some of these declining species include Prairie Warbler, Field Sparrow, Northern Bobwhite and American Woodcock. Many of these species on the decline rely on young forest habitat for breeding or post-fledging. Forest sites in New Jersey currently managed for early successional habitat have a statistically significant higher diversity of birds than unmanaged sites.

    The GWWA harvests, like those proposed in the Plan aim to regenerate shade-intolerant oak species and other common associates, while creating wildlife habitat. Currently these stands are overcrowded, even age stands with little regeneration or understory After a GWWA harvest, regeneration occurs quickly and many herbaceous plants, like sedges, fobs and ferns, quickly colonize the sites within the first growing season.

    Creating canopy openings in the forest, often done by means of a timber harvest in strategic areas of the forest, encourages young forest habitat development. This increased forest diversity offers not only better conditions for the Golden-winged Warbler, but also improvement of the health of the forest and its suitability for a multitude of wildlife, plants and pollinators. The stands targeted for early successional habitat management do not have high amounts of invasive plants currently, and therefore are not expected to generate increased invasive plants.

    The Plan will follow New Jersey best management practices for forestry and wetlands, which will ensure protection of rare wildlife in wetlands and minimize disturbance. For example, the Plan will retain post-harvest slash and brush piles. This will reduce soil erosion, return nutrients to the soil during decomposition and prevent over-browse by mammals. The Plan also includes a vegetated wetland buffer to maintain suitable habitat for the adult, terrestrial life stage of wildlife including reptiles, salamanders, frogs, and insects.

    -Kelly Triece
    Biologist
    Conserve Wildlife Foundation

 
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