Monday, February 13, 2017
Plan to Cut Trees in Sparta Mountain Wildlife Management Area Becomes Controversial
The NJ Department of Environmental Protection, in conjunction with the New Jersey Audubon Society, have put forward a plan to cut roughly 20 to 30 acres on Sparta Mountain annually. Opponents of the state’s plan to cut acres of trees in the Sparta Mountain Wildlife Management Area have come out strongly against the plan.
The state feels it is necessary to cut timber in order to diversify the forest and create “young forest habitat” that endangered species in the area need to thrive.
Opponents see the plan as a logging scheme disguised as a forest stewardship plan. They also feel that removal of the trees threatens an area of land that provides a large percentage of water for the state.
A meeting in late January at the Franklin Firehouse was sponsored by the Friends of Sparta Mountain group, which included environmental speakers as well as Sen. Raymond Lesniak (D-Elizabeth).
The plan would encompass 3,400 acres of land within the townships of Sparta, Ogdensburg, and Hardyston in Sussex County and Jefferson Township in Morris County.