No more logging on Sparta Mtn

We must STOP the logging of our best healthy forests, and advocate for NO Removal of Timber of our Public Lands. The Proposed plan for Sparta Mtn Stand 18 for 2022-2023 needs to be abandoned. There is a unmarked stream which feeds into Russia Brook a C1 stream in northern New Jersey. There are state endangered and threatened species nearby like the Red-shouldered Hawk and Barred Owl that need the forest canopy left intact and unfragmented.

NJ must have areas of public lands, like our Natural Heritage Priority Sites and High Conservation Value Forests, like Sparta Mountain, that should be allowed to grow and mature on their own, without our intervention. There are peer reviewed studies on the benefits of Proforestation and this too should be a guiding principle of consensus with the taskforce that Senator Bob Smith has created. Here's some peer reviewed work; Frontiers Intact Forest in the United States: Proforestation Mitigates Climate Change and Serves the Greatest Good

Furthermore, to “create habitat by logging” in areas where there are already imperiled and special concern species, that require the intact canopy, is a harmful practice. The negative consequences of destruction of the intact canopy is being ignored and demonstrates a disingenuous nature of many of the current forestry plans. This incorrect practice runs counter to all good science and points to the flawed nature of the "creating habitat, by destroying habitat" nature of the current and very harmful forestry practices of our state lands. This practice must end, as much irreparable ecological harm is being done(irreparable damages to vernal pool ecosystems, severe soil compaction, inversion, and rutting of 2-4 feet has been documented already).

We respectfully ask the NJDEP Division of Fish and Wildlife to abandon the proposed forestry plan on Sparta Mtn and to focus instead in areas of post agricultural and brownfields for creation of early successional habitat with no removal of timber.

Thank you,

Concerned Citizens of New Jersey

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