Protect Our NJ Forests: Oppose timber extraction on our public lands!

Sparta Mountain WMA, NJ (May 2021)

Oppose the series of Bills moving through the NJ Legislature that will change how we protect New Jersey’s forests

What is happening?

In New Jersey forest stewardship has come to be a catch all term for forestry that includes cutting large swaths of New Jersey's oldest intact forest on state preserved lands. Many Forest Stewardship Plans are paid for by the sale of timber from a site being managed. This coupling of conservation and contract logging is incredibly problematic, especially on our public lands.

The impacts of mechanized logging, as a component of so called “Forest Stewardship” is devastating to the ecological values of our public forests. There are five Bills before the Senate Environment and Energy Committee and the Assembly Appropriations Committee that promote unnecessary and destructive timber management operations that threaten New Jersey’s public forests. In their current drafts these Bills do nothing to ensure needed stewardship, and instead enable logging and single interest management on our public lands.

Together these Bills will open up our preserved lands, held in the public trust, to timber extraction, by mandating Forest Stewardship Plans to be prepared for all forested public lands at an enormous cost to land managers, prevent municipal oversight and public participation in the the preparation and implementation of the Plans, and require an arbitrary minimum number of acres of prescribed burns every year, while circumventing the regional authority charged with managing forests in the Pinelands.

What’s really at stake here?

  • New Jersey's oldest, most established forests will be targeted for timber extraction.

  • Our hiking trails and the wonderful viewsheds we enjoy will be severely impacted when heavy machinery is brought into the forest and clearcutting commences.

  • The health and quality of our water supplies will be compromised when excessive disturbance happens on preserved watershed lands.

  • New Jersey's older maturing forests are one of our best defences against the worst impacts of climate change for their enormous potential to sequester dangerous carbon emissions. We should not be trying to to log them!

What can we do about it?

Use the letter writing tool provided here to urge the Legislators sponsoring these Bills and those sitting on the Committees reviewing them to terminate them immediately.

Instead of this misdirected agenda to expand forest stewardship, New Jersey residents support alternative legislation that would protect and enhance our forests for their recreational value; unique ecology and varied biodiversity; as well as forests' important contribution to climate change mitigation, and the vitality of our clean drinking water supplies!

- Click here to read about our concerns with each Bill

- Click here to read our organizational sign-on letter to the Bills' Sponsors, the Senate Environment & Energy Committee, and the Assembly Appropriations Committee opposing this series of legislation.

Letter Campaign by
Zachary Cole
New Vernon, New Jersey