In accordance with the July 2021 Addendum, forest management activities planned for next year (2023/24) is now open for comment. Please email comments to email@example.com by March 31, 2023.
As outlined in the 2017 Sparta Mountain WMA Forest Stewardship Plan, forest management activities in the form of a modified seed tree prescription will be implemented on 10 acres within Stands 7 and 8 next fall/winter (November 2023 – March 2024). This prescription will likely retain around 20 sq. ft. of basal area per acre across the 10-acre site to allow for the growth of young oak and hickory trees, blackberries, sedges, and a variety of other native shrub and sapling plants. This will also create breeding and/or foraging habitat for the 80 different bird species that have been observed using other managed sites on Sparta Mountain WMA, as well as help regenerate oak forests.
Trees to be retained will likely be the co-dominant or dominant size classes that are of good vigor for longevity. In some instances we may retain clusters of trees – some of which may not fit the above description if they have high wildlife value (i.e. stems with advanced decay, cavities or exfoliating bark). Desirable trees that are underrepresented in the area (e.g. white oak and black cherry) may also be retained for diversity purposes. Additionally, white ash stems that do not already exhibit characteristics of Emerald Ash Borer infestation may be preserved to retain genetic diversity in the event those individuals are resistant to the insect.
Maps of the draft location are below.
Please note the draft location depicted in the maps is about 17.5 acres in size and in compliance with the site-selection criteria (outside the buffers) outlined in the July 2021 Addendum to the approved 2017 Sparta Mountain WMA Forest Stewardship Plan. Management activities this winter, however, will occur only on 10 acres within the designated 17.5-acre area. The boundaries of the 10-acre boundary where management activities will occur will be finalized after March 31, 2023. Due to contract procedures and costs, and as identified in the 2021 Addendum, once the location is field marked no further comments or changes can be entertained.
Work will begin on or after November 16, 2023, and all tree felling will be completed by or before March 31, 2024. Any tree stands, blinds, or other items remaining in this area when work begins will be removed. For safety reasons, this area will be temporarily closed to unauthorized personnel while work is being conducted.
This information can also be found on our website: https://dep.nj.gov/njfw/sparta/updates-upcoming-activities/