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Sparta Mountain WMA – Minimize Impact

Sparta Mountain WMA – Minimize Impact

Minimize Impact

Sparta Mountain WMA

As DEP’s biologists and foresters, we work every day to foster a healthy environment. When we perform work in the forest, we make sure the impact is minimal and that the ecosystem is not only restored quickly, but also has greater value than it did before the management.

Water, a Forest Product

Forests and water are interconnected. We take the following steps to ensure the water that flows through the forest is protected:

1. Follow Best Management Practices

The activities are conducted in accordance with the NJ Wetlands Best Management Practices Manual, the state-wide guide which standardizes the methods, measures, and practices used to protect, maintain, and preserve water quality.

2. Keep wetlands activities small-scale

The activities are small in scale and they do not obstruct the water flow.

3. No clear-cuts in the wetlands

The work does not consist of clear-cuts in a wetland, exempt under certain circumstances deemed necessary by the New Jersey Forest Service to regenerate the stand.

4. Address any impact to sensitive wetlands wildlife or plants

We address any potential impacts to wetlands-dependent threatened or endangered species.

5. Proceed after New Jersey Forest Service approval

The Forest Management or Stewardship Plan’s prescribed activities, including wetlands activities, are reviewed and approved by the New Jersey Forest Service. NJ DEP proceeds with the activities only after this approval.

NJ DEP consults with the USDA Forest Service’s Natural Resources Conservation Service to ensure our methods have no negative effects on soil erosion or water quality. In addition, we have expanded buffers near concerned communities and to protect water quality.

Rare and Endangered Plants

DEP’s policy is that activities on state lands be consistent with the protection and preservation of rare biodiversity, forest resources, and cultural resources.

New Jersey Fish and Wildlife performed preliminary field surveys for endangered and rare plants in 2013 and 2014, and the NJ DEP Office of Natural Lands Management followed up with addition plant surveys in 2017 and 2018. These surveys identified locations of rare plants and revealed a highly diverse forest flora in the Sparta Mountain WMA.

Site-specific practice plans will incorporate rare plant occurrence data to ensure that management activities will not impact the plants or their habitats. Before any activities are performed at Sparta Mountain, multiple agencies within NJ DEP review the activities to determine adverse impacts to a variety of resources.

DEP’s policy is that activities on state lands be consistent with the protection and preservation of rare biodiversity, forest resources, and cultural resources.

Sparta Mountain WMA

Rare, Threatened, & Endangered Plants

Scientific NameCommon NameState Status
Anemone cylindricaLong-head AnemoneEndangered
Aplectrum hyemalePuttyrootEndangered
Asclepias quadrifoliaFour-leaf Milkweed
Aster urophyllusArrow-leaf Aster
Bromus ciliatus var. ciliatusFringed Brome
Calla palustrisWild Calla
Carex aggregataGlomerate Sedge
Ceratophyllum echinatumSpiny CoontailEndangered
Chenopodium simplexMaple-leaf Goosefoot
Desmodium cuspidatum var. cuspidatumToothed Tick-trefoil
Dicentra canadensisSquirrel-cornEndangered
Doellingeria infirmaCornel-leaf Aster
Elymus trachycaulusSlender WheatgrassEndangered
Epilobium leptophyllumBog Willowherb
Equisetum sylvaticumWoodland Horsetail
Eragrostis frankiiFrank’s Love Grass
Galium trifidum var. trifidumSmall Bedstraw
Glyceria grandis var. grandisAmerican Manna GrassEndangered
Juncus articulatusJointed Rush
Juniperus communis var. depressaDwarf Juniper
Kalmia polifoliaPale-laurelEndangered
Lactuca hirsuta var. sanguineaRed-stem Hairy Lettuce
Lechea intermedia var. intermediaLarge-pod Pinweed
Lilium philadelphicum var. philadelphicumWood Lily
Lycopodium hickeyiHickey’s Ground-pine
Lysimachia thyrsifloraTufted Loosestrife
Milium effusumTall Millet GrassEndangered
Panicum oligosanthes var. scribnerianumScribner’s Panic Grass
Phegopteris connectilisNorthern Beech Fern
Platanthera psycodesPurple Fringed Orchid
Poa languidaDrooping Spear Grass
Potamogeton obtusifoliusBlunt-leaf PondweedEndangered
Potamogeton robbinsiiRobbin’s Pondweed
Salix lucida ssp. lucidaShining Willow
Selaginella rupestrisRock Spike-moss
Sphagnum angustifoliumSphagnumEndangered
Sphagnum fuscumSphagnum
Sphagnum subsecundumSphagnumEndangered
Sphagnum teresSphagnum
Spiranthes ochroleucaYellowish Nodding Ladies’-tresses
Utricularia intermediaFlat-leaf Bladderwort
Utricularia minorLesser BladderwortEndangered
Vaccinium oxycoccosSmall Cranberry

After management, we keep an eye out for:

Deer browse

Deer browse refers to what deer eat—the leaves,twigs, and buds of a variety of plants. To help regeneration of the young plants on the management sites, we work to keep deer browse to a minimum.

Browse will be carefully analyzed on a parcel by parcel basis in order to alter management strategies when necessary.

Invasive Plant Species

As invasive exotic species pose a threat to native plants and wildlife, we will monitor for invasive species populations during the project. Fortunately, we have found low occurrences of Invasive plant species in management areas, if present at all. If needed, herbicide application will be done by licensed applicators following strict protocols. We use treatment methods which directly target individual plants. These techniques use minimal herbicide with little to no residual herbicide migrating into the soil.

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Department of Environmental Protection
P. O. Box 420
Trenton, NJ 08625
Last Update: August 2nd, 2022