March 20, 2014
The NJDEP Division of Fish and Wildlife's Bureau of Land Management has hired a Morris County contractor to harvest 5 acres of sawlogs and firewood on Sparta Mountain Wildlife Management Area beginning this month. The site (see map) is intended to create habitat for imperiled species like the golden-winged warbler which need the dense structure of reverting forest interspersed with shrubs and herbaceous vegetation in order to nest.
Many species of birds are "shrub specialists", and like the golden-winged warbler, require early successional habitat for nesting. Many other bird and wildlife species also use dense, early successional forest for feeding and cover. The bird has historically nested in the region, especially along powerline rights-of-way, and in recent years its numbers have plummeted. It was designated as a state endangered species in 2012.
The Division has partnered with NJ Audubon Society to implement habitat improvement projects on Sparta Mt WMA. This small harvest is a continuation of a project begun in 2012 to improve habitat adjacent to the powerline right-of-way for the golden-winged warbler. For more information on the harvest, contact Miriam Dunne of the Bureau of Land Management at Miriam.Dunne@dep.state.nj.us.