1,038-ACRE WETLANDS COMPLEX IN SUSSEX COUNTY
Property Will Become
Wildlife Management Area
(05/14) TRENTON -- Highlighting the importance of preserving
wetlands, Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) Commissioner
Bradley M. Campbell today announced the acquisition of the Hyponex
Corporation site in Andover, Hampton and Lafayette Townships and
the Town of Newton in Sussex County, New Jersey. DEP will manage
the 1,038-acre property for hunting, fishing, birding and other
passive recreational activities.
“The Hyponex tract’s extensive wetlands complement
DEP’s existing preservation projects along the Paulinskill
and provide a critical waterfowl breeding and migration habitat,”
said Acting Governor Richard J. Codey.
The Hyponex Corporation site contains significant water resources
and wetlands. The property is in the headwaters of the Paulinskill,
which drains into the Delaware River and the Delaware and Raritan
Canal. The Paulinskill also is a popular trout fishing destination
and breeding ground for dwarf-edged mussel, which require pristine
The Hyponex property consists predominantly of wetlands, including
wooded swamps, bogs and impoundments, and supports endangered
plants including the pear hawthorn, rush aster and bog rosemary.
The 20-mile Sussex Branch Trail and the 27-mile long Paulinskill
Valley Trail, both of which are part of the State Trails System,
traverse or border portions of the Hyponex site.
“Preserving wetlands prevents flooding and drinking water
contamination and provides critical habitat for wildlife,”
said Commissioner Campbell. “The acquisition of this new
wildlife management area is a victory for the protection of wetlands
and a great opportunity for New Jersey’s hunters, fisherman
The preservation of the Hyponex property will protect the habitat
of a variety of wildlife species. The site is habitat to waterfowl
including ducks, geese, and swans, wading birds such as herons
and egrets, and shorebirds like the spotted sandpiper. The site
also supports the threatened wood turtle and the endangered bog
turtle and red-shoulder hawk. In addition, muskrat, beaver, raccoon,
fox, deer and bear can be found at the property.
“The Hyponex property hosts the Noah’s Ark of Skylands
wildlife,” said Eric Stiles, New Jersey Audubon Society’s
Vice President for Conservation. “This property will provide
a unique, high quality experience for the over 2 million people
who watch wildlife in New Jersey annually. In 2001, wildlife watchers
spent over $2 billion in New Jersey, underscoring the message
that conservation is also good business.”
Settling longstanding federal wetlands violations at the preserved
site, Hyponex Corporation undertook an extensive wetlands restoration
project that mitigated the effects of previous peat and muck soil
mining. In addition, Hyponex provided DEP a $125,000 endowment
fund to be used for management of the property’s natural
DEP purchased the $1,900,000 property from Hyponex Corporation
with $1,400,000 in Green Acres Program state acquisition funding
and $500,000 from the DEP Waterfowl Stamp Program.
The DEP Waterfowl Stamp Program uses revenue from the sale of
state waterfowl stamps and prints to purchase wetlands, which
serve as waterfowl habitat. To date, proceeds from the sale of
New Jersey's duck stamps and prints have raised more than $3.9
million to acquire more than 14,000 acres of wetlands for waterfowl
habitat and public use.
The DEP Green Acres Program purchases land to protect environmentally
sensitive open space, water resources and other significant natural
and historical open space. Land acquired becomes part of the statewide
system of parks and forest, wildlife management areas and natural
In 2004, the Green Acres Program acquired 23,237 acres of open
space. To date, Green Acres has protected 686,745 acres of open
space and provided funding to develop hundreds of parks statewide.
The statewide system of preserved open space and farmland totals
almost 1.3 million acres.