Wild Fire Hazard Reduction Projects
The USDA Forest Service is administering the ARRA Wildfire Hazard Reduction funds through a competitive grant process for work on state and private lands for hazardous fuels reduction, forest health and ecosystem improvement activities.  $250 million will be provided for projects on a nationally completive basis.  New Jersey submitted 35 projects, of which eight have made the regional cut.  However, none of the projects in New Jersey were ultimately funded. 

The following are the eight New Jersey projects were submitted to the competitive grant process: 
  • Hazard Fuel Mitigation and Ecosystem Restoration (3)
    Hazard Fuel Mitigation and Ecosystem Restoration (3)
    Three projects are proposed to reduce the hazardous level of forest fuels through forest thinning treatments. The projects will be conducted in Peaslee Wildlife Management Area (WMA) located in Cumberland County and in the East Plains fireshed located in Ocean and Burlington Counties. The Oswego Road and Garden State Parkway projects in the East Plains fireshed propose to use forest thinning to create a fuel break along the established rights-of-way to protect adjacent communities from the dangers of wildfire. The Peaslee WMA project will use forest thinning to reduce wildfire hazard and restore habitat for rare, early successional plant and animal species.
    Stimulus funding requested: $400,000 for contractual services to implement the wildfire hazard reduction management plans.
  • Hazard Tree Assessment and Removal
    Hazard Tree Assessment and Removal
    Project proposed will fund an assessment of hazardous trees located along roadways and trails, recreational sites, campgrounds and cabin sites and other facility locations in the following State Parks and Forests: Allaire State Park, Monmouth County, Stokes State Forest and High Point State Park, Sussex County, Brendan T. Byrne State Forest, Burlington County, Bass River State Forest, Burlington and Ocean Counties and Wharton State Forest covering parts of Camden, Burlington and Atlantic Counties. The areas prioritized are those hard hit by gypsy moth, gouty oak gall, canker worm and orange stripped oak worm covering 219,000 acres of State property. Dead and dying trees that pose a threat to human safety will be removed and the useable wood will be utilized/marketed to stimulate New Jersey’s forest product market.
    Stimulus funding requested: $750,000 for contractual services for the assessment and tree removal.
  • NJ Community Stewardship Incentive Program – Small Business
    NJ Community Stewardship Incentive Program – Small Business
    Project proposed will provide funds for the improvement of New Jersey’s Urban and Community Forest health through a competitive grant program to New Jersey’s 137 communities that have an approved community forest management plan and are in active status. A list of eligible communities may be obtained by contacting the Department of Environmental Protection’s Community Forestry Program at 609 292-2532. Approved practices will include projects for tree planting and maintenance, hazard tree identification and mitigation, and updating existing management plans. The project will create and sustain private sector jobs by requiring the grant recipients to hire small businesses in the tree care and forestry industries to accomplish on-the-ground projects.
    Stimulus funding requested: $1,105,000 for grants to communities with an approved management plan.
  • Ballanger Creek Enhancement
    Ballanger Creek Enhancement
    Project funds would be dedicated to the establishment of grasslands habitat as well as to enhance wetland habitats in the Mullica River Watershed. Ballanger Creek feeds into the Mullica River estuarine system. The project site is located in Burlington County. The surrounding forested habitat is mostly unfragmented and comprised of pine-oak woodlands and emergent saltwater marsh. Restoration of the creek and field would enhance suitable habitat for a potential array of species of wildlife including migratory songbirds, colonial water birds, raptors and other non-target species. Warm season grasses provide wildlife food and help stabilize critical watersheds and related ecosystems.
    Stimulus funding requested: $195,240 for the enhancement of 21.6 acres of this critical watershed ecosystem.
  • Tree Seedling Survival Project
    Tree Seedling Survival Project
    Project funding is requested to support the production of tree and shrub species recommended for use in wetland habitat restoration projects by the State’s best management practice manuals. Projects will include improvements to the State Forest Nursery, which produces native tree seedlings for reforestation, afforestation and forest restoration projects statewide. Funding will be provided to local contractors for selected projects that will improve the survival rate of seedlings as well as support the establishment of a seed orchard to supply locally grown native tree seed.
    Stimulus funding requested: $150,000 for contractual services.
  • Wood Energy Market Development
    Wood Energy Market Development
    Project funds would be awarded as grants. The projects would be modeled similar to the New Jersey Forest Service Asian Long-Horned Beetle (ALB) eradication project where infested and host species trees were harvested and chipped to produce 15,000 tons of woodchips and utilized for energy production at a resource recovery plant located within the quarantined area. This project would seek to create a partnership between various state agencies, county resource recovery facilities and woodchip producers to promote the utilization of biomass energy from projects such as: hazard fuel reduction thinning; insect and disease control harvests; and urban forest tree maintenance projects. Resource recovery plants with sufficient capacities are located in Camden, Essex, Gloucester, Union and Warren Counties and would be targeted with a goal to produce 180 mv of electricity from biomass. Grants would be awarded through participating counties to provide woodchip transportation incentives to producers, as well as biomass utilization incentives for resource recovery facilities that may have to pay higher permitting and handling costs.
    Stimulus funding requested: $475,000 for grants to participating partners.