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Sparta Mountain WMA Forest Management Updates and Upcoming Activities

 

July 12, 2021 Update:

In accordance with the July 2021 Addendum and the approved 2017 Sparta Mountain WMA Forest Stewardship Plan, forest management activities in the form of a shelterwood prescription will occur on 10 acres within Stand 9 this fall/winter (November 2021 - March 2022). This shelterwood prescription will likely retain about 20-30 large trees per acre and a residual basal area averaging around 40-50 square feet per acre. Links to the draft maps are below.

Stand 9a Draft Map (jpg, 805kb)
Stand 9a Draft Map Close (jpg, 763 kb)
Stand 9a Draft Map Close Buffers (jpg, 1mb)

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.

July 9, 2021 Update:

The addendum to the 2017 Sparta Mountain WMA Forest Stewardship Plan has been finalized and can be found here.

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2021 COMPLETED ACTIVITY

February 5, 2021 Update:

Year 3 (2019-20) activities outlined in the approved Sparta Mountain WMA Forest Stewardship Plan (pdf, 39mb) will begin on or about February 12, 2021. Young forest restoration will occur on approximately 9.2 acres in Stand 12. 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.

The objective of this restoration is to open the forest canopy to allow for the growth of young oak and hickory trees, blackberries, sedges, and a variety of other shrubs and sapling species. This will creating breeding and/or foraging habitat for the 80 different bird species that have been observed using other managed sites on Sparta Mountain WMA. This management will also help regenerate the oak forests, which are being replaced by shade-tolerant trees less suited to warmer conditions expected with climate change.
Stand 12 Forestry Practice Plan - (pdf, 4.2mb)
Stand 12 Location Map

2020 COMPLETED ACTIVITY

Stand 8 Young Forest Restoration: The Division continued to work with NJ Highlands Coalition and Friends of Sparta Mountain/NJ Forest Watch while still meeting the objective to restore young oak-hickory forest. To meet these objectives, we opened the canopy to allow for the growth of young oak and hickory trees, blackberries, sedges, and a variety of other shrubs and sapling species, thus creating breeding and/or foraging habitat for more than 60 different bird species, including the endangered Golden-winged Warbler. Approximately 9.1 acres were treated.
Stand 8 Practice Plan and Maps (pdf, 6.0mb)

2019 COMPLETED ACTIVITY

Stand 18 Young Forest Restoration: The Division has been working alongside NJ Highlands Coalition and Friends of Sparta Mountain/NJ Forest Watch to modify this project while still meeting the objective to restore young oak-hickory forest. To meet these objectives, we will be opening the canopy to allow for the growth of young oak and hickory trees, blackberries, sedges, and a variety of other shrubs and sapling species, thus creating breeding and/or foraging habitat for more than 60 different bird species, including the endangered Golden-winged Warbler. Approximately 9.4 acres within a 12.2-acre area will be treated.
Stand 18 Practice Plan, Revised - Updated 02/04/19 (pdf, 125kb)
Location Maps - Revised 02/04/19 (pdf, 3.9mb)

2018 COMPLETED ACTIVITY

Stand 33 Restore Old Growth Structure: The management objective is to accelerate old growth attributes within a forest type that is better suited to developing a climax forest. This is accomplished through a process known as "gap-phase replacement", which mimics the natural processes of an old-growth forest. Through the creation of small canopy gaps and growth of younger cohorts of shade-tolerant trees, this stand will contain three or more age classes at any given time. Approximately 17 acres.
Activity Description and Treatment Maps - Updated 11/13/18 (pdf, 855kb)
Location Map - Revised 9/28/18

Sparta Mountain WMA Forest Stewardship Plan (pdf, 39mb)
Addendum to the 2017 Sparta Mountain WMA Forest Stewardship Plan (pdf, 300kb)
Sparta Mountain WMA Forest Stewardship Plan Implementation
Sparta Mountain WMA Forest Stewardship Plan Homepage

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Department of Environmental Protection
P.O. Box 402
Trenton, NJ 08625-0402

Last Updated: April 23, 2021