Forest
New Jersey Chapter

Chapter Home

DONATE NOW!

  • It's easier than ever to make a gift to the New Jersey Sierra Club by clicking on the "Donate" button. Your generous support today is a guaranteed investment in the future of our environment.

Newsletter -
Jersey Sierran

  • Click Here for the latest quarterly copy of the Sierra Club's publication on all things New Jersey.

Follow Us

Connect With Us:

Calendar Events

Jul 24 (Thu), 6:30 pm
Film Screening: 'Resistance'
Jul 26 (Sat), 9:00 am
Holmdel Park Hike
Jul 26 (Sat), 9:30 am
Canoeing/Kayaking on the D & R Canal
Jul 26 (Sat), 10:00 am
Camp Mohican Hike and Swim, Blairstown
Jul 29 (Tue), 7:00 pm
Gateway Group Executive/Leadership Meeting
Jul 29 (Tue), 7:30 pm
The Unknown Palisades: A Slideshow through Time
Aug 2 (Sat), 1:00 pm
Paddle Merrill Creek Reservoir
Aug 6 (Wed), 7:30 pm
Executive Committee/Planning Meeting
Aug 7 (Thu), 7:30 am
Executive Committee/Conservation Committee Meeting
Aug 9 (Sat), 1:00 pm
Chapter Executive Committee meeting

Bill Calls for Logging on State Lands

Date : Mon, 9 Jan 2012 16:17:00 -0500

For Immediate Release
January 9, 2012 Contact: Jeff Tittel, 609-558-9100

Bill Calls for Logging on State Lands Today the Senate approved opening our state parks up to commercial logging operations. S1954 (Smith) passed the Senate today after significant opposition from a Coalition of ecologists, land restoration experts, environmental groups, and community activists. Our public parks and forests are held in the public trust and should not be destroyed for commercial interests. Our state parks are heavily used with thousands of visitors each weekend hiking, hunting, fishing, and more and under this legislation access will be restricted. The bill will allow logging in some of the most sensitive areas and sites on our public lands, and does not address the key issues impacting the health of our forests, deer overabundance and invasive species. Bringing in commercial forestry will only make these problems worse.

"This bill does not go far enough to protect our public lands from the impacts of logging. We must ensure we adequately protect our wetlands, steep slopes, forests, and waterways from the erosion that could come from logging and logging equipment," said Jeff Tittel, Director, NJ Sierra Club. Thirty seven New Jersey biologists, ecologists, and forest scientists have come out in opposition to this legislation. The proposed logging program does not include protective standards to prevent forestry activities in stream corridors, on steep slopes, and in other sensitive areas. Extensive deer over browse and the proliferation of non-native invasive species in our forests will only become worse under this legislation as it allows for the removal of canopy forest and construction of access roads. The bill does not include standards to ensure restoration occurs on our public lands such as requiring monitoring for invasive plants or deer fencing.

"We have seen in the past logging in environmentally sensitive areas causing streams to run brown for years later and opening up the canopy allowing invasive species to take over. This land belongs to all of us and we should not allow them to destroy the land they are supposed to be protecting," said Jeff Tittel. The Office of Legislative Services has found that the logging program will cost the state $2.7 million to implement. Commercial loggers would have to cut down $2.7 million worth of trees before any money would go towards restoration. Or if the revenue is dedicated to restoration projects, the state would have to cover the $2.7 million price tag. There has been no financial analysis to determine how much the state would generate through commercial logging to cover the cost or for restoration projects. In the past, the state has received $75 per tree for oaks that sold on the market for over $2000. Without a financial analysis this could happen again under this bill. We are giving away our forests for pennies on the dollar. This forestry program is part of the privatization of our parks. Logging will limit public access and destroy natural resources that should be enjoyed by all of us that are held in the public trust. Environmentally sensitive areas that should be protected to preserve the state's biodiversity will be turned over to commercial loggers. There is no guarantee that those private interests will restore the land. Private stewardship of our public lands and "creative" funding for our parks, as proposed under this bill, is in many ways part of Governor Christie's plan for privatizing our parks.

There is no clear public process under the bill for determining where logging will occur on our public lands and developing forestry plans. The public must be involved from the beginning of the process. If an area is being considered for logging, the DEP is not required to notify the local community under the current bill. The DEP and the logging company they hire can wait until after a forestry plan for the site is developed, effectively excluding the public from the process.

When people see logging rigs pulling out 100 year old oaks from our state parks, they will vote "NO" for future open space referendums. If this is what happens on our public lands, voters will be less inclined to dedicate their tax dollars to preserving these areas.

"These lands belong to all of us and are held in the public trust. The timber on these lands is worth hundreds of millions of dollars and we are concerned that the public will lose out both environmentally and financially under the proposed program," said Jeff Tittel.

Nicole Dallara, Outreach Coordinator NJ Sierra Club 145 W. Hanover Street Trenton, NJ 08618 609.656.7612 (f) 609.656.7618 Received on 2012-01-09 13:17:00

New Jersey Sierra Club, 145 West Hanover St., Trenton, NJ 08618, USA
tel: 609 656 7612, fax 609 656 7618
or email Nicole Dallara, Outreach Coordinator, at nicole.dallara@sierraclub.org

Sierra Club is a registered trademark.
Questions and comments about this web site may be sent to: George Newsome

Page URL: http://NewJersey.SierraClub.org/PressReleases/0232.asp
Page Last Modified 1/13/2012


Up to Top