February 6, 2013
The NJDEP Division of Fish and Wildlife has hired a Sussex County contractor to harvest 12 acres of sawlogs and firewood on Sparta Mountain Wildlife Management Area (WMA) beginning in winter 2013 through April 1. The site, shown in red on the area map, is adjacent to a powerline right-of-way, and is accessed by existing woods roads on the WMA. The project 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 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 of Fish and Wildlife 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 division's Bureau of Land Management: Miriam.Dunne@dep.state.nj.us.