April 21st – Sparta Mtn Meeting

Sparta Mountain is being threatened by logging and but we can work together to put a stop to it. The NJDEP Division of Fish and Wildlife has proposed a plan that would allow clear-cutting and remove the canopy forest in the Sparta Mt. Wildlife Management Area. The NJDEP is calling this a “forest stewardship plan,” but it is really a plan to turn the Mountain into a field for bird habitat and over-populated deer. Join us on Thursday, April 21st to learn more about the DEP’s plan and how we can work together to fight it and protect this important environment.

The plan to log the mountain will have major impacts to the environment including:

   Clearing an environmentally sensitive forest and by doing so, reducing habitat for important wildlife and destroying recreational areas
   By clearing the mountain, they will be increasing the risk of flooding and pollution in the region
   This could affect the groundwater and reservoirs in the Highlands, which provides drinking water for 55% of people in the state.

Please join us on April 21st for an update on what’s happening with Sparta Mountain and learn what we can do together to stop this logging plan!

WHO: Jeff Tittel, NJ Sierra Club Director; Julia Somers, NJ Highlands Coalition; Conservationist Dennis Miranda, WVWA; Susan Dorward, Beaver Lake

WHAT: The Skylands Group of the Sierra Club is hosting a public town hall meeting on the DEP’s plan to log Sparta Mountain.

WHEN: Thursday, April 21st at 7 pm

WHERE: Franklin Fire House, 137 Buckwheat Rd, Franklin, NJ 07416

RSVP: Jamie Zaccaria at jamie.zaccaria@sierraclub.org

Sparta Mountain was purchased with public money to be protected for future generations. It’s incredibly important to protect this environmentally-sensitive area from logging because:

The Mountain was preserved as part of the continuous forest of the Highlands that protects the drinking supply for half of New Jersey’s residents.
Logging will remove the canopy forest, bring in siltation and run-off, impact pristine C1 trout streams and the highest water quality in the state.
Sparta Mountain is part of forested greenway that is a breeding ground for neo-tropical birds as well as the federally-endangered Indiana Bat.
This proposal not only threatens the environment, but it will also interfere with public access, recreation, and hiking

NJDEP and others have misrepresented the facts and are using a phony excuse to create bird habitat for one species as a reason to privatize our public lands. Secret stakeholders at the Forest Stewardship Council deliberately and behind closed doors changed the characterization of the Sparta Mt. WMA to suit the outcome they wanted and log the forest without basis of any facts. The Highlands is a breeding ground for endangered neo-tropical song birds, interior forest birds as well as federally-threatened Northern Long-eared Bat and federally-endangered Indiana Bat. Despite creating habitat for the golden-winged warbler, there are over 75 different species of neo-tropical birds that would be impacted by this plan. It is ludicrous to destroy an entire ecosystem to create habitat for one species when they can do this somewhere else. This is really just an excuse to log Sparta Mountain.

Come out on Thursday April 21st to get involved in the fight to save Sparta Mountain!

Thanks for all you do,

NJ Sierra Club