Local Action

Help stop the compressor station in Franklin

NPS public comment period on the use of buildings in the DWGNRA

Tell the Governor to take action on NJ VW  Settlement Funds

Demand Justice for Towns Recovering from Industrial Pollution

No Dangerous Development in the Highlands

Some Public Service Info on Recycling for Members Residing in Sussex County

Many of you may know that the county landfill in Lafayette, also known as SCMUA, is a great place to view gulls, but did you also know that it is a great place to recycle? (Imagine that!) You probably all know that county residents can bring typical recyclables like glass, aluminum, newspaper, and plastic, but SCMUA is continually adding more items that can be recycled. Cardboard, brown bags, milk/juice/other food cartons, hard styrofoam packaging materials with a #6, waste motor oil, batteries, vegetative waste, rigid plastics – these are just some of the many items they accept for recycling, and most are accepted free of charge! They even have special days each year on which they accept hazardous waste, computers, etc.for free. You can do your part to reduce waste and keep recyclables and toxins out of the landfill, not to mention lowering your trash bill, by checking their website for more information and bringing your items to SCMUA.

Sussex County MUA

School Plastic Film Recycling Challenge

Tell PA Fish and Boat Commission to Protect Wild Trout Streams


Meeting is Tuesday, May 9th at 6:00 PM at Sussex County Technical School, 105 North Church Road in Sparta

For more information, please contact Toni Granato at toni.granato@sierraclub.org

“We need you to come out to the DEP meeting on Tuesday to save Sparta Mountain. The DEP is proposing to allow logging on this important scenic and environmentally sensitive area of the Highlands. We need you to show up and tell the DEP not the log our forest and instead to protect our land, water, and open spaces. We will tell them the public paid for this land it doesn’t belong to NJ Audubon, loggers, or anyone else. This meeting is a really a public relations stunt by DEP to push this plan through and we need to stand up and push back so they won’t get away with it.

Excerpt from a show about the Highlands

Save Sparta Mountain website

Sparta Mountain WMA Forest Stewardship Plan

NJ Highlands Coalition – Save Sparta Mountain

Sparta Mountain Logging Campaign

comments submitted to DEP by
the Natural Heritage Committee
of the Highlands Coalition regarding Sparta Mountain

Sierra Club- Sparta Wildlife Management Area Comments

More info on Sparta WMA

By Bruce A. Scruton

New Jersey Herald

Posted: Apr. 5, 2017 12:01 am

The Sparta Mountain Wildlife Management Area is no longer one of the forestry plans which is evaluated every year for compliance with standards of the Forestry Stewardship Council, but will abide by its own standards set up to mirror the FSC, according to the New Jersey Audubon Society which has been managing the management area’s forestry plan.

The decision was made as a practical, as well as economic, issue, explained John Cecil, vice president for stewardship for Audubon.

The not-for-profit Audubon has been managing the first forestry plan set up for the 3,400 acres of state-owned property that makes up the wildlife management area. In December 2015, the state Division of Fish and Wildlife, released a draft of an updated forestry plan.

Because Audubon also manages other properties in the state, both Audubon-owned and owned by other not-for-profit and private agencies, it included Sparta Mountain WMA in its package of parcels that are audited for adherence to the FSC standards.

In this area, the Rainforest Alliance is the group that conducts the audits of compliance with FSC.

When the 2016 audit report was released late in March, the Sparta Mountain WMA was not included among the parcels evaluated by the Rainforest Alliance.

Cecil said Tuesday that the decision was made by the state, with concurrence of Audubon, not to include Sparta Mountain.

“We included the first plan to give the agency (DFW) a good look at what the FSC standards are like,” said Cecil. “It is a very strict process.”

But that strict process also involves detailed reports which requires time and manpower to compile.

Cecil said the state instead will adopt its own standards, much along the lines of the FSC, but not subject to the independent audit.

“They will use their own rules and guidance,” he said. “They just won’t go through a third party.”

The updated 10-year plan met with strong resistance from community, homeowner and other environmental groups when it was released.

What would normally be a two to three-month process has stretched to more than a year.

Cecil said he expects the final plan to be released shortly and it will be updated and modified according to concerns raised through the public comment period and in private talks with many stakeholder groups over the past few months.

At a public appearance on Thursday, Department of Environmental Protection Commissioner Bob Martin said the Sparta Mountain plan will be the first of what he expects to be a strong state effort to “create new strong future for our forests by eliminating single-age forests.”

He also said that forestry plans are “in the queue” for High Point State Park and Stokes State Forest.

Cecil said those preliminary plans are being shared with stakeholders and will be released as preliminary plans within a few months. At that point, those plans will be subject to a public comment period before final adoption.

Cecil said the state is looking at creating forestry plans for most of the state-owned forests and woods, whether they be in wildlife management areas, state parks or state forests.

Legislation which would have required such plans was approved by the Assembly and Senate, but was conditionally vetoed by Gov. Chris Christie.

Cecil said the governor’s principal objection was submitting to the FSC standards and audits.

Under the state’s new direction, those standards will be adapted to New Jersey conditions.

“Not every forestry plan calls for cutting down the forest,” Cecil said, explaining that a good forestry plan is written for what’s good for the parcel.

He said no decision has been made as to whether Audubon will continue to manage the Sparta Mountain WMA going forward under the updated plan.