There is a lot happening behind the scenes, so please check out the FB page to get the most recent happenings on what’s happening.
Here are some of the highlights- Please read Very Important:
Public Comment Period Ends March 31st, so Please Every Household needs to write at least one or multiple letters to the NJDEP, before the deadline, There are sample letters on the FB page and you can use the “Sign UP” feature on the page to send your comments directly into the DEP. Don’t’ wait until it is too late to voice your concerns,
-National Groups like the Sierra Club and Highlands Coalition have put together their report and scientific findings why this logging plan does not make sense and have submitted their report to NJDEP.
-Many of the surrounding lake communities have sent in to the NJDEP their own resolutions opposing logging on Sparta Mountain.
-Vernon Township, although not part of Sparta Mountain, issued a resolution opposing logging on Sparta Mountain as they know firsthand what happens when you remove trees from a mountain.
( For those of you who don’t know…53K trees were removed to put gas lines in and the town is not seeing the “re-growth” that was promised, there’s been a decline in wildlife, invasives have been introduced, chemicals have been found in the soil, mudslides, soil erosion and many other expenses incurred due to the logging that happened) They even went so far in opposing the 2 logging bills that are coming up for review in NJ. Their resolution is posted on the FB page.
-Encourage Sparta Town Council Members and Mayor to take the concerns of the people under consideration, when writing their response. ( There is a “No Net Loss Law” in NJ- and this logging plan violates that, so we need to tell our town…our taxes are high enough, “There is too much risk in this plan, and no benefit to the people” We will be left with repairing our roads, with the soil erosion, water runoff, the potential choking of our lakes, and streams. What about the air and water quality? What about the fact that when you remove these trees, which provide acorns and shelter for existing wildlife, where are they going to go to find food and shelter?
-Hikes are being scheduled so that the general public can see what these clear cuts actually look like ( stay tuned for more hikes- events will be posted on FB page and Sierra Club FB)
-A public town hall is being planned for sometime soon to educate the public
-We need help writing letters and getting the local media more involved in writing about the plan from the homeowners/ NJ Taxpayer’s perspective and not the state’s .
One of the major points: Green Acres/Open space funded lands being logged for profit? Also, you may or may not know that this logging plan failed to provide
Environmental Impact Studies and so for that reason alone it needs to be rejected. The deforestation negative effects on the existing wildlife, the safety of our air, and water have not been studied!
Do you want to be a part of an Environmental/Science Project? – I know I don’t and I hope you will join me and the others in doing whatever you can…write letters to your elected officials, tweet about what’s happening, read about global climate change and how trees our the “lungs of the earth”.
Lastly, several of you have asked about legal action, and since many of the lake communities have associations or “groups” with legal representation, there is a task force that is looking into creating a 501c3 that would have the interests of all us…That is to protect our home property values, and the quality of our air and water supply.
This will require “Board of Directors…so please if you are interested in taking a leadership role, send an email.
Thank you so very much and I want to encourage you all to take action before it is too late. Have a wonderful Spring Break and check the FB for more posts, and info.
Silvia Opresnick <firstname.lastname@example.org>