Sparta Mountain WMA Forest Stewardship Plan

Dear Commissioner Martin:

The attached letter from the New Jersey Highlands Coalition, including multiple signatories, summarizes our joint concerns about the proposed Forest Stewardship Plan for Sparta Mountain Wildlife Management Area in Sussex and Morris Counties.  The letter is supported in great detail by our comments, which were submitted to NJDEP through the Department’s comment portal earlier this month and can also be found on our website at

The purpose of the sign on letter is to share the extraordinary level of concern we have, specifically that the Plan is not supported by recognized environmental science or data.  Thirty-six (36) organizations and 124 individuals have added their names to the letter, demonstrating that our concerns reflect a range of highly informed interests and expertise from throughout the State. We believe had the Department anticipated the extent of the opposition to the Plan it would never have proposed it. We respectfully request that the Plan be withdrawn and, instead, the Department take this as an opportunity to reach out to a broad representation of stakeholders in order to develop sound objectives for forest stewardship that merit the support of the scientific, ecological and environmental community.

If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to reach me at 973-588-7190.

Julia Somers, Executive Director, NJ Highlands Coalition