Stewardship

Conserving Atlantic White-Cedar Forested Wetlands Through Active Forest Management and Restoration

Atlantic white-cedar (Chamaecyparis thyoides) (AWC) wetlands represent a globally rare plant community, and one of ecological, economic, and cultural significance. In the state of New Jersey, this pant community has experienced severe decline, falling from an estimated 115,000 acres pre-European settlement to around 25,000 acres remaining in the state (NJFAP,…...

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NJ Audubon Conservation Projects Help Hudson Farm win 2021 Governor’s Environmental Excellence Award for Healthy Ecosystems & Habitat Category

NJ Audubon congratulates Hudson Farm on being selected by NJDEP as the winner of the 2021 Governor’s Environmental Excellence Award for Healthy Ecosystems & Habitat Category! The Hudson Farm property is over 4,000 acres of permanently preserved forest land in Sussex County (~2% of the total forest land in the…...

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What Does “Old-Growth” Really Mean? It depends. – Bringing it all together (installment 6 of 6)

In recent weeks, we discussed the concept of old growth forests and its application in New Jersey.  We provided some examples from Davis (1993, 2003r) and recent observations and developments in those areas.  We asked several questions.  In this final installment, we attempt to tie it all together and speak…...

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What Does “Old What Does “Old-Growth” Really Mean? It depends. Example 3, Bear Swamp (Installment 5 of 6)

In southwestern NJ, along the Delaware Bay, Davis (1993) described two areas of possible old-growth broadleaf swamp forests. According to Davis, Bear Swamp West is 100 acres of possible old growth forest containing some 400 to 500-year-old black gum, 300-year-old sweetgum, large red maples, and large sweetbay magnolia trees (of unknown…...

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What Does “Old-Growth” Really Mean? It depends – Example 2 – Eastern Hemlock Forests of Northern NJ (Installment 4 of 6)

Another example of older forests in New Jersey that have suffered significantly due to lack of management are forests comprised of Eastern hemlock.  Davis (1993, 2003) discussed that many of NJ’s historically old growth forest had been dominated by Eastern hemlock, which is a conifer species that can live up…...

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What Does “Old-Growth” Really Mean? It depends – Example 1, Hutcheson Memorial Forest (Installment 3 of 6)

One site identified by Davis in her book, Old Growth in the East: A Survey (1993) as possible old growth, was the William L. Hutcheson Memorial Forest (HMF). This 65-acre predominantly oak forest is in central New Jersey and owned by Rutgers University. When Rutgers acquired the forest in the…...

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What does ‘Old-Growth’ Really Mean? It depends. (Installment 2 of 6)

In 1993, Mary Byrd Davis, a researcher and conservationist, aimed to identify old growth forest sites across the eastern United States in her book, Old Growth in the East (revised in 2003). In New Jersey, she described 6 sites of less than 40 acres and 7 sites greater 40 acres…...

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What does “Old-Growth” really mean? It depends. (Installment 1 of 6)

We humans depend heavily on our visual senses and emotional responses.  We frequently make decisions from our hearts, occasionally in defiance of data.  We also tend to dislike environmental and other change. This human approach to decision-making is relevant to our definition and approach to stewarding “old-growth” forests.  The notion…...

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All Hands on Deck to Save and Restore NJ’s Atlantic White Cedar Ecosystems

Atlantic White Cedar (AWC) is a pioneer species with typical longevity of 200 to 300 years. However, in New Jersey AWC is only found in six counties and has lost about two-thirds of its acreage since the state began to be settled. Currently, there is only about 40,000 acres of…...

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Ecological Disturbance in New Jersey Forests

By Ryan Hasko The attraction to fire feels innately human, drawing both feelings of appreciation and respect whenever near one. Providing light and warmth, so many of us enjoy the crackling of a hot fire in a fireplace or sitting around a campfire on a cool night. Just as humans…...

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