New Jersey is a leader in land protection, protecting more than 25% of the state from development. As the most densely populated state in the U.S., conversion of land for residential, commercial and infrastructure development remains a significant threat to wildlife and habitat. Simultaneously, non-native pests and disease and climate change contribute significant stress to the environment, impacting the function of the land and its ability to provide clean air and water and essential habitat for wildlife. New Jersey’s long history of landuse and development has had an impact. Numerous non-native plants, animals and diseases (i.e., invasive species) have been introduced to the state and the large amount of suburban edge-habitats have created an over-abundant white-tailed deer population. This has resulted in many habitats being degraded and caused declines in numerous species of wildlife. While these issues are of great concern, impacting our lives, economy, recreational opportunities and simply enjoyment of the natural world, we can act.
As humans we are natural stewards, caring for our children, families, and communities. We can also care for the land through stewardship. Stewardship is the responsible care and use of natural resources that considers the interests of society, future generations, and other species. Through stewardship we can restore, enhance and maintain land and habitats that provide clean air and water and support wildlife.
Conservation Through Active Management
New Jersey Audubon’s Stewardship Department works to conserve wildlife and habitat through the active management, restoration and enhancement of public and private lands throughout the state. We do this by educating the public and landowners and by providing technical assistance in the design and implementation of conservation projects. We also help secure funding so that public and private landowners have the tools and the means to care for wildlife and habitat. You will find us on farms, in yards, at schools, in forests, on corporate campuses, in parks and wildlife refuges, maintaining and enhancing the function of the land for native species or helping others to do so. We listen to all opinions, consider economic concerns, cultural resources, and learn from the people we work with and the actions we take. We use both traditional tools such as forestry and farm equipment and novel approaches such as creating community partnerships and new markets for local and Jersey-grown products or providing access to specialize equipment or funds though financial programs.
We hope that you will get to know our work and be inspired to think about active conservation, management and stewardship on your own land or in your own community.