Welcome to the website of the New Jersey Division of the Allegheny Society of American Foresters. We hope that our members and others who are interested in ecology and conservation issues find this a useful and reliable source of up-to-date information on forest-related issues.
(For immediate release) The Society of American Foresters (SAF) applauds the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) for again affirming that state-level Best Management Practices (BMPs) and related federal and private sector programs are the most effective means to address stormwater runoff from forest roads. With this decision, EPA confirms that no additional regulations are needed under Section 402(p)(6) of the Clean Water Act (CWA) at this time. “Natural resource professionals continually refine BMPs using emerging science and information gathered through consistent monitoring to design site-specific recommendations and accommodate the broad range of uses and local conditions. The over 90 percent implementation rate nationwide is a testament to stakeholder support and the emphasis placed on maintaining and improving water quality among forest managers. SAF encourages EPA to strengthen these programs by making more CWA Section 319 funds available to enhance state monitoring and testing and to expand education and training programs,” said [...]
Reflections on the NJ Forestry and Wetlands Best Management Practices Manual from a Social Science Perspective
by Melanie McDermott, Science & technology committee Based upon my reading, the 1995 NJ Forestry and Wetlands BMP Manual seems to strike a reasonable balance between aiming for outcomes and setting restrictive rules. Its level of generality both makes it accessible – brief and easy to understand – and applicable to the state’s diverse array of forest types and conditions. Any process of setting resource management standards, just like any process of resource management planning, can – and, many would say, should – provide an opportunity for a conversation among stakeholders about desired outcomes and the values they represent. Standards, guidelines, rules and/or plans can be classified on a spectrum that runs from highly prescriptive (“do’s” and “don’ts”) to outcome/performance-based (“we don’t care how you got there, just show us the result”). Prescriptive approaches tend to be applied where the stakes are high, trust is low and/or values are in [...]
by Steve Kallesser, Division chair The forestry and wetlands Best Management Practices Manual (last revised 1995) was written to protect water quality. Since consideration must be given to threatened and endangered species (item #10 on the checklist on page VII), the question has arisen: should any revised BMP manual address wildlife and larger ecological issues directly, or indirectly through a forester’s site-specific considerations for T&E species? To see how others handled this question, we turned to the Forest Biomass Retention and Harvesting Guidelines for the Southeast, written by the Forest Guild Southeast Biomass Working Group (http://www.forestguild.org/publications/research/2012/FG_Biomass_Guidelines_SE.pdf). A retained cavity tree in a managed forest in Sussex County. (photo by Steve Kallesser) Those guidelines differed from the 1995 BMP manual in four areas. The first is protections for rare (S1 or S2) forest cover types. The Forest Guild guidelines recommending avoiding harvesting unless necessary to perpetuate the rare forest [...]
by Steve Kallesser, Division Chair Herbicide use in the forest is on the uptick as private and public landowners get serious about controlling exotic invasive plants. The most common type of herbicide treatment is spot treatment of individual plants, usually by an applicator who is using a backpack sprayer. The basal bark method and cut stump method are also used as a spot treatment, as is the hack-and-squirt method (especially for ailanthus control). At the more intensive end of the scale are some contractors who mow heavy infestations of non-native invasive brush and apply herbicide to the cut stumps as they go. It is not known if any other more intense spraying, ground-based broadcast spraying, or aerial spraying of herbicides takes place in New Jersey, or is envisioned to take place in the future. Should buffers between streams and aerial spray zones be wider when aircraft are flying at [...]