Environmentalists and policymakers consistently rank the proper conservation and care of forests as a top issue, and for good reason. A remarkable number of major cities and suburban areas receive their water supplies from reservoir or other surface water systems whose watersheds are heavily forested. Healthy forests are also critical reservoirs of biodiversity – for wildlife and plants. Urban and community forests provide shade during the summer and protection during the winter, thus lowering energy bills while increasing property values. Healthy trees remove pollutants from air.
However, our forests are dynamic. Although natural changes within them may not be apparent year-to-year, forest science has shown that the vast majority of the forestland in New Jersey and the surrounding metropolitan areas are dependent on disturbance in order to properly function and regenerate. If left alone, we risk losing our oak-dominated forests, and we risk catastrophic wildfires in our pine barrens. If left alone, we risk losing our urban and community forests to the stresses of growing in an extreme environment.
Conservationists consistently seek a path forward for keeping our forests (including urban and community forests) healthy and green. The vast majority of such on-the-ground work is accomplished in accordance with written plans prepared by a natural resources professional, and approved by the NJ DEP State Forester, or appropriate government agency. So long as such a plan is based on sound science, the Good Stewards Coalition seeks to promote examples of good stewardship to the general public and to policymakers.
The organizations that make up the Good Stewards Coalition actively participate (or their professional members participate) in such quality work throughout the New Jersey, New York, and Philadelphia metropolitan areas. Our members, be they foresters, farmers, wildlife biologists, hunters, anglers, or park professionals are good stewards.
We know the complexity of finding the middle ground between action and preservation, and economics and benign neglect. We stand together to more effectively communicate this way forward.
NJ Division of the Allegheny Society of American Foresters
NJ Forestry Association
NJ Tree Farm Program
NJ Chapter of The Wildlife Society
NJ Outdoor Alliance Conservation Foundation
Firman E. Bear Chapter of the Soil & Water Conservation Society
NJ State Council of Trout Unlimited
Forest Stewards Guild
NJ State Chapter of the Ruffed Grouse Society
Hudson Farm Foundation
NJ Farm Bureau
Open Trails New Jersey
NOTE: Good people can disagree respectfully. Not all partners in the Coalition agree with each other on every topic. For this reason, any correspondence sent referring to the Coalition are signed by each organization individually. All programs, such as the Charles Newlon Forestry Forum, clearly identify individual partners. By choosing to treat our partners with respect — even when we disagree — we hope to elevate the dialogue within the environmental community in New Jersey.