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Forum on NJ's Proposed Forest Management Plan

Date: Monday, January 27, 2014
Time: 6:00 PM
Presented by: Jersey Shore Group
Leader: Dennis Anderson - dennisaza@aol.com
Location: Warner Student Life Center, Brookdale Community College, 765 Newman Springs Road, Middletown
Click Here for a campus map

John Cecil, Vice President of NJ Audubon, and Don Donnelly, Audubon’s Stewardship Project Director and Forester, will evaluate NJ’s proposed management program to make about 600,000 acres of state-owned forests more sustainable when they speak at Brookdale Community College, Lincroft, at 6 pm, Monday, Jan. 27. They will be speaking to the joint membership meeting of the college’s Environmental Club, the Sierra Club's Jersey Shore Group, and the N.J. Friends of Clearwater. The meeting is open to the public.

The Healthy Forests Act, which was passed by the legislature last year and conditionally vetoed by Gov. Christie, is controversial to some environmental organizations because they fear that political influence will force the state Department of Environmental Protection to water down regulations designed to control private logging companies. They argue that the DEP often yields to special interest groups, to the detriment of scientific management and environmental protections. Supporters of the plan are more optimistic, claiming that selective logging will improve the health of forests and animal habitat, while reducing the threat of forest fires by removing dead undergrowth.

The New Jersey Sierra Club fears the effects logging will have on park access for recreation and the possibility that fees paid by logging companies would be diverted to the general fund and not used on forestry issues. The bill "does not include adequate protections for natural resources and has a plan without any rules or enforcement," said Jeff Tittel, director of the NJ Sierra Club. However, NJ Audubon’s Cecil argued last year that the DEP "can and should move forward. It doesn't need legislation if it does the right thing in forest stewardship."

Christie conditionally vetoed the bill because it required the DEP to adhere to the standards and oversight of the Forest Stewardship Council (FSC), a third-party organization.

The presentation is hosted by Brookdale’s Environmental Club to encourage students to be involved in statewide and national debates on important environmental issues. At the Lincroft meeting, a pizza and subs buffet begins at 6:00 p.m. and the presentation begins at 6:30 p.m.

To get to Brookdale’s Lincroft campus, take Parkway Exit 109 to Route 520 West (Newman Springs Road, which becomes E. Main Street at the Lincroft campus). Take the traffic circle into the campus and follow the signs to the Warner Student Life Center (SLC) and parking lot 7, where the meeting will be in the SLC Twin Lights Rooms 1 and 2. As you walk eastward towards the building complex, Warner will be on your left. If lot 7 is full, use parking lots 5 or 6.