Archive for July, 2013

Of Pigs and Forests

July 24th, 2013 No comments

Will Gov. Christie Sign Logging Bill for Same Reason He Vetoed Pig Crate Bill?

After I wrote yesterday’s post about similarities between the NJ State Forest logging bill and a Wisconsin mining bill signed into law by another Gov. who is a right wing hero, Gov. Scott Walker, I read NJ Senator Lesniak’s Op-Ed urging the Legislature to over-ride Gov. Christie’s veto of the pig crate bill.

When I first read about the Christie pig crate veto, I reached the exact same conclusion that Lesniak did, and Tweeted about how the Christie veto played in Wisconsin – tweeting a press release by the National Pork Council:

Senator Lesniak hit the nail on the head when he wrote:

The governor won’t admit it, but his political ambitions appear to be dictating his decision. He must have Iowa on his mind. It is the first state to conduct a Republican primary for president, it is one of the largest pork producers in the country and it is home to the National Pork Council. It appears that he sold his soul to Iowa and sold out to his ambitions for higher office beyond New Jersey.

So, it occurred to me, could there be similar national political incentives for Christie to sign the logging bill?

A pro-public lands logging position is red meat to the Republican base – the mining, logging, drilling, “wise use” property rights crowd – and would play well in Iowa.

It would send a strong message that Christie was no wimpy northeastern moderate pro-environment Republican in the Christie Whitman or Lincoln Chafee mold.

Some say these politics explain the Gov.’s climate change denial.

In addition, the NJ logging bill has certain similarities not only to the Wisconsin mining law, but to an ALEC model forestry bill, and, just like Gov. Christie’s climate change denial, signing it could prompt contributions from the Koch Brothers corporate big money crowd.

And other key factions in the Republican base, including the “bait and bullet” sportsmen’s lobby and gun advocates, also support the NJ logging bill.

Last, the NJ logging bill also appeals to the “black helicopter” faction of there Republican base, who see all sorts of conspiracy and Homeland Security threats from “eco-terrorsts”. The NJ Outdoor Alliance has played the “eco-terror” smear & fear card, and they too support the NJ logging bill.

My initial thoughts were that Gov.  Christie would conditionally veto or absolutely veto the bill, because of DEP opposition to FSC and to the fiscal (cost) implications and new bureaucracy the bill would create.

But, when viewed through an Iowa lens, I am reconsidering that conclusion and fear that the Gov. might sign the bill – for the same reason he vetoed the pig crate ban bill: IOWA.

In doing so, he’d send a message to major right wing factions of the Republican base: the corporate Koch Brothers anti-environmental/pro-exploitation of public lands interests; wise use/property rights advocates; sportsmen and gun rights folks; and the authoritarian/paranoid conspiracy theory camp who see environmentalists as “eco-terrorists”.

Remarkably, the NJ logging bill is sponsored by Democrats and supported by the “Green Mafia” – who seem to have teed up another opportunity for Gov. Christie to fundraise and play to a national audience.

Heckofajob guys!

Categories: Uncategorized Tags:

Coming to a Forest Near You?

July 23rd, 2013 No comments

Not that far a distance from Wisconsin to NJ

Image courtesy of Jim Limbach - via MotherJones

This is a true story, see:  Mining Company Deploys More Masked Militiamen Against “Eco-Terrorists”

Debate over a proposed open-pit iron ore mine in northern Wisconsin went from heated to outright bizarre last week when masked guards brandishing assault rifles showed up at the site in the remote and scenic wilderness of Penokee Hills.

And it can happen here.

I could not help but recognize the unbelievable similarities between the Wisconsin mining law changes and the pending NJ State forest logging bill –

Just insert the word “forest” for “mining”:

Gov. Scott Walker signed sweeping changes to the state’s mining regulations into law in March, thus allowing the mine to move forward. The new law, which creates a separate set of laws for taconite mining, abbreviates the permitting process, reduces the number of opportunities for public comment, and weakens rules on dumping mine waste into wetlands and waterways. It also reallocates mining revenues that previously went to local communities into the state’s Economic Development Corporation, a problem-plagued programWalker created in 2011 to spur job growth in the state. G-Tac worked closely with lawmakers to draft the legislation. Proponents of the law argue that it will generate new jobs in the state.

Every single one of those features from the above paragraph describes aspects of the pending NJ forestry bill. Every – single – one.

And recall that the NJ forestry bill is supported by gun nuts and opponents who smear environmental groups as “eco-terrorists”.

So, it’s not that big of a stretch, from Wisconsin to NJ.

Categories: Uncategorized Tags:

Has Christie Campaign Hired Consultant To Lie About Gov.’s “Green Record”?

July 22nd, 2013 No comments

False and Misleading Op-Ed Published in a Norcross Paper 

 … this is so intellectually dishonest I cannot believe ran it. ~~ Veteran NJ reporter

We smell a rat.

Check out this Op-Ed published today at  A Republican greens can support

Would a NJ based news outlet  or editor – with knowledge of the Governor’s environmental record – publish that misleading steaming pile of crap?

Could the fact that a misleading Op-Ed, written by a NY State political consulting firm,  was published in be related to the fact that the overall editor of is Lexie Norcross, daughter of owner George Norcross, also listed on the masthead as director Alessandra T. Norcross?

Just asking.

Is Gov. Christie pushing back as a result of the recent negative press he’s gotten on his environmental record (e.g. see this and this and this)?

[Update – her is NJEF Report Card on Christie – the Gov. got a “D”, which, in my view, is generous.]

Is the author of the Op-Ed working with the Republican Party or Christie campaign?

I sent Mr.Figliola a note, with a rapid fire rebuttal and question – see below, along with his reply:

Anthony – I just read your Op-Ed and felt compelled to reach out because you made serious errors of fact.

The NJEF did endorse Christie in 2009, but since has repudiated that and strongly criticized the Governor.

It is simply a lie to note the 2009 NJEF endorsement and not the more recent position.

You also fail to mention that Gov. Christie diverted almost $1 billion from the Clean Energy Fund that supports renewable energy; unilaterally withdrew NJ from RGGI, the northeastern states climate emissions trading pact; supported natural gas pipelines from the Pennsylvania fracking fields; and vetoed fracking ban and wastewater disposal bills.

You fail to note Gov. Christie’s regulatory and enforcement dismantling, including the controversial DEP “Waiver rule” now pending NJ Supreme Court review as a result of a lawsuit by virtually every environmental group in the state.

And of course, you also fail to note Christie’s failure – as promised during the 2009 campaign – to develop a stable source of funding for Open Space, while letting the Green Acres funds be depleted.

Last, Christie has absolutely no environmental accomplishments to point to.

No Governor in recent NJ history comes even close to that terrible record on the environment.

Please stop lying.

I close with a question: are you being paid by the Republican Party or the Governor’s campaign?

[Update – a knowledgeable source wrote me to add:

He forgot to mention NJ was second in solar when Christie came in and dropped to 3rd we would be further behind if were not for the stuff that got approved before Christie .He crashed solar last year.

Here is Mr. Figliola’s reply:

Dear Bill,

Thank you for the lovely note.  I am neither paid by the Republican Governors Association, Republican Party or Gov. Christie’s campaign. In fact, I had spent my career as a Democrat in New York. I was writing an objective piece looking at the overall impact of Christie’s environmental record on solar versus other states which has been substantial as you know.

This is purely an objective opinion of what is taking place in New Jersey.  Have a great day and thanks for the feedback.

Kind regards,


ps – NJEF must correct the record on this – publicly and ASAP.


Categories: Uncategorized Tags:

Spin and Falsehoods Continue in Support of Commercial Logging Bill

July 20th, 2013 No comments

Forester Spouts Specious Arguments & Sham Concern for Endangered Species

Unwittingly Reveals True Logging Agenda

“It’s difficult to get a man to understand something if his salary depends upon his not understanding it.”  ~~~ Upton Sinclair

• Several North American warbler species have shifted northward more than 65 miles. The Golden-winged Warbler’s range has moved nearly 100 miles north just in the past two decades.  ~~~ National Audubon Society

[Updates below]

Just a quick note in deference to a hot Saturday afternoon.

A friend just sent me an Op-Ed from the Morris Daily Record by a professional forester, the Policy Chair New Jersey Society of American Foresters – for our purposes, I’ll call the author  “Mr. Forester” (see:  Bill needed to improve forest management).

Mr. Forester’s  arguments are a mishmash of shockingly poor reasoning, half truth, spin, outright falsehoods, and over the top political silliness. [You can do the Cliff Notes version by reading the boxed quotes above – they are sufficient to destroy Mr. Forester’s arguments.]

The good news is that, in writing this Op-Ed, Mr. Forester unwittingly reveals his true agenda: to log the hardwood forests on thousands of acres of northern NJ State lands (see my final point below).

The author reveals a lack of understanding and credibility that ordinarily would simply be dismissed.

But, because the bill is on the Governor’s desk, and because there are misleading kernels of truth in Mr. Forester’s argument – a dangerous feature of all good propaganda – a response is in order.

Before we get to the substance, keep in mind the obvious fact that foresters know how to cut trees and they make their living by cutting trees and providing consulting services about how to cut tress. See Upton Sinclair’s sage wisdom in the box quote above for the implications of that.

The “forest harvest” bill would promote commercial logging on state lands and is designed to expand markets for the timber industry and professional forestry services.

So let’s get to the substance of the arguments our good forester makes in support of the commercial logging bill parading under the slogan “forest stewardship”.

1. Over the top political threat to Gov. Christie

Mr. Forester begins his Op-Ed with a foolish and blatantly political over the top implied threat to Gov. Christie.

He implies that the Gov. will pay some kind of political price if he does not sign the logging bill.

This is a foolish threat that destroys his credibility and that there is no chance of the bill’s supporters – many of whom are Christie supporters – actually delivering on:

Given Gov. Christie’s desire for a second term, he should consider something before he signs or vetoes the Healthy Forests Act (S1085/A2837): Does he want an endangered species to vanish from the state during his watch?

The threat is doubly foolish, because Gov. Christie has never expressed support for protection of endangered species.

Just the opposite – in fact, several of the Gov.’s policies are consistent with the bill:

  • Sustainable Parks Funding Strategy” whose primary goal is to increase revenues from public lands. The bill would do that by producing revenues from timber sales.
  • Privatization Policy“- The bill would promote privatization by: 1) opening up public lands and natural resources to private commercial exploitation, a means of “privatizing” public assets; and 2) encourage privatization of forest management decisions by vesting a private entity, the Forest Stewardship Council, with forest planning and oversight, in lieu of DEP regulation (yes we know that FSC is dead, as Christie will back his DEP Commissioner over his ideology).
  • The Gov. has promoted deregulation and market based voluntary compliance by the private sector, not aggressive DEP enforcement. The bill shares that philosophy by adopting a market based consumer certification system and non-regulatory cooperative “stewardship” model, consistent with the Gov.’s pro-business /anti-government vision .
  • The Gov. has promoted economic development as a priority over environmental protection. The bill embraces those priorities by seeking to attract and retain the timber industry in NJ; and by not erecting regulatory barriers or public review “red tape” hurdles to exploiting forest resources for economic gain.

Even if Mr. Forester’s warbler extinction threat were true (which it is not), does Mr. Forester really think Christie’s Gubernatorial or Presidential ambitions would suffer if the golden wing warbler were to become extinct?

Or that his “conservation group” allies would criticize the Governor? Give us a break, please.

2. False Claim: Lack of Logging to Create Habitat Will Cause Extinction of the Golden Wing warbler

Keep in mind that State forests are just a part of NJ’s forests and NJ’ overall landscape;  that the golden wing warbler is a migratory species; that logging is just one way to create early successional habitat (afforestation of farms and barren land is another); and that there are multiple factors influencing both NJ’s landscape and threats to the golden wing warbler.

Revealing absurd logic and positing a false causal relationship, Mr. Forester claims that if the bill is not signed by the governor the warbler will become extinct:

That species is the golden-winged warbler, which has dwindled to 25 breeding pairs in the state, mostly in the northwestern extremes. Why is this bird on the brink when the state owns 719,000 acres, largely for the benefit of recreation and wildlife? It is because New Jersey is not creating young forests that this and a large number of wildlife species need in order to survive.

Here’s where Mr. Forester’s kernel of truth (e.g. dwindling NJ population), backed by confused and specious reasoning (e.g. decline is exclusively caused by management of NJ state lands), lead to arguments that are dangerous.

Yes, in certain patches of State forests there are mature trees and interior forest habitat that does not support the warbler. We are try to preserve what little is left of those large contiguous forests, that protect water quality, provide recreation, and support many other species.

There is no need to and it is absurd to suggest that we must  log mature forests to create suitable early successional habitat.

There is plenty of suitable habitat for the golden wing warbler in NJ, on both state lands and privately owned lands.

We do not need to log state forests to create what already exists. I’ve written about that previously.

In addition, it is not solely the lack of suitable habitat in NJ that is the cause of the decline in golden wing warbler populations.

There are multiple reasons that the species is in decline –

[Update – a knowledgeable reader sent me this:  Executive Summary- Golden-winged Warbler (Vermivora chrysoptera) Status Assessment and Conservation Plan – with this note:

NJ is a TINY bit of their region. So they would justify decimating our forests for that and ignore the rest of the creatures in the forests.

Here’s a key factor that National Audubon Society identifies (something you will not here from NJ Audubon, who is supporting this legislation for many of the same reasons the foresters are): See: Global Warming and birds:

Global warming is the greatest threat to birds and other wildlife in human history. The rate of global warming is already impacting birds, their prey, and their habitat. Those impacts will become more severe over the coming decades, leading to the loss of one-quarter to one-third of all species on earth, including many bird species. […]

Is Global Warming Already Affecting Birds?

Scientists are already seeing alarming impacts of global warming on birds. More than 80% of plant and animal species studied have shown changes in the timing of migration or reproduction, shifts in habitat or migratory routes, or other changes associated with climate change. Some of the observed impacts on birds include:

Several North American warbler species have shifted northward more than 65 miles. The Golden-winged Warbler’s range has moved nearly 100 miles north just in the past two decades.

Mr. Forester just wants to get his hands on State forests.

If Mr. Forester cares so much about birds and endangered species, he should stop cutting trees and get to work on stopping sprawl and global warming! (same for NJ Audubon).

3. Bizarre Claim: Decline in 33 Species A Result of Lack of State Forest Management

Mr. Forester makes another fact free and absurdly illogical claim:

While forestry had been practiced in state parks, forests, and wildlife management areas from their inception, this stewardship was virtually eliminated during the 1980s. Those young forests have matured to a point where early-successional species no longer utilize them. Thus, 33 species are now Species of Greatest Conservation Need purely due to lack of proper stewardship from state government.

In his zeal to blame State government and lame attempt to justify logging, Mr. Forester conflates multiple issues and multiple causal factors.He makes no distinction between state lands and private lands. He ignores all but one factor in a complex set of ecological, conservation and land use problems. And he revealingly reduces and equates “forest stewardship” – just as I predicted – to logging, thereby exposing that slogan as cover for logging.

He is referring to 33 “Species of Greatest Conservation Need” as listed in the DEP “Wildlife Action Plan” (WAP).

But, by blaming State government’s lack of state land stewardship soley for the decline and threats to those species, Mr. Forester is twisting and distorting that WAP beyond recognition.

First of all, Mr. Forster’s conclusions are at odd with the US Forest Service’s Highlands Report. Key findings on biodiversity are found on page 59:

  • The diversity and arrangement of different habitat types in the Highlands creates an important mosaic that supports the high species biodiversity of the Highlands region.
  • Large contiguous forest tracts (greater than 500 acres) provide critical habitat resources for many species. These large forest tracts cover approximately 350,000 acres (25 percent) of the Highlands. There are only 11 tracts of forest that are greater than 5,000 acres. These largest tracts comprise approximately 60 percent of the New York – New Jersey Highlands core forest interior habitat. The survival of large mammals, such as black bear, and furbearers, such as bobcat and river otter, depends on maintaining contiguous habitat throughout the Highlands. Contiguous habitatprovides migration corridors, and extends the feeding and breeding range of these populations.
  • The Highlands serve as a major migratory flyway for many neotropical bird species, many of which populations are in decline. Of particular concern to ornithologists are the 70 to 75 species of interior nesting neotropical migrants such as the red-eyed vireo, American redstart, Kentucky warbler, and eastern pewee. These species require large undisturbed forest patches.
  • Fragmentation and alteration of habitat continue to pose the greatest threat to the biological communities in the Highlands. The rapid expansion of urbanization encroaches on and fragments habitat, destroys individuals as well as populations, and potentially threatens the continued existence of many biological communities. Degradation of habitat by direct destruction or indirectly through pollution, erosion, introduction of invasive species, or fragmentation threatens the existence of species, diminishes natural communities, and reduces genetic variability.

Similarly,in contrast to Mr. Forester, the US Fish and Wildlife  Service found great diversity in NJ’s forests and landscape, that supports biodiversity, and prioritized preservation of large blocks on intact forest:

VIII. CONSERVATION RECOMMENDATIONS: It is critical to the resources of the Highlands that the network of open space within the Highlands be protected and expanded in order to maintain the unfragmented forest core from the glacial moraine north to the Hudson and across the Hudson to the Connecticut border with linkages on forested ridges to the Delaware River to the south. All publicly owned land that is not currently protected open space, such as the Picatinny Arsenal and various city-owned watershed lands in the Pequannock watershed, should be transferred to public ownership for management as preserve areas. Large privately owned parcels that are threatened by development, especially Sterling Forest, should be acquired and transferred to state or federal conservation agencies or protected through conservation easements or other means. In addition to acquisition efforts, there need to be state and local incentives to maintain open space, especially forested areas. Because many of the habitat values of the Highlands are based on its large tracts of unfragmented forests and wetlands, these large areas must be preserved intact. Protecting only the small and localized rare communities will not be sufficient.

Most obviously, state owned land is only a portion of NJ’s landscape.

Mr. Forester neglects the facts that species migrate and – like land ownership – state borders are largely irrelevant to the causal factors creating threats and driving species declines.

But even more important, those 33 species are in trouble for many reasons, most importantly the conversion of their habitat to development; made worse by pollution and global warming. Here is what the DEP WAP says:

1. Habitat Destruction
Habitat destruction is the greatest threat to New Jersey wildlife. It is the equivalent of actually “taking” or killing wildlife, since an organism denied its ability to feed and/or reproduce can no longer exist. New Jersey is moving to adopt endangered and threatened species rules to further protect endangered and threatened wildlife and their associated habitat. Identification, protection, and, where possible, acquisition of critical habitats for such wildlife are key components of the Plan. Another goal is to further integrate water quality regulations and aquatic habitat delineation into endangered and threatened wildlife protection.

To try to claim that these 33 species are in decline “purely due to lack of proper stewardship from state government” is flat out false (and remember that the Mr. Forester is using “stewardship” arguments to support a bill that is targeted on the “stewardship” of state lands).

That claim is not supported by evidence,  false, absurd, and based on bizarre reasoning.

4. Ethically Challenged Claim: Mischaracterization of Supporters of the Bill

Mr. Forester claims:

Conservation-minded legislators from both sides of the aisle passed this bill with the support of a remarkably broad coalition of environmental groups.

Virtually all the “environmental groups” that support this bill, like Mr. Forester, have financial conflicts of interest and seek to derive direct economic benefits from the bill.


5. Agenda Revealing Claim:  Failure to Understand Competing and Conflicting Missions

Mr. Forester clearly supports the DEP Division of Fish and Wildlife, but is frustrated by the DEP’s Division of Parks and Forestry.

He apparently fails to understand that there are obvious inherent conflicts between the missions of those two groups.

Mr. Forester goes beyond mere frustration, however, and presents – exactly as I predicted – dangerous recommendations to expand a pilot “stewardship” logging operation to our magnificent northern hardwood State forests:

While the DEP Division of Fish and Wildlife is making a valiant effort to create habitat for golden-winged warbler in and near Sparta Mountain Wildlife Management Area, should those projects not increase local populations, then the next logical area to focus on would be along the New York-New Jersey state line. This may include portions of High Point, Waywayanda, Ringwood, and Long Pond Ironworks state parks, and Abram S. Hewitt, Norvin Green, and Ramapo Mountain state forests.

So, as I previously wrote several times, the objectives of the bill are to expand commercial logging in state forests, particularly northern hardwood forests,  under the false pretext of protecting endangered species.

The Farm Bureau let that cat out of the bag in their June 10, 2013 testimony.

Now the Professional Foresters have confirmed the expansive logging objective.

We must not let that happen. Tell the Gov. to Veto the bill!

[Update – NJ Conservation Foundation understands all this:

One excellent clue as to where rare plants still exist today is in the late 1800’s topographic survey of New Jersey by C.C. Vermuele. His maps point us to New Jersey’s oldest forests. When we look at these forests, many still in existence today, we find undisturbed native soils where many ancient plant populations survive. A good example is Round Mountain, a Hunterdon County park. In the face of a proposal to log Round Mountain’s forest in 2010, close inspection by expert botanists showed the existence of many rare plant species. The logging proposal would have created a rush of sunlight, heat, droughty soil, invasive species and deer, all factors the rare plants could not tolerate. Fortunately, the proposal was withdrawn.

Today, the NJ Department of Environmental Protection plans to extensively log the Weldon Brook Wildlife Management Area in order to create and maintain early successional meadow habitat for the Golden-Winged Warbler, a now rare but once common bird in northern New Jersey. The Golden-Winged Warbler is virtually gone from this area, only found at high elevations.

Efforts to save the Golden-Winged Warbler habitat are important and necessary, but should not be done at the expense of other rare species. The New Jersey Natural Heritage Program, with help from botanists, ecologists, and environmental activists, has discovered many rare plant species not previously inventoried in Weldon Brook.

Categories: Uncategorized Tags:

Audubon Urges That “Stewardship” Funding Go From $0 to $40 Million Per Year

July 19th, 2013 No comments

No Definition of “Stewardship”, or Policy, or Program Plan

Deep disagreements about what it means

Another Curious Contradiction

John James Audubon - a man handy with gun and quill

[Important Update below]

There was an extraordinary and highly unusual moment yesterday during testimony on the Open Space Sale Tax dedication.

A woman representing NJ Audubon began to read her written testimony in support of the Resolution. But, just after she began, Chairman Smith abruptly interrupted.

(paraphrase): “I see you have written testimony. You can submit that for the record. But, instead of reading it, just tell us, from the heart, why you support open space preservation

I prepared to hear a sentimental soliloquy of falling in love with birds under the wise tutelage of a summer camp counselor or science teacher – or some profound recollection of an ecological epiphany while watching hawks soar.

But I was disappointed to hear nothing from the heart – but instead a justification grounded in – money.

This included the gall to recommend that 20% of the Open Space funding – $40 million! – be allocated to “stewardship”.

To put that number in context, DEP recently opposed FSC certification due to a cost of $100,000 per year, and legislators raised cost concerns that preparing plans required by the the “Forest Stewardship” bill for state lands could cost $2.7 million (total)

I was dumbstruck.

Without hyperbole, a truly jaw dropping moment.

Imagine that – going from the current situation of $0 allocated to “stewardship” to a request for $40 million!

With no scientific or legal definition of what “stewardship” even means; no “stewardship” policy;  and no program plan to justify the need for the funding or to describe where and how the money would be spent!

Asking for $40 million of taxpayer money – on a fucking whim!

And doing all this while not disclosing that your organization would receive a lot of that money and is the only entity in NJ that is certified to prepare “forest stewardship” plans, giving you a corner on a big chunk of the “stewardship” market.

And worse, testifying about all this without even acknowledging the existence of the current raging debate on exactly just what “stewardship” means in the public lands management context.

Ah, but what should I expect from a representative of a group named for a man who shot birds in order to draw them, a curious contradiction that drove me this morning to my Library of America collection for the volume by John James Audubon.

I didn’t have to read far to capture the essence of the man.

On page 2, the second day of his “Mississippi River Journal;”, on Saturday, October 14, 1820, he writes of a brutal scene:

I shot a Fish Hawk Falco Aliatus at the mouth of the Big Miami River a handsome male in good Plumage. he was wing (sic) only and in attempting to Seize Joseph’s hand, he ran one of his claws through the lower mandible of his bill and exhibited a very ludicrous object. These birds walk with great difficulty and like all of the Falco and Strix Genus throw themselves on their backs to defend themselves.

So, fast forwarding 193 years, I guess the fruit has not fallen far from the tree.

So, let me recap the highlights, just for clarity:

1) currently, the 40+ year old Open Space program does not provide funds for “stewardship”;

2) there is no legal, scientific, or programmatic definition of what “stewardship” means in a theoretical or applied field context to support the initiative;

3)  there is no analysis justifying the need for “stewardship” funding;

4) there is no policy or program plan to describe when, where, why, by whom, and how “stewardship” funds would be spent; metrics to evaluate performance; and how performance would be monitored and assessed;

5) NJ Audubon conducts stewardship consulting services; is involved with DEP on stewardship projects; and implements stewardship on Audubon properties;

6) DEP  foresters and NJ Audubon define “stewardship” to include the following activities on public lands:

  • commercial logging
  • cutting trees and brush to provide “bio-fuels”
  • prescribed burns
  • applications of herbicides, even in water supply watersheds
  • destruction of environmentally sensitive features – including wetlands, stream buffers, and steep slopes – by logging roads, bridges, and cutting of trees
  • closure of hiking trails and restrictions on public access as necessary to support logging and “stewardship” activities.

Do you support providing $40 million in taxpayer funds for ANY of this?

Let your voice be heard in the debate.

[Update – just realized I left out an important point (which I raised in my testimony yesterday):

While the text of the Resoution itself would authorize expenditures for “stewardship”, curiously, the proposed ballot question and the interpretive statement make NO MENTION of “stewardship”. Read it for yourself here

I complained that this misleads voters engaged in one of the most significant acts of a citizen in a democracy: amending the Constitution.

This is a totally unacceptable situation.- end update]

Categories: Uncategorized Tags: