Forest Stewardship Bill Poised for Gov Signature
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  1. #1
    Monster Buck apmaurosr's Avatar
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    Forestry Stewardship Bill Poised to Be Signed Into Law

    __________________________________________________ ___

    The NJ Legislature took a major step forward in passing a piece of forest stewardship legislation that the New Jersey Outdoor Alliance has been supporting along with other conservation organizations. The Governor is expected to sign the bill into law.

    STEWARDSHIP PROGRAM APPROVED BY ASSEMBLY

    (TRENTON) The measure (A3239) and (companion bill S713) would direct the Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) to establish a forest stewardship program for owners of forest land who prepare forest stewardship plans for five acres of land or more. Under the bill, plans would be required to meet the rules and regulations of sustainability, list the owner's long term stewardship goals for the forest land and the annual activities that will be implemented in the forest.

    The bill also would direct the DEP to:

    * Establish a cost share incentive program, "New Jersey Forest Stewardship Incentive Program," if funds are appropriated or otherwise made available for the support and funding of such a program, the DEP would award grants to local government units, non-profit organizations, and private owners of forest land to help subsidize their costs in implementing stewardship activities.

    * Create a forest stewardship advisory council

    * Prepare a report every seven years based on these forest sustainability criteria and indicators, with the first report required by February 1st of the third year following the date of enactment.

    The bill would further provide that no local government unit may enact, on or after the date of enactment of this bill into law, any ordinance, rule, or resolution, as appropriate, that conflicts with, prevents or impedes the implementation of a forest stewardship plan or impose a fee in excess of $100 in any calendar year for the cutting of trees on any land that is the subject of an approved forest stewardship plan.

    This bill would amend the "Landowner's Liability Act," which provides general liability protection to landowners (as well as lessees and occupants of the lands) under certain circumstances for defined sport and recreational activities including hunting, fishing and trapping. However, current law removes that protection when permission is granted in exchange for payment such as a fee or lease agreement. This bill would remove this inhibition on lands where the landowner is implementing an approved forest stewardship plan and the use of the forest land for sport or recreational activity is consistent with the plan for sustainability.

    Anthony P. Mauro, Sr
    Chair
    New Jersey Outdoor Alliance
    New Jersey Outdoor Alliance Conservation Foundation
    New Jersey Outdoor Alliance Environmental Projects

    "We've got your back!" ________________________________________________

    JOIN NJOA: http://www.njoutdooralliance.org/support/njoa.html

  2. #2
    Non Typical NJHUNTSMAN's Avatar
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    New Jersey Forest Stewardship Incentive Program,"
    I would think that this would be the Sportsmen's version of "Habit at for Humanity" .................."Habit for wildlife"
    Unless specifically noted the statements, comments, suggestions or ideas listed above are of my own and not those of any organization I am associated with.Jerry NataleNJ Outdoor Alliance Secretary.& TreasurerEvent Coordinator & Acting Central Region Manager. www.njoutdoralliance.orgSomerset County Federation VP

  3. #3
    Dominant Buck Bucksnbows's Avatar
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    While it is far from a perfect bill, all hunters should be supporting it. We need to get back to managing our forests and this is a step in the right direction. We continue to fight the preservationists ("enviros") who think anything other than a fully mature forest is bad. Since we've stopped fires and disease to such a large extent, we've lost naturally occurring mixed-age forest stands critical for many wildlife species, both game and non-game alike. Cutting and managing through Forestry Stewardship Management Plans that are carefully thought out can greatly benefit wildlife and bring back species like ruffed grouse or a multitude of song birds as well as diversifying plant life.

    Ant knows the work we have undertaken on our property in Sparta with just such a plan, and we are excited to see the early results in the coming years as we continue to add irregular clear cuts, perform timber stand improvement (TSI) and sell some select cut trees to get a proper forest balance with excellent wildlife habitat. Now if we can only keep those pesky deer from eating us out of house and home...

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