Great Swamp NWR: Management Plan Proposal – June 10, 2014

A Management plan is proposed for the Great Swamp National Wildlife Refuge. There is the opportunity for public comment.

The draft document of the proposal will be available for public review and comment through June 27, 2014.

Here is the blurb from the Great Swamp web site:

“The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (Service) has released for public review the draft comprehensive conservation plan (CCP) and environmental assessment (EA) for Great Swamp National Wildlife Refuge (NWR) in New Jersey. The document describes four alternatives that were evaluated for managing the refuge for the next 15 years. It also provides an analysis of the potential effects on the environment from implementing each alternative.”

The following is excerpted from the press release:

“The Service has identified alternative B as the preferred alternative for management
of the refuge. Under alternative B, we describe the actions we believe would best
meet refuge purposes and goals, including:

  • Wildlife and habitat management: We would maintain a diversity of refuge habitats to promote wildlife use and decrease fragmentation for migratory birds and threatened and endangered species, including the Indiana bat and bog turtle.
  • Public Use: We would expand the hunt program by providing archery opportunities for deer and opening the refuge to turkey hunting. We would also improve wildlife viewing and photography opportunities by creating trails, providing more parking, and constructing observation towers. We would also expand visitor center hours and increase the number of environmental education and interpretative programs on and off the refuge.”

Here are some pertinent links:

  • Press release for the Great Swamp CCP is here.
  • The main page for the draft CCP is here.
  • The entire CCP (~594 pages) in PDF format is here (give it time – it is large).

Two meetings have been scheduled to provide the public with opportunities to learn more about the draft comprehensive conservation plan and ask questions of Service staff:

  • June 11, 2014, 10:00am-12:00pm, Chatham Township Municipal Building, 58 Meyersville Road, Chatham, NJ 07928
  • June 12, 2014, 6:30-8:30pm, Long Hill Township Municipal Building, 915 Valley Road, Gillette, NJ 07933

Thanks to Jennifer Books for alerting mocosocoBirds to this development.

As expected, the Florham Park Fields are in the process of being cut. This is a biannual event at the Fields. The second cut usually occurs in late summer. The owner of the property, who graciously lets people use it for activities such as fishing, birding, dog training, etc., has an interest in selling the land for development more than preserving it for nature.

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