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deer management

We posted the deer letter at deerinbalance.org.  You can find it by clicking here. If you haven’t already, there are instructions for signing-on.

Thanks to Jared R. and everyone else for their hard work on this issue.   I believe that overabundant white-tailed deer is perhaps the largest conservation threat to preserved natural areas in New Jersey.  This letter and advocacy surrounding it move us closer to working effectively with the State to address this problem.

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Baldpate Mountain USGS Topo

The next Stewardship Roundtable meeting is this Wednesday, June 9, 2010 at Baldpate Mountain in Titusville.

The “business” portion of the meeting will involve discussion of the deer letter, the native and do not plant list, and support of the Phillip Alampi Beneficial Insect Rearing Laboratory. Over lunch there will be a discussion of stewardship of Flagship Preserves  including management of rare flora and fauna, public education programs, trails, restoration, land preservation, and partnerships.

Finally, there will be a walk to see ecological restoration in action at Baldpate Mountain with Sharyn Magee, Cornell Birds in Forested Landscape data collector and volunteer Breeding Bird Surveyor.  For more information, directions, and a complete agenda, click here.

Charging for hunting on non-profit lands was an idea that was discussed at a Stewardship Roundtable meeting last year.  The numbers that were thrown around for typical hunting leases were much higher than I expected.  Here is an article about Washington Township, Morris County consideration of leasing municipal lands to hunt clubs click here for the article.

If the numbers in this article are correct, leasing hunting rights could solve some of our stewardship budget problems.  However, I think if you charged this much it would be hard to place any demands on the hunting club such preferential harvesting of does and sharing the property with the general public.  Perhaps there is a fee that would strike a nice balance between meeting the stewardship budget requirements of managing a particular property and keeping control of the important aspects of deer management.

Here is a great article on the restoration taking place at South Mountain Reservation.

As I mentioned in a previous post, I can’t say enough about how impressed I am by the conservation leadership of the South Mountain Conservancy, Essex County, Joseph DiVincenzo, and of course, New Jersey Audubon and New Jersey Conservation Foundation.

Note how expensive this is – $800,000.  If we were to measure the acreage of forests in NJ that need to be restored and multiply that by the per-acre costs of this restoration we’d have monetary value we could put on the ecological problem of overabundant deer.   This sounds like a fun exercise .  Anyone up for it?