Today, Gracie & Harrigan sent an e-mail and postcard reminder to all of our clients in regards to the deadline for filing for Farmland Assessment. The deadline for filing for Farmland Assessment is August 1. There are no extensions on this deadline. We look forward to seeing the remainder of our clients in June or July (or receiving their information through the mail). As discussed in our instructions (see link below), we are offering a discount of 20% for all clients who bring or mail in their forms and provide payment on or before July 14.
As a reminder, our instructions to our clients can be downloaded by clicking here. A questionnaire to help organize your thoughts and paperwork can be found by clicking here. Our calendar showing our business hours can be opened by clicking here. And lastly directions to our office are found by clicking here.
If you have any questions, please give us a call at (908) 781-6711. Thank you!
-Heather Gracie, Christina Harrigan, and Steve Kallesser
Rare Birds Found on Hudson Farm, No-Be-Bo-Sco Sites
Written by Steve Kallesser
In 2012, Gracie & Harrigan discussed the USDA Natural Resource Conservation Service's Working Lands For Wildlife (WLFW) program with several of our clients. In our area, WLFW funds projects to improve habitat for either golden-winged warbler or bog turtle on private lands. Three client properties (two of which are leased by the Hudson Farm Club) accepted proposals to conduct habitat work to benefit golden-winged warbler and "other species sensitive to canopy closure." In 2013, the first modified seed tree harvest was conducted on the Hudson Farm Club properties, followed by harvests at Camp No-Be-Bo-Sco (owned and operated by the Northern NJ Council, BSA) and elsewhere on the Hudson Farm Club properties in 2014.
This May and June, the sites were surveyed for bird species by the DEP Division of Fish & Wildlife's Endangered and Nongame Species Program. The 2013 harvest area on the Hudson Farm contained 34 different bird species, of which 16 (yes, sixteen!) are species of special concern, regional concern, or uncommon. The 2014 harvest area on Hudson Farm contained 34 different bird species, of which 15 are species of special concern, regional concern, or uncommon. At Camp No-Be-Bo-Sco, 31 different bird species were identified, of which 17 (not a typo!) are species of special concern, regional concern, or uncommon.
Two items of note. (1) These sites are remarkable because they were not supposed to be attractive to species that require young forest until about 5 years after harvest. To see species -- especially forest ground-nesting birds such as black-and-white warbler -- using sites that are barely 2 years post-harvest hopefully means that we are doing something right. (2) Given golden-winged warbler's preference for young forest within a larger forested matrix, there was some concern regarding these harvests and avoidance of the harvest areas by forest interior birds. Interestingly enough, one of the few species that was observed at all three harvest areas was scarlet tanager, a forest interior bird.
Gracie & Harrigan thanks the Hudson Farm Club and the Northern NJ Council, BSA for participating in this program.
Forestry can benefit cerulean warblers
Written by Steve Kallesser
The Appalachian Mountains Joint Venture released the Cerulean Warbler Management Guidelines for Appalachian Hardwood Forests last year. Cerulean warblers are commonly associated with large, contiguous forests with old-growth characteristics, and are species of special concern in NJ. They are difficult to see, nesting near the tops of large-diameter white oak, chestnut oak, sugar maple, cherry, locust, elm, and sycamore trees. The species has declined by about 70% since l966. The management guidelines stem from a large-scale study spanning four states.
The management guidelines recommend thinning overstocked stands—particularly in landscapes dominated by forest—to a residual basal area of between 40 and 90 square feet/acre. Thinning should retain preferred nesting tree species while reducing red maple. Individual tree selection systems did not significantly increase population levels, indicating the need for a heavier thinning, principally to increase light levels to the understory and encourage regeneration and other understory vegetation, and also to encourage crown growth in residual trees.
For more information, ask one of us during Farm Tax season. The guidelines for cerulean warblers can be read by clicking here.
(This article was originally written for the Spring 2014 issue of The Cruiser.)