Farmland Assessment Forms Amended: Add'l Info Needed

farm tax formsStarting with this filing season, some important changes have arrived on some of your farm tax forms.  The Woodland Data Form (WD-1) is the form on which we report your agricultural and stewardship activities.  Starting this year, we must report the last time that we were on-site and could verify that the activities reported on your Farmland Assessment forms actually occured.

We believe that this information will be used to prioritize Farmland Assessment compliance inspections by the DEP State Forestry Service and, possibly, by municipal tax assessors.  We believe that reporting a last inspection date of more than two years from the date we certify the current form could serve as something of an "audit flag," and may place your property on a more expedited compliance inspection schedule.

This is why we have been working with clients this winter to minimize the number of properties that we have not been present on in more than two years.  Please understand that it is important that we verify that reported activities have actually occured at least every two years.

Join Us for Tree Farm Day on June 2nd

ATFSCaptureWe hope to see many of you at the annual Tree Farm Day sponsored by the New Jersey Tree Farm Committee.  This year’s program will be at the Bieber family Tree Farm in Lafayette/Sparta, NJ.  The program is packed with many opportunities including learning about forest pests and diseases, exotic invasive plant control, tree identification, management of wildlife habitat, as well as other programs.  Many of these programs run concurrently, so you will have the opportunity to participate in several choices.  In addition, there will be a silent auction with many interesting and useful items, a 50-50 raffle, a raffle of a Stihl product, and the presentation of the Outstanding Tree Farmer of the Year and the Forest Stewardship Landowner of the Year awards.  The program begins at 8:30 am and continues through till 4:00pm, and includes both breakfast and lunch.  Registration is $30 per person, and $25 for each additional person in your party. 

You can register directly at www.njforestry.org, or for further  information please contact Dennis Galway, Chair at 908-696-9133 or dgalwaydsl@verizon.net.  We hope to see you there!

Forest Management for Biodiversity

A Baltimore oriole using young forest habitat in Sussex County.  photo courtesy John Parke, NJ AudubonIn 2012, Gracie & Harrigan discussed the USDA Natural Resources 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.

In May and June of 2016, 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 19 (yes, nineteen!) are species of special concern, regional concern, or uncommon.  The 2014 harvest area on Hudson Farm contained 38 different bird species, of which 17 are species of special concern, regional concern, or uncommon.  At Camp No-Be-Bo-Sco, 32 different bird species were identified, of which 18 (not a typo!) are species of special concern, regional concern, or uncommon, including cerulean warbler.

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.

Over the years, we have received an increasing number of requests from clients to specifically include projects to benefit certain imperiled wildlife and plant species in Forest Management Plans.  If there is a particular species or suite of species that you would like to specifically encourage on your property, let us know.  We maintain a list of willing partners in the wildlife and botany fields that we can collaborate with to meet your needs.

Rare Birds Found on Hudson Farm, No-Be-Bo-Sco Sites


2015 GWWAIn 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.

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Benefits

Practicing sustainable forestry  works to:

  • Protect water quality
  • Increase water yield
  • Promote forest health
  • Restore damaged forest ecosystems
  • Promote wildlife through the creation of habitat
  • Yield renewable forest products