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NJDEP Destroys 21 Acres of Old Trees & Wetlands in Glassboro WMA


The Sierra Club, New Jersey chapter is outraged with NJDEP’s decision to clear cut 21 acres of mature forest and critical wetlands at the Glassboro Wildlife

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Management Area. Over 100 year old trees were cut including the ShortLeaf Pine, White Oak, and Swamp Chestnut Oak and over 10 acres of wetlands were destroyed. There was no public hearing or input on DEP’s plan nor was there a 14 step process that would usually occur for a forestry plan. 


On February 1st, the NJDEP posted on their Website, that New Jersey Fish and Wildlife began habitat work in Glassboro Wildlife Management Area on or about February 1st, 2023. Approximately 21 acres of American Woodcock (Scolopax minor) habitat was created along Carpenter Ave, via the creation and management of meadow habitat with moist soils. 


“NJDEP’s decision to clear cut 21 acres of mature forest in the Glassboro Wildlife Management Area and impact critical wetlands is reprehensible. They have caused irreparable harm to an area with trees over a 100 years old, destroyed rare and endangered animal and plant species habitat, and damaged critical wetlands. The department failed to have adequate public input and unfortunately since the state has minimal regulations on how to manage its public forests, there is no accountability. This is a failure of governance. Without public and external expert input, the NJDEP failed to come up with an effective plan and now has caused a disaster, if not a major violation to the Freshwater Wetlands Act,” said Anjuli Ramos- Busot, New Jersey Director of the Sierra Club. 


Just last month, at a Joint Senate and Assembly Environment Committee Hearing, the New Jersey Forest Task Force laid out 16 recommendations in their 267 page report on how the state can manage its public forestlands. The Task Force specifically emphasized the need for NJDEP to initiate and commence a formal rulemaking process for the development of forest management plans on public forests. 


“The Glassboro Project is a prime example of why New Jersey needs stricter regulations when it comes to the protection of forests, wildlife management areas, and more. If the public was engaged in the process, experts could have pointed out other well suited areas to create or protect Woodcock habitat that would not have caused so much damage to critical ecosystems. Instead NJDEP obliterated our public land and trees that will most likely never grow back,”said Anjuli Ramos-Busot, New Jersey Director of the Sierra Club. “NJDEP violated their own rules, destroyed wetlands, and cut forests all with no plan. They should be held accountable for destroying 21 acres of land that belongs to the public.”