Up to 2.4 million trees A project would see the need to reduce trees. to Major problems should be avoided wildfires in Federally protected New Jersey Forests considered a unique environmental treasure

New Jersey Environmental officials support the plan to kill trees in One section Bass River State Forest It is designed to Better protection against catastrophic events wildfiresThis will mostly affect small, scrawny people. trees — not the towering giants for which the Pinelands National Refuge is known and loved.

The plan was approved by the Senate on Oct. 14. New Jersey Pinelands Commission and Set to Begin in April split environmentalists. Some argue it’s a reasonable and necessary response. to The dangers of wildfiresSome say it is a waste of time, others disagree. trees That would be impossible. to Store carbon as climate change It is a crime to imperil the world.

The possible use herbicides can also cause upset among foes to Refrain from invasive species growth by noting the Pinelands’ location atop an underground aquifer which contains the most pure drinking water in The nation.

Some of them are afraid of the plan. could Be a backdoor to logging the protected woodlands under the guise of fire protection, despite the state’s denials.

“In order to save the forest, they have to cut down the forest,” Jeff Tittel, a former director of The Advisory Board, said this. New Jersey Sierra Club calls the plan “shameful” “Orwellian.”

Pinelands Commissioner Mark Lohbauer voted no to the plan and called it ill-advised at many levels. He claims it could He also said that rare snakes are not to be hurt and that he had researched forestry strategies in western states and found that tree-thinning was ineffective. in Larger amounts of damage can be prevented wildfires.

“We are in an era of climate change; it’s incumbent on us to do our utmost to preserve these trees that are sequestering carbon,” He said. “If we don’t have an absolutely essential reason for cutting down trees, we shouldn’t do it.”

This plan covers approximately 1,300 acres (526 ha), which is a small percentage of the 1.1.millionPinelands preserve of -acre (445.150-hectare), which is under federal and state protection and has been designated a unique biosphere (United Nations).

Most of the trees to Be killed are less than 2 inches (5 cm) in According to the state, it was 2.25 inches. These are the smaller ones. trees Can be used as “ladder fuel,” Setting fire to the forest floor up to The treetops are where flames can quickly spread and winds can intensify to whip up The state Department of Environmental Protection stated that blazes are not allowed. in A statement.

The Pinelands commissioner determined that 2.4 million trees would be removed by using data from the state’s application, multiplying the percentage of tree density reduction by the amount of land affected.

However, the department did not confirm that it believed the number to be accurate and would not provide a different number. However, it did state “the total number of trees thinned could be significant.”

“This is like liquid gasoline in the Pinelands,” Todd Wyckoff, chief executive of the New Jersey Forest He was performing service as he touched the trunk of a pine tree that is most commonly cut during the project. “I see a forest at risk from fire. I look at this as restoring the forest to more of what it should be.”

Tree thinning is an acceptable method of managing forests in Many areas of the country are covered. in Thinning is a way to prevent fires from growing larger than they might otherwise be. It is supported by both government foresters and timber industry officials. Some conservation groups disagree with this view.

New Jersey According to the plan, the cutting will focus on the smallest pitch-pine snow-bent. trees, “and an intact canopy will be maintained across the site.”

The state’s application, however, envisions that canopy cover will be reduced from 68% to 43% for more than 1,000 acres (405 ha), with smaller sections getting even greater decreases.

It’s also scrawny trees aren’t the only ones that will be cut: Many thick, tall trees Both sides of roads will be reduced to Make sure to create a fire break so that firefighters can defend against spreading flames.

About 2,000 people are affected in this area. trees per acre — four times the normal density in According to the Pinelands to The state.

The majority of the cut trees The wood chips will be ground into wood chips, which will remain on top of the forest floor and eventually return to their original form. to The department added that the soil was being reclaimed. “It is not anticipated that any material of commercial value will be produced because of this project.”

Some environmentalists worry that it might not be true. trees could are harvested and sold as cordwood, wood pellets, or used in making glue.

“I’m opposed to the removal of any of that material,” Lohbauer said. “That material belongs in the forest where it will support habitat and eventually be recycled” Into the soil. “Even if they use it for wood pellets, which are popular for burning in wood stoves, that releases the carbon.”

John Cecil, assistant commissioner for the department, stated that his agency is not looking. to You can make a profit on any wood products you might find on the site.

But he stated that if anyone fell, trees “could be put to good use and generate revenue for the taxpayers, why wouldn’t we do that? If there’s a way to do this that preserves the essential goals of this plan and brings some revenue back in, that’s not the end of the world. Maybe you could get a couple fence posts out of these trees.”

A law of Congress created this document in 1978: 22% of the area was occupied by Pinelands District. New Jersey’s land area, is home to There are 135 rare animal and plant species. It is the largest area of open space along the mid-Atlantic shoreline between Boston and Richmond, Virginia. It also contains an aquifer, which is the source for 17 trillion gallons (64 billion liters) drinking water.

“It is unacceptable to be cutting down trees in a climate emergency, and cutting 2.4 million small trees will severely reduce the future ability to store carbon,” Bill Wolfe is an ex-department official who maintains an environmental blog.

Carleton Montgomery is the executive director of Pinelands Preservation Alliance and supports the plan.

According to the group, opponents use the number of trees to Be cut “to (elicit) shock and horror,” This is because you should be focusing on the quantity rather than the size trees to They should be cut “are quite literally missing the forest for the trees. The resulting forest will be a healthy native Pine Barrens habitat.”