Pine Barrens Protected
This was taken from the Tracker School web
The New Jersey Conservation Foundation (NJCF), the New Jersey
Division of Fish, Game & Wildlife (DFG&W), and outdoorsman Tom Brown Jr. are
teaming up to help protect nearly a thousand additional acres of wilderness in the Pine
In June, NJCF acquired 917 acres of property in the Forked River
Mountain area of Ocean County with Green Acres funding and equal donations from landowners
Cliff Frazee, and Annette and Alan Kirby. Previously, it acquired over 3,500 acres in the
same region. As a result, the NJCF is protecting more than 4,400 total acres of the
preserve for hiking and other outdoor activities.
Brown, who has been teaching wilderness classes at the newly acquired
site for many years through his tracking, nature and wilderness school, agreed to provide
year-round caretakers for the preserve. They will be responsible for keeping an eye on the
property and alerting officials to any problems.
"The Pine Barrens are my home away from home and whatever I can do
to help ensure their beauty, I will do," said Brown, whose backyard growing up was
the Pine Barrens. "This is a great thing. A victory for the Pine Barrens. The
Foundation should be commended. The Division of Fish, Game & Wildlife should be
commended. I am glad that we can be a partner in this project."
Officials from both NJCF and DFG&W are not only excited about the
purchase, but also with the extensive co-operative effort mounted to save and protect the
land on a long-term basis.
"Large Open space gains like these protect our quality of life in
so many ways, including saving us tax dollars," according to the NJCF Director of
Communications. "We're thrilled to be working with Tom Brown's Tracker School and the
DFG&W to keep the Forked River Mountain Wildlife Management Area a natural wonder for
all to see."
The Forked River Mountains, which are situated along the Garden State
Parkway, are a place of natural wonder and rich history. They feature cedar swamps, pitch
pine and oak forests, open bogs and marshland.
The wilderness houses the highest concentration of endangered species
in the northeastern half of the Pine Barrens. These are the rarest and most endangered
plants and animals north of Atlantic City and include the Saw-Whet Owl, Hermit Thrush,
Pine Snake, Timber Rattlesnake, the Pine Barrens Gardenia (a small blue bell-shaped
flower), meadows of federally endangered Swamp Pink ( a lily with a grapefruit-sized pink
lily blossom), and thousands of Turkey Beard (another lily). In addition there are
extensive forests of Atlantic White Cedar.
In the Standard Class, students learn how to observe nature, how to
track and stalk animals, and how to survive in the wilderness without the benefit of
modern conveniences. Students learn how to make shelter, find water, start a fire, and
make tools using primitive methods.
The New Jersey Conservation Foundation is devoted to preserving open
spaces through New Jersey. Since its inception in 1960 it has saved more than 75,000
acres. For more information on this and other conservation projects, contact NJCF at