The Warren Grove project area in the Pine Barrens surrounds the New Jersey Air National Guard’s Warren Grove Gunnery Range, in an area straddling the border of Burlington and Ocean counties.
Preserving land surrounding the gunnery range accomplishes the dual goals of protecting environmentally-sensitive wildlife habitat and creating a natural buffer around a military installation.
Many of the privately-owned properties in this project area are “in-holdings” within state-owned lands such as Bass River State Forest. Acquiring these properties for conservation allows for an integrated forest management plan, which is especially important in the wildfire-prone Pine Barrens. Fire hazard can be greatly reduced through integrated planning measures.
New Jersey Conservation Foundation preserved its first property in the Warren Grove project area – the 107-acre former Oswego Gun Club property in Bass River Township – in late 2009. Read more about it > Other smaller properties soon followed, and additional properties are being sought and negotiated.
In preserving the former hunting camp, New Jersey Conservation Foundation became the first nonprofit group in the state to use funding from the U.S. Department of Defense’s Readiness and Environmental Preparedness Initiative (REPI). This initiative provides funds to preserve land surrounding military installations.
To learn more about NJCF’s preservation work in the Pine Barrens, please contact Stephanie Monahan, Pine Barrens Regional Manager, at 1-888-LANDSAVE (1-888-526-3728) or firstname.lastname@example.org.
By Michele S. Byers,