TRENTON, NJ –-(Ammoland.com)- For those of us who enjoy fishing, hunting, and the pursuit of other outdoors interests the health of forests is key to our enjoyment.
Forests help to stabilize the climate, regulate the water cycle by absorbing and redistributing rainwater to every species living within its range, aid in proving clean water, provide habitats for life to flourish, and carbon sequestration in forests and wood products helps to offset sources of carbon dioxide to the atmosphere.
A number of variables have converged to cause neglect of our forests. While land development and dwindling corridors are factors, so too are the high percentage of “mature” forest. Mature forest in New Jersey has been a notable cause for the near extirpation of Northern Bobwhite quail, Red-headed woodpecker, and other animals that depend on habitat often created by natural disturbances such as fire, flooding, and insect breakouts. It is habitat that includes, “…densely growing young trees, shrubs and brush — what is described as young forest”.
The three New Jersey Outdoor Alliance non-profits, along with its 23 council member organizations, have made forest stewardship and forest health one of two long-term priorities. More on this important subject is forthcoming. Below is an article on dwindling populations of the New England cottontail rabbit due in part to mature forest.
Anthony P. Mauro
There goes Peter cottontail:
Iconic rabbit facing extinction
By Sofia Perpetua, Writer
The grass is not that green for the New England cottontail rabbit anymore, as its habitat is disappearing — and if there is no intervention the Massachusetts famous rabbit could become extinct, experts warn.
This rabbit species was once so popular that it inspired Peter Cottontail, Thornton Burgess children’s story character, a century ago, as well as songs, comic strips, movies and television specials.
The song “Here comes Peter Cottontail” was composed in 1950 by Steve Nelson and Jack Rollins, and a Gene Autry recording later rose to the top of the U.S. Billboards charts and has become one of the most popular Easter songs of all time.
But over the last 50 years, the New England cottontail lost more than 80 percent of its habitat, according to the Wildlife Management Institute, a non-profit conservationist organization. The rabbit is restricted to parts of Maine, New Hampshire, Massachusetts, Connecticut, Rhode Island and southeastern New York. Land that was once used for agriculture has become mature forest causing the rabbit’s population to thin.
Read More: http://tiny.cc/tc7uuw
New Jersey Outdoor Alliance: “We’ve got your back!”
JOIN NJOA: http://www.njoutdooralliance.org/support/njoa.html
NJOA – The mission of New Jersey Outdoor Alliance is to serve as a grassroots coalition of outdoorsmen and outdoorswomen dedicated to environmental stewardship. We will champion the intrinsic value of natural resource conservation – including fishing, hunting and trapping, among opinion leaders and policy makers. We will support legislation, and those sponsoring legislation, that provides lasting ecological and social enrichment through sustainable use of the earths resources. Visit: www.njoutdooralliance.org