Lacey Township News



For Immediate Release


Virginia Rettig (USFWS), Refuge Manager, 609/652-1665,

Prescribed Burns within Lacey Township site of the Edwin B. Forsythe National Wildlife Refuge

The Edwin B. Forsythe National Wildlife Refuge wishes to inform surrounding communities that we will be conducting prescribed burns in March of 75 acres at the former Forked River Game Farm site in lacey Township. The purpose for the burn at the Forked River site is twofold. First, the burn will reduce the abundance of grass fuels that, left unmanaged, could increase the occurrence of wildfires which could spread onto private lands causing property damage.  Second, the prescribed fire will reduce the spread of invasive plants, primarily Bradford Pear trees, which have gradually displaced native vegetation typically found in grassland and early successional habitats.

Prescribed fire is an approved tool throughout the National Wildlife Refuge System and is part of the refuge’s fire and habitat management programs. The objectives of the prescribed burns are to maintain and enhance migratory and wintering habitat for songbirds and foraging raptors by removing or reducing undesirable plants and woody vegetation and encouraging growth of native warm-season grasses. Prescribed burns also reduce the occurrence of, and risk associated with, future wildfires by removing standing dead vegetation that burns easily.

Air quality and smoke will be monitored in an effort to minimize impacts to the surrounding areas. Local emergency personnel, including the police and the fire departments, will be notified prior to the prescribed burns. Visitors and residents are reminded that smoke may be visible after the burns are completed, but personnel will monitor and patrol the area until the prescribed burns are declared extinguished. Assistance may be provided by firefighters from the US Fish and Wildlife Service, the National Park Service and the New Jersey Forest Fire Service.

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