Conservancy plants native species, removes invasive plants from Essex County preserve.
Local volunteers kicked off a project to restore several acres of woodland at the Essex County Hilltop Reservation earlier this month. Led by the Hilltop Conservancy, the group planted, mulched and fenced 10 deer exclosures and removed thousands of invasive wineberry and privet plants, according to Theresa Trapp, treasurer of the conservancy. These projects, Trapp explained, are part of a master plan to regenerate seven acres of the forest understory at the reservation, which straddles North Caldwell, Verona and Cedar Grove. In early April, native plants — such as redbud, serviceberry, arrowwood and summersweet — were planted and then protected from deer with eight-foot fencing. The conservancy also spread tons of wood chips from recent …
Hilltop Conservancy Treasurer Theresa Trapp pens Letter to the Editor regarding county deer hunt.
Thursday, February 14
Essex County’s 2013 deer hunt has come to a close, once again removing many of this over-abundant species from our reservations (Hilltop – 61, South Mountain – 43). Contrary to naysayers, deer have not become extinct because of the program, and there are small signs that our nature preserves are beginning to recover from decades of browse damage. Contraceptives are sometimes proposed as an alternative to hunting. However, we need to acknowledge that non-lethal methods to control deer populations would involve significant investment of taxpayer dollars, particularly immuno-contraception (e.g., GonaCon). Each GonaCon inoculation costs more than $1,000 per dose (including locating, immobilizing, inoculating and collaring). In addition, each…