Effective management of deer populations in New Jersey is essential to reversing forest degradation and potentially a vital piece in achieving state climate goals that depend upon protecting and enhancing carbon stored in our forests. Properly functioning forest ecosystems are not only crucial for wildlife habitat and native plant populations but are also more effective in sequestering carbon and reducing carbon on a statewide level.
Through the recently published results of an 18-year deer management research study, Duke Farms in Hillsborough, NJ has provided an “example of the resiliency natural systems can exhibit upon removal of persistent negative human impact.” This research shows that effective deer management can reverse severe forest degradation. Additionally, research at Duke Farms is being conducted to better understand how land management impacts carbon levels within the soils and vegetation on-site.
Maintaining and enhancing the carbon stored in our forests is necessary to meet the land sequestration targets in the Global Warming Response Act 80×50 Report that details strategies to reduce New Jersey’s greenhouse gas emissions by 80% from 2006 levels by 2050.