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 Post subject: The PPA is asking for 10 minutes to help Pinesnakes
PostPosted: March 14th, 2012, 4:14 am 
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Joined: June 7th, 2010, 8:52 am
Posts: 3462
Location: Morrisville, PA
Recently, the Pinelands Preservation Alliance (PPA) has asked me for NAFHA's help. This is an opportunity that has opened up to us after releasing data from naherp.com to them for conservation efforts. Please read the letter below:

Quote:
Hi Bob,

First off, thank you so much for sharing your herp data and for encouraging others in your group to share their data as well. I’ve skimmed through the spreadsheet and it looks like it will be of good use to us!

I’ve forwarded you the message below from my colleague Theresa Lettman. It refers to an application in Woodland Township to establish a mining operation. An environmental consulting group trapped 15 Northern Pine Snakes and found two snake nests on this property (report attached).

Theresa wanted to know if you or others in your group had the means and interest to submit comments to the Pinelands Commission regarding this issue. If anyone has data on sightings in the vicinity of this area, or would even like to review the attached report by Trident and give comments, we could help facilitate that.

I’m not sure if this is something your members would be interested in being involved with, but I figured it was worth a shot!

Thanks!
Amy

Amy Karpati, Ph.D.
Director for Conservation Science
Pinelands Preservation Alliance
17 Pemberton Road
Southampton, NJ 08088


Quote:
Hi,

Just want to let you all know that in May 2011, the Pinelands Commission issued an Inconsistent Certificate of Filing for the Winzinger Property in Woodland Township. The property is 284 acres and the applicant wants to establish a mining operation on 30 acres. This land is in the Preservation Area.

On January 17, 2012 the Woodland Twp Planning Board approved the mining (application heard at the December 20th Planning Board meeting). Attached is the Resolution and the T&E species report if anyone wants to review the report. They trapped 15 Northern Pine Snakes on the property. Two pine snake nest were discovered on the property. Page 29 says “Trapping results showed that a healthy population of Northern Pine Snakes utilizing the entire study area for life purposes”

The report is attached put the “Figures” that would show the tracking’s are not? They may not have submitted them to the Township.

Did we want to put comments into the Pinelands Commission to support the inconsistent Certificate of filing? If so it would have to be soon. The Pinelands Commission may or may not call it up?

Theresa Lettman
Director for Monitoring Programs


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 Post subject: Re: The PPA is asking for 10 minutes to help Pinesnakes
PostPosted: March 14th, 2012, 4:25 am 
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Joined: June 7th, 2010, 8:52 am
Posts: 3462
Location: Morrisville, PA
You don't need to understand all the legalities. I know I don't. The basic gist is that a mining operation wants to open up shop on acreage where pinesnakes AND pinesnake dens were found. We (NAFHA) would only be a little piece of the puzzle in helping the snakes, nonetheless, the PPA thinks our words are worth the effort.

There are two ways each one of us could help in our own little way. Emailing and sending an actual letter. I would suggest both. Basically, all you need is to write a letter explaining why pinesnakes are important. It doesn't have to be scientific, but should sound educated. Sign it with your full name and "NAFHA Member." Our organization name will have a little clout behind it since recently handing over 500 data points to CWF, so make sure to include it.

Mail your letter to:

Pinelands Commission
PO Box 359
15 Springfield Road
New Lisbon, New Jersey 08064

or email it (or do both) to:

[email protected]

All letters should reference:

Re: Application #1980-0062.001 – Winzinger Mining Operation Application, Woodland Twp.

*Please PM me with your email address if you would like any of the following:

1. Winzinger Letter Header
2. Winzinger Property Map (If any of us have found pines on or near here, even better.)
3. A copy of Trident's report
4. A copy of the Pinelands Commission's Certificate of Filing
5. A copy of the Woodland Township Planning Board Resolution


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 Post subject: Re: The PPA is asking for 10 minutes to help Pinesnakes
PostPosted: March 14th, 2012, 4:27 am 
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Joined: June 7th, 2010, 8:52 am
Posts: 3462
Location: Morrisville, PA
Lately, there has been a lot of confusion about the differences between NAFHA and the data-collecting portion (naherp.com). Here is an example of where NAFHA can provide assistance outside of simply entering data tirelessly into a database. Keep in mind though, it was the database that opened the door.

I hope to hear from a lot of you.

Bob

P.S. Let's try to get as many letters written as possible by the end of the month. The deadline is shortly thereafter.


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 Post subject: Re: The PPA is asking for 10 minutes to help Pinesnakes
PostPosted: March 14th, 2012, 10:49 am 
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Joined: May 14th, 2011, 11:16 pm
Posts: 994
Location: Santa Cruz, CA
Whatever help a letter from California can provide, you have it. Who knows, maybe someday I'll get to see a Northern Pine Snake...

JimM


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 Post subject: Re: The PPA is asking for 10 minutes to help Pinesnakes
PostPosted: March 14th, 2012, 4:11 pm 
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Joined: June 8th, 2010, 12:40 am
Posts: 3133
Location: Pennsylvania- Bucks Co. near Phila.
JAMAUGHN wrote:
Whatever help a letter from California can provide, you have it. Who knows, maybe someday I'll get to see a Northern Pine Snake...

JimM


They look like Gopher Snakes, only whiter.


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 Post subject: Re: The PPA is asking for 10 minutes to help Pinesnakes
PostPosted: March 14th, 2012, 4:38 pm 
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Joined: May 14th, 2011, 11:16 pm
Posts: 994
Location: Santa Cruz, CA
Yes, I noticed that when I was doing some research for the letter. Judging from some of the pictures, they seem to be about as good-natured, as well. :lol:

Here's the text of the letter I sent, in case that's helpful to anyone. It's not much, but it was the best I could do during my lunch break, esp. when I had a stack of student papers glaring at me from across the table.

Quote:
To Whom It May Concern:

I am writing today to express my concern over the proposed mining operation in Woodland Township, and the potential repercussions this will have on the significant population of Northern Pine Snakes that utilize that habitat. The Pine Snake is an important component to the ecosystem of the area, and is currently in decline in New Jersey. To quote the New Jersey Fish and Game Division: “All indications seem to suggest that pine snake abundance has decreased throughout its northeastern range, however. It is also believed that pine snakes have been extirpated from West Virginia and Maryland. The New Jersey Pinelands may hold some of the largest populations of pine snakes in the Northeast, but even in the Pinelands this species is at risk.” The Northern Pine Snake is a beautiful animal that many people would like to continue to see thrive. Please do whatever is possible to protect the habitat of this unique species.

Sincerely,

James Maughn,
NAFHA Member


Please feel free to make use of it, or make fun of it, as you see fit!

Jim


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 Post subject: Re: The PPA is asking for 10 minutes to help Pinesnakes
PostPosted: March 15th, 2012, 7:25 am 
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Joined: June 7th, 2010, 8:52 am
Posts: 3462
Location: Morrisville, PA
Hey Jim, sounds good. Make sure to include this, in case you haven't:

Quote:
Re: Application #1980-0062.001 – Winzinger Mining Operation Application, Woodland Twp.


I appreciate the effort man!


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 Post subject: Re: The PPA is asking for 10 minutes to help Pinesnakes
PostPosted: March 15th, 2012, 7:29 am 
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Joined: May 14th, 2011, 11:16 pm
Posts: 994
Location: Santa Cruz, CA
Done, thank you!


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 Post subject: Re: The PPA is asking for 10 minutes to help Pinesnakes
PostPosted: March 15th, 2012, 1:47 pm 

Joined: June 8th, 2010, 5:46 am
Posts: 457
Brick I've been trying to find out more about this.While I'm awaiting some callbacks....

Do you know, is this an already disturbed area that they will commence mining on, or will they be clearing/breaking ground on a whole new lot of land? I've seen vertical drilling/mining in other sandy areas of the coastal plain, I am wondering if it will be this type of vertical operation, vs. a quarry, with extensive sq. footage/a large 'footprint' of ground disturbance. I know little to nothing about it.....
Anything else you can tell us about this planned operation? I'm not asking for more locality info or a map, just concerned about this operation and ground disturbance itself...


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 Post subject: Re: The PPA is asking for 10 minutes to help Pinesnakes
PostPosted: March 15th, 2012, 3:20 pm 

Joined: June 12th, 2010, 4:32 pm
Posts: 385
Justin I'll send you a pm on what I know.

Fortunately we don't have nat gas under the barrens to my knowledge and the threat of contaminated water is enough to derail anything like that. Say a few prayers at night that the sand we have in south jersey is not good fracking sand either...disaster if it is. This is undisturbed land so it would be clear cutting, the property is relatively small...for now.


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 Post subject: Re: The PPA is asking for 10 minutes to help Pinesnakes
PostPosted: March 15th, 2012, 3:45 pm 
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Joined: June 7th, 2010, 8:52 am
Posts: 3462
Location: Morrisville, PA
Justin, I'll see what I can find out. If you find out first, please share.


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 Post subject: Re: The PPA is asking for 10 minutes to help Pinesnakes
PostPosted: March 15th, 2012, 4:35 pm 
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Joined: May 14th, 2011, 11:16 pm
Posts: 994
Location: Santa Cruz, CA
From what I was able to figure out, it sounds as though it is a sand/gravel quarry mine. It also sounds like it was a pre-existing site, that had been mined in the 70s, but had since been abandoned. I think I have that right, but these are legal documents I've been reading, and the language is very opaque. If anyone figures out anything different, please correct me.

I've really got to grade these papers now...sigh...

JimM


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 Post subject: Re: The PPA is asking for 10 minutes to help Pinesnakes
PostPosted: March 16th, 2012, 6:00 am 
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Joined: June 7th, 2010, 8:52 am
Posts: 3462
Location: Morrisville, PA
Justin and everyone else, here is some more info. Please everyone take a minute to write a letter.

Quote:
Hi Bob,

Is this an already disturbed site – no. The below will explain somewhat about what has been going on for the past 5-6 yrs at the Pinelands Commission with this application.

Image
Abandonment by brick911

The site is mostly undisturbed but does have open patches of ground or smaller previously disturbed areas but not 30 acres of disturbance. So they will be clearing a large amount of ground. (the above was taken for the PC Certificate of Filing which is attached)

Will this be the vertical operation? Well I guess that will depend on what’s in the ground. I would believe this might now be the deep ground drilling like that of Phoenix Pinelands because of the area but I could be wrong. What is going to happen will largely depend on how much $ the applicant is willing to invest in the site. Because he has spent so much to this point I would say that will continue. He must know how much this ground will net him or he would not have invested so much already.

I have attached a Aerial shot of the site along with a map that shows where the site is in relation to the Franklin Parker Preserve and Warren Grove bombing range.

Again any letter should use the Pinelands Application #1980-0062.001, should urge the PC to protect the known T&E species, and the letter should request to receive copies of any action they take on the application.

Theresa


*If anyone wants aerials, pm me with your email.


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 Post subject: Re: The PPA is asking for 10 minutes to help Pinesnakes
PostPosted: March 16th, 2012, 6:13 am 
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Joined: June 7th, 2010, 8:52 am
Posts: 3462
Location: Morrisville, PA
And here's some more:

Quote:
Hi Bob,

Also, in the Trident report that Theresa attached, in regards to present site characteristics it says on pg 4:

“The property is located within the Pinelands Preservation Area District. Surrounding land use is predominantly both upland and wetland forested woodlands associated within Greenwood State Forest.”

“The majority of the site is undisturbed, consisting of wooded uplands and wetlands. The wetlands on the site are associated with the Pope Branch which traverses through the property. There is one (1) open, gravel/sandy pit located in the southwestern portion of the site.”

The vegetation communities on the site include Pine/Oak Uplands, open canopy; Pine/Oak upland, closed canopy; Oak/Pine uplands, closed canopy; Palustrine wetlands; and limited areas of open bare soil. These communities are described on pages 7-8 of the same report.

Hope this helps!


Amy Karpati, Ph.D.
Director for Conservation Science
Pinelands Preservation Alliance
17 Pemberton Road
Southampton, NJ 08088


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 Post subject: Re: The PPA is asking for 10 minutes to help Pinesnakes
PostPosted: March 16th, 2012, 7:11 am 
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Joined: June 8th, 2010, 5:49 am
Posts: 283
Location: Rhode Island
Hey Bob ... several qustions for you ... I'm hoping you can clarify some abiguities for me ...
1) Is the parcel of land in question private property?
2) What does it mean that "The property is located within the Pinelands Preservation Area District ..."?
3) What is the hoped-for results? If the property is privately held and some sort of injunction against any further use of the property does occur, will there be some sort compensation for the property owner?
4) can there be some sort of compromise, if necessary, protecting key areas on this property but still allowing some sort of acceptable activity?

I like the idea of trying to save habitat for this species (actually any endagered animals) and I have an email ready to send, but in good conscience I need to understand the ramifications to the property owner ... just trying to get both sides of the picture.

Thanks! and good work


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 Post subject: Re: The PPA is asking for 10 minutes to help Pinesnakes
PostPosted: March 16th, 2012, 9:49 am 

Joined: June 12th, 2010, 4:32 pm
Posts: 385
PM sent Jeff.


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 Post subject: Re: The PPA is asking for 10 minutes to help Pinesnakes
PostPosted: May 22nd, 2012, 8:11 am 
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Joined: June 7th, 2010, 8:52 am
Posts: 3462
Location: Morrisville, PA
Here is an update I received from the PPA:

Quote:
Hi Bob,

I hope all is well! I just thought I’d give you an update on the Winzinger Mining (Woodland Township) application – the case in which I think several members of your herp group wrote comments to the Pinelands Commission regarding the possible threat to northern pine snakes on the property. The Pinelands Commission issued a Call-Up (see attached letter), which means that the Commission staff has determined that the Municipal approval of the application does NOT meet the Comprehensive Management Plan. The mining cannot proceed until the applicant resolves the inconsistencies, one of which is the conflict with threatened pine snake habitat.

It’s possible that the comments submitted by members of your group encouraged the issuing of this call-up to further explore the potential impacts to the local pine snake population. In any case, I wanted to thank you and the members of your herp group for their support!

Take care,
Amy


Thanks to anyone who took the time. :beer:


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 Post subject: Re: The PPA is asking for 10 minutes to help Pinesnakes
PostPosted: May 22nd, 2012, 9:37 am 
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Joined: June 8th, 2010, 5:49 am
Posts: 283
Location: Rhode Island
What was the outcome?


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 Post subject: Re: The PPA is asking for 10 minutes to help Pinesnakes
PostPosted: May 22nd, 2012, 9:43 am 
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Joined: June 7th, 2010, 8:52 am
Posts: 3462
Location: Morrisville, PA
Nothing yet, but the pine snakes are one of the issues.


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 Post subject: Re: The PPA is asking for 10 minutes to help Pinesnakes
PostPosted: May 22nd, 2012, 12:06 pm 

Joined: June 12th, 2010, 4:32 pm
Posts: 385
Congrats Bob and everyone for their hard work.


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 Post subject: Re: The PPA is asking for 10 minutes to help Pinesnakes
PostPosted: May 22nd, 2012, 3:36 pm 
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Joined: June 7th, 2010, 3:41 pm
Posts: 1988
Location: Connecticut
Awesome :thumb:

NAFHA.org should probably have a news section for stuff like this.


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 Post subject: Re: The PPA is asking for 10 minutes to help Pinesnakes
PostPosted: May 23rd, 2012, 7:33 pm 
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Joined: June 7th, 2010, 8:13 pm
Posts: 2266
Location: Minnesota
Great work all! Glad to see the group using its skills in addition to data entry. Keep it up NE Chapter!

-Chris


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