Barbour's Pond

Barbour's Pond
Barbour's Pond - November 11, 2013

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Thursday, December 31, 2009

Questions and oppositon to deer hunt

As the activists mobilize in opposition to the Garret Mountain deer hunt, it's time to correct some fallacies in their arguments. We're sure Marc Weiss of NJ Bow Hunters has encountered this type of opposition before, has remedies for all the problems. There is a lot of education needed to ensure those opposing the hunt know why this is desperately needed. Construction of Four Seasons is not a reason for overpopulation of deer on the mountain as some believe. Four Seasons was built in a rock quarry, not a forest or meadow on the mountain. That old quarry was there for decades. Deer do not eat rock. They did not feed in that quarry. Most of the nature-loving opposition to the deer hunt doesn't understand what the deer have done to other wildlife as well as the trees and plants that make up the forest on Garret Mountain. It seems the only nature these people love are what they perceive to be big, warm and fuzzy. Do they love the birds that can no longer nest and reproduce at Garret because the understory has been virtually eliminated? Do they love the trees and the shade and color they give the mountain? If they do, do they realize that as old trees die, new ones aren't there to grow because the deer have eaten all the saplings? Do they love all the other plants and wildlife that has been eliminated from a once healthy forest? Or maybe they love the fact that friends and family can contract Lyme and other tick-born diseases while visiting Garret Mountain, that these large herds of deer spread.
The deer problem on Garret Mountain as well as throughout NJ has been caused by governments taking years to address the problems the deer have caused, allowing herds to grow to numbers that their territory cannot sustain. Deer do not have any natural predators, like wolves and coyotes, on the mountain as they do elsewhere. 20+ years ago you had to look hard to find a white-tailed deer on the mountain, now some days you can see upwards of 100 alone in Rifle Camp Park. The deer have been fed illegally by people who thought they were helping. It's against a county park ordinance to interfere with or harm wildlife. These people need to know they contributed to dozens of fawns and sub-ordinate deer starving to death last year because the dominant deer ate at these "feeding stations".
We applaud the Freeholders of Passaic County for taking a stance and stand by their decision to save Garret Mountain. We have confidence the Passaic County Sheriff's Dept. will maintain the safety needed to get this done.
Read about some opposition in The Record's article Opposition to deer hunt mounts . Email any comments to

Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Garret Mountain's Deer Herd to be Culled by Bow Hunters

Passaic County Freeholders have an agreement with the United Bow Hunters of New Jersey to reduce the population of the deer herd on Garret Mountain. A decade plus of over-browsing by the deer, have caused the forest in Garret Mountain Reservation and Rifle Camp Park to be severely damaged. Read about it here Garret Mountain’s big deer herd to be culled by bow hunters . New Jersey Audubon's evaluation of Garret Mountain says, "One of the greatest threats the park faces comes from its extremely dense white-tailed deer population. This problem is more recent in the Garret Mountain IBA than in other urban parks in NJ, and therefore more easily reversible. However, the damage being inflicted by extensive browsing of deer is severe and must be remedied before the site becomes permanently damaged. Examples of native understory plants can still be seen, however the impacts of white-tailed deer and their systematic destruction of this important component of the forest is evident." Read their report here Important Bird and Birding Areas- Garret Mountain .
Passaic County Parks Dept. has stopped the feeding of deer on Garret Mountain. Feeding the deer herd bread contributed to at least 20 deaths last year, mostly young deer. 18 young deer were found dead in the parks on the mountain. Many more died outside the park. Problems start because feeding congregate deer into unnaturally high densities. As many as 75 deer were seen along the road in Rifle Camp Park feeding on bread. These high deer densities can spread diseases among deer. Feeding can cause aggression in the herd, wasting deer's vital energy reserves and leading to injury or death; as well as using up critical fat reserves as deer expend energy traveling to and from the feed site. Feeding can deny access to food for subordinate deer and fawns.

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Hackensack - Ridgewood Christmas Bird Count at Garret Mountain

Saturday December 19, Linda Mullaney and Chris Takacs participated in the Hackensack - Ridgewood Christmas Bird Count, which contains a section of Garret Mountain Reservation and nearby Levine Reservoir in Paterson. The highlight of the early morning was a Hermit Thrush seen feeding on the SE corner of the Overlook Meadow feeding on some small black berries.
Garret Mountain Reservation list:
125 Canada Goose
3 Red-tailed Hawk
3 Mourning Dove
6 Red-bellied Woodpecker
2 Downy Woodpecker
2 Blue Jay
202 American Crow
5 Tufted Titmouse
4 White-breasted Nuthatch
1 Hermit Thrush
1 Fox Sparrow
10 White-throated Sparrow
116 Dark-eyed Junco (Slate-colored)
30 American Goldfinch
10 House Sparrow

Levine Reservoir was frozen but held some Gulls while the trees along the road had 2 Brown Creepers.
Levine Reservoir list is :
1 Red-tailed Hawk
13 Ring-billed Gull
17 Herring Gull
3 Great Black-backed Gull
4 Rock Pigeon
2 American Crow
2 Black-capped Chickadee
2 Brown Creeper