Pine Barrens Fire Ecology
Fire is a natural form of disturbance that is essential in maintaining the fire adapted species and ecological communities we consider to be characteristic of the New Jersey Pine Barrens. During this trip we’ll be walking through two New Jersey Natural Heritage Program priority sites, the Batsto macrosite and the Atsion Recreation Area site. These areas have been identified as biodiversity priority sites in the state for containing numerous globally rare species and ecological communities.
Along this 3-mile, 3-hour hike we will explore signs of past wildfire, recent prescribed burns and the plant community associated with these areas. We will focus our time on how our native flora responds to disturbance and why it’s so important to Pine Barrens ecology. The terrain is largely flat and open but we will be walking through wet areas, so water proof footwear is recommended. There are two 5 to 10-minute sections of dense brush which are passable but will be challenging to push through. Participants should be comfortable with their ability to hike three miles in early spring or late fall conditions that may include, cold temperatures, wind and or light precipitation.
Your guide will be Ryan Rebozo, Ph.D., Director of Conservation Science for the Pinelands Preservation Alliance.