The Stockton Forest Management Plan (SFMP) is one in a series of commitments by Stockton University to protect, enhance, and sustain its natural environment.
The SFMP was the first comprehensive forest management plan by a State entity approved (2013) by The Pinelands Commission. The SFMP was written by Mr. Robert Williams (a certified forester at Pine Creek Forestry) who was hired by Stockton University a few years earlier to develop the plan in coordination with Stockton administration and faculty.
The SFMP is for 1522 acres of the Stockton campus. The plan covers a period of ten years and will directly impact about 1200 acres during these first ten years. In the SFMP there are twelve overall objectives; here are a few of those of objectives:
"-Sustain, protect, create and/or enhance not only habitat for threatened and/or endangered species, but all local wildlife populations
-Management for forest health issues, such as fire exclusion problems, as well as potential impact of southern pine beetles to mention a few concerns
-Provide opportunities for active forest management in concert with scientific research and educational benefits.
-Return and maintain fire as a component of this forest ecosystem for both ecological reasons, as well as fire, public health and safety issues.
-Sustain the aesthetic quality of this woodland."
The SFMP uses the latest scientific techniques which include ecological forest management (including prescribed burns). A number of Stockton University professors in the Environmental Studies and related programs are monitoring the SFMP activities and that will feed into future revisions of the SFMP in what is known as adaptive forest management. This will allow Stockton to enhance the SFMP if it does not fully meet its objectives and simultaneously give Stockton University students unique education and research opportunities in this living forest laboratory.