12/22/14 Volume XLVII, No. 52
Sterling Forest, more than 22,000 acres of ruggedly spectacular forest in New York, just over New Jersey’s border, has been the target of many development proposals. In addition to its natural beauty, its watershed supplies public wells and drinking water for many New Jerseyans.
Two decades ago, Sterling Forest’s pristine woods and waters were threatened by massive development plans for a new town of 35,000 people. Citizens in both states to fought to preserve the . . .
12/18/14 Volume XLVII, No. 51
In the movie “It’s a Wonderful Life,” a despondent George Bailey gets to see what his town would have looked like if he’d never been born.
It’s an alluring concept. Most of us would love to get a magical glimpse of alternate worlds that would exist if one thing or another had gone differently in the past.
But, without Clarence the angel, all we can do is imagine a future based on what we know of the past and present … and what we . . .
12/12/14 Volume XLVII, No. 50
“Chestnuts roasting on an open fire” was once a common phrase, long before it was a song.
That was back when American chestnut trees dominated forests from New England to the South and as far west as the Ohio Valley. Each fall the trees’ sweet nuts blanketed forest floors, providing a bountiful harvest for foragers of all stripes. Rot-resistant chestnut wood was prized for building materials.
But the beginning of the end for our majestic American chestnut . . .
12/5/14 Volume XLVII, No. 49
Several years ago, Bedminster Township in Somerset County built bridges and pathways to help pedestrians and bicyclists safely cross some of its busiest roads, including Routes 206 and 287. Now it’s doing the same for another group of residents … reptiles and amphibians.
The town just completed a series of five “turtle tunnels” beneath River Road, a local road that separates hundreds of acres of natural area and parkland from the North Branch of the Raritan . . .