Endangered Species Management Plan
for the Bog Turtle, Clemmys muhlenbergii

 

Picatinny

Morris County, New Jersey

 

 

 

November 2004

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Prepared by

The Louis Berger Group, Inc.

East Orange, NJ

and

Jonathan D. Van De Venter

Natural Resources Manager

Picatinny  AMSTA-AR-PSE

 

 

 

 Approved by

 

Paul S. Izzo
Installation Commander

 

 

 

 

 


TABLE OF CONTENTS

Page

EXECUTIVE SUMMARY............................................................................................................ ES-1

1.0      INTRODUCTION................................................................................................................ 1-1

1.1     Background.................................................................................................................. 1-1

1.2     Responsible and Interested Parties................................................................................... 1-3

2.0      SPECIES INFORMATION.................................................................................................. 2-1

2.1     Description.................................................................................................................. 2-1

2.2     Distribution.................................................................................................................. 2-1

2.3     Habitat/Ecosystem........................................................................................................ 2-1

2.4     Life History/Ecology..................................................................................................... 2-2

2.5     Reasons for Listing....................................................................................................... 2-2

2.6     Conservation Measures.................................................................................................. 2-2

3.0      CONSERVATION GOALS................................................................................................. 3-1

4.0      MANAGEMENT PRESCRIPTIONS AND ACTIONS........................................................... 4-1

4.1     Phase I:  Pre-Requisite Actions (non-Army).................................................................... 4-1

4.2     Phase II:  Immediate (Interim) Actions........................................................................... 4-1

4.3     Phase III:  Restoration Actions....................................................................................... 4-1

4.3.1  Establishment of Bog Turtle Habitat Restoration Area....................................................... 4-2

4.3.2  Habitat Restoration and Management Techniques.............................................................. 4-2

4.4     Phase IV:  Conservation Actions..................................................................................... 4-5

4.5     Management Techniques Considered but Not Recommended.............................................. 4-5

4.6     Future Recommendations............................................................................................... 4-6

5.0      MONITORING PLAN......................................................................................................... 5-1

5.1     Habitat  ....................................................................................................................... 5-1

5.2     Bog Turtle Population................................................................................................... 5-2

6.0      TIME, COSTS, AND PERSONNEL..................................................................................... 6-1

7.0      CHECKLIST....................................................................................................................... 7-1

8.0      REFERENCES.................................................................................................................... 8-1

9.0      INDIVIDUALS AND ORGANIZATIONS CONTRIBUTING TO THE PLAN........................ 9-1

9.1     Picatinny Arsenal ESMP Team....................................................................................... 9-1

9.2     The Louis Berger Group, Inc.......................................................................................... 9-1

9.3     Individuals Contacted.................................................................................................... 9-1

 


TABLE OF CONTENTS (CONTINUED)

Page

 

LIST OF FIGURES

 

Figure 1            Project Location Map................................................................................................ 1-4

Figure 2            Historic Sighting Locations........................................................................................ 1-5

Figure 3            Surveyed Areas........................................................................................................ 3-3

Figure 4            Surveyed Areas........................................................................................................ 3-4

Figure 5            Bog Turtle Habitat Restoration Area........................................................................... 4-4

 

LIST OF TABLES

 

Table 1     Five-Year Restoration / Conservation Costs....................................................................... ES-3

Table 2     Annual Costs.................................................................................................................... 6-1

Table 3     Estimate of Required Resources by Activity by Year............................................................. 6-2

 

 

 

 

 


EXECUTIVE SUMMARY

 

Background:  Army Regulations (AR 200-3) require the preparation of Endangered Species Management Plans for listed and proposed threatened and endangered species and critical habitat present on installations. All Army land uses are subject to these regulations.  Compliance with Chapter 11 of AR 200-3 involves coordination with other Federal agencies responsible for the protection of these species.  Failure to implement this management plan can lead to violation of the Endangered Species Act of 1973 (ESA) and result in the costly disruption of military operations.

 

Current Species Status:  The bog turtle (Clemmys muhlenbergii) is listed as threatened by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS) and as state endangered by the New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection, Division of Fish and Wildlife Endangered and Nongame Species Program.  One area within Green Pond Brook Swamp on Picatinny Arsenal is known to have supported bog turtles in the past. The current population status of this species is undetermined as recent surveys failed to confirm the presence of bog turtles at Picatinny Arsenal.  The species is vulnerable to habitat loss on the installation through advanced natural plant community succession from suitable emergent bog habitat to unsuitable shrub swamp habitat.  The species is also vulnerable to unauthorized collection by individuals with access to unsecured portions of Green Pond Brook Swamp.

 

Habitat Requirements and Limiting Factors:  The primary limiting factor is the availability of suitable wetland habitat.  Suitable wetland habitat types include fens, sphagnum bogs, and wet meadows with open canopies and a soft mucky substrate.  Bog turtle wetlands are typically fed by ground-water springs or seeps and have pockets of shallow surface water that may form slow-flowing rivulets. Bog turtles prefer early to mid-successional stage wetlands, with a mix of areas with an open canopy and less than 60 percent shrubs and trees.

 

Bog Turtles on or Adjacent to Picatinny Arsenal:  Green Pond Brook Wetlands Complex encompasses approximately 20 acres within Picatinny Arsenal property (East Branch Green Pond Brook Swamp –EBS) and about 25-30 acres on private property owned by Lake End Corporation (Lake End Wetland - LEW). Of the 20 acres on government property (EBS), less than one-half acre is marginally suitable habitat for bog turtles; the remainder is unsuitable.  Approximately 5 acres within the southerly portion of Lake End Wetland, including a corridor for potential recruitment back into EBS (Arsenal property), could possibly be restored to suitable bog turtle habitat conditions.  Portions of Green Pond Brook Wetlands Complex may be established as a Bog Turtle Habitat Restoration Area, if and when a remnant population is determined to be extant south of Green Pond (the open water lake).

 

Based on surveys conducted on the Arsenal in June 2000, there is not a substantial population of bog turtles on the Arsenal, if any.  A population estimate cannot be made because presence of this species was not confirmed, and historical population estimates do not exist.  For the purposes of this plan, the bog turtle population on Picatinny Arsenal is assumed to be de minimus or extirpated.  This projected number is simply a conservative target, subject to revision if new evidence of a turtle population is established.  The bog turtle population goal for the Arsenal following implementation of this plan has been established at 15 individuals.

 

Management Objectives:  Management will be for protection and enhancement of the existing population  on the Arsenal, if and when determined to be present, as well as expansion into areas of currently unsuitable habitat.  This will be accomplished by restoring areas of unsuitable habitat to conditions suitable for bog turtles and by providing connections between areas already populated to those that are depauperate.


Conservation Goals: 

 

PHASE I.  Pre-Requisite Actions (non-Army):  Before committing any resources of the Department of the Army  (DA) pursuant to restoration or management projects on behalf of the bog turtle; documentation of actual turtles or demonstration that a small population is surviving either on government property or the private holdings upstream of the Army owned wetlands shall be required.

 

1)         Survey repeatedly and intensively in appropriate remaining habitats south of Green Pond (primarily Lake End Wetland) to document presence or absence of this species.  New Jersey Division of Fish and Wildlife and United States Fish and Wildlife biologists to solicit cooperation of Green Pond community representatives should undertake initiatives.  Once presence is demonstrated the Army stewardship elements and initiatives of this plan will be updated, revised as necessary, and implemented forthwith.

2)         Determine to some degree the historical hydrologic conditions, which prevailed within the Wetland Complex prior to 1930.

3)         Determine as best as possible any hydrologic impacts or changes, if any, from activities of private landowners, as well as Picatinny Arsenal (DA) personnel after 1930.

 

PHASE II.  Immediate (Interim) Actions :  Picatinny Garrison personnel can assist with discussions or efforts initiated in PHASE I.  Picatinny personnel can also monitor beaver activity and help maintain higher than normal water levels within the East Branch Green Pond Swamp in order to deaden woody vegetation; then eradicate or control beaver to reinstate normal water levels when sufficient canopy cover reduction is achieved.

 

PHASE III.  Restoration Actions Needed:  The major steps needed to satisfy restoration objectives are:

 

1)         Remove red maples from a minimal total of 5-10 acres comprising at least two units within the Green Pond Brook Wetlands Complex (private, as well as government property units).  Initially this will be pursued through beaver induced inundation and drowning; or if necessary or additionally by using mechanical techniques and spot-treatments of herbicide.

2)         Reduce shrub species (Clethra, Vaccinium) density in same area, as mentioned above, such that overall canopy cover is approximately 30%.

3)         As above, thin out woody species to create a five to ten foot wide corridor of suitable habitat that will connect the restored area to suitable wetland habitats on either side of the common boundary line yet within the Green Pond Brook Wetland Complex.

4)         Determine the optimum hydrologic conditions to be maintained within the Wetland Complex (technical expertise); and find consensus among the private landowners, installation Garrison command, and NJDEP on how to achieve and maintain such conditions (cooperative efforts).


 

PHASE IV.  Conservation Actions :  The major steps needed to achieve conservation goals are:

 

1)         Redesignate Restoration Area (once populated) as Bog Turtle Habitat Conservation Area (HCA), including any revised or updated Memoranda of Agreement / Understanding among cooperating parties.

2)         Disallow Picatinny research, testing, or training activities within the HCA that will be incompatible with bog turtle conservation.

3)         Maintain optimum hydrologic and habitat conditions via cooperative agreements.  Control / prevent beaver activity as necessary.

4)         Conduct trapping for bog turtles in EBS after restoration activities.

5)         Implement multi-year monitoring program that will include annual bog turtle trapping and surveys, vegetation cover monitoring, ground level photo stations, and aerial photographs.

 

Total Estimated Cost of Restoration /Conservation Actions:  Projected costs for five years of this plan (when triggered by documentation of a viable population of bog turtles within the Wetland Complex) are provided in the table below which provides a breakdown of cost (circa CY 2000) per year by activity.

 

TABLE 1 FIVE YEAR RESTORATION / CONSERVATION COSTS

Labor Expenses

 

Tasks

 

Total by Year

Overall Total

 

Year 1

Year 2

Year 3

Year 4

Year 5

 

1. Trapping

$15,200.00

$15,960.00

$16,758.00

$17,595.90

$18,475.70

$83,989.60

2. Presence/Absence

   Survey

$8,150.00

$8,557.50

$8,985.38

$9,434.64

$9,906.38

$45,033.89

3. Vegetation Monitoring

$6,540.00

$6,867.00

$7,210.35

$7,570.87

$7,949.41

$36,137.63

SUB-TOTAL COSTS

$29,890.00

$31,384.50

$32,953.73

$34,601.41

$36,331.49

$165,161.12

Tasks 4 & 5 below may not be necessary if beaver induced high water inundation deadens woody vegetation

4. Tree & Shrub Removal

$8,210.00

$4,105.00

 

 

 

$12,315.00

5. Herbicide Application

$4,420.00

$2,210.00

 

 

 

$6,630.00

TOTAL COSTS

$42,520.00

$37,699.50

$32,953.73

$34,601.41

$36,331.48

$184,106.12


1.0   INTRODUCTION

 

The purposes of this Endangered Species Management Plan (ESMP, Plan) are:  (1) to present information on the bog turtle, a federally-listed threatened species previously present at Picatinny Arsenal (hereinafter referred to as Picatinny Garrison); (2) to discuss some historic activities of man which may have altered hydrologic conditions in the Wetland Complex comprising both federal (DA) property as well as private property; (3) to discuss the threats it faces on the installation; (4) to define conservation goals; and (5) to outline a plan for management of the species and its habitat that will enable achievement of conservation goals.  Cost of the conservation efforts and impacts to other installation activities will also be discussed.  The location of the project area is depicted in Figure 1.

The bog turtle (Clemmys muhlenbergii) is a small (3.0-4.5 inch long) turtle with a brown/black shell and a conspicuous orange neck-patch that inhabits wet meadows and bogs. This species is sparsely distributed over a discontinuous range that extends from southern New England to northern Georgia.  A 250-mile gap divides the species into two distinct northern and southern populations.  In the northeastern U.S., bog turtles occur in Massachusetts, Connecticut, New York, Pennsylvania, New Jersey, Delaware and Maryland.  In New Jersey, extant populations of bog turtles are known from Burlington, Gloucester, Hunterdon, Monmouth, Morris, Ocean, Salem, Somerset, Sussex, Union, and Warren counties (USFWS 1997).

Population decline is the reason this species is federally listed as threatened and state-listed as endangered. Habitat loss and degradation due to development, agriculture, pollution, and other human-induced factors as well as natural plant community succession have contributed to the decline.  Another factor in the decline of bog turtle populations is the unauthorized collection (poaching) of this species for the black-market pet trade. On Picatinny Garrison, previously suitable sphagnum bog habitat has succeeded into unsuitable shrub swamp habitat.  The last known record of a bog turtle on the Arsenal is from1987 (NJDEP Natural Heritage Database; and letter from J. Tesauro, 27 OCT 98, NJDFW ENSP). A map depicting the approximate location of the sighting is included as Figure 2.

This ESMP is based on and is consistent with the following laws, regulations and guidelines: the Endangered Species Act of 1973 (ESA); and Army Regulation (AR) 200-3. An Environmental Assessment (EA) that analyzes the potential consequences of implementing this Plan in compliance with the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) has been prepared as a separate document.

 

1.1    Background

 

Picatinny Arsenal as a federal military reservation began with the acquisition of nearly 2000 acres in 1879 to establish a powder depot in Morris County, NJ.  Property acquisitions continued throughout our nation’s history in war and peacetime.  The Arsenal has been a repository and center for ammunition and weapons development throughout its existence.  One of the last, if not the last, property acquisition occurred on 8 JAN 57.  A parcel known as the Phineas Sprague Memorial Foundation, comprising 204 acres was a small intermontane valley between Green Pond Mountain and Copperas Ridge, south of Green Pond.  This purchase increased the Arsenal’s fee simple holdings to 5853 acres.

USGS topo maps to this day (Dover quad) inaccurately depict the true northwesterly boundaries of Picatinny property by excluding this tract of land and wetlands.  This inaccuracy of the federal boundaries led NJ Endangered and Nongame Species Program (ENSP) staff to believe that historic sightings of Bog Turtles were off of the military installation, when in fact they were well within property borders.  This misinformation was only revealed and rectified in the NJ Natural Heritage database in OCT 98, when state and federal biologists verified the historic site with Picatinny’s Natural Resources Manager.

Just upstream from the Arsenal’s northerly boundary line across this valley the flowage from the southern outlet of Green Pond moves through open wetlands (hereinafter referred to as Lake End Wetland)and the Main stream forks into the West and East Branches of Green Pond Brook (GPB).  West Branch GPB is constricted and funneled through a small weir which dates back to at least the 1930s, then flows immediately onto and through the westerly portion of this former Phineas Sprague tract as a narrow and shallow brook typical of the hills and highlands of northern NJ.  The East Branch GPB and the bulk of the flowage from Green Pond outlet turns easterly around a head of land thence southerly again to eventually flow over the aforementioned northerly boundary line across a  500’ wide wetland known as East Branch Green Pond Brook Swamp (EBS).  A well defined stream channel known as East Branch GPB shoulders against the terra firma embankment on the west side of this elongated and narrowing swamp.  The remaining volume of water moves as sheet flow down through the East Branch GPB Swamp.

Green Pond is a very large, roughly rectangular, lake abutting the easterly aspect of Green Pond Mountain whose axis aligns NE – SW, like most of the Highlands region ridge and valley physiography.  The lake and property surrounding it is privately owned by two business entities.  Green Pond Corporation represents homeowners in the northern half, while residents and property owners in the southern half are represented by Lake End Corporation (Don Gulliksen, pers. comm.).

Much of the Lake End Wetland as well as terra firma on the west and east sides (Green Pond Mountain and Copperas Ridge respectively) are subject to a DA easement which encumbers the private land owner(s) from building any structures or allowing more than 25 persons to congregate on the subjected easement in order to limit risk and liability from any potential catastrophic explosion or event associated with the military mission on the nearby installation.  These easements are tantamount to safety buffer zones.

This plan or any part of it will almost necessarily involve the cooperation of these two substantial private communities since their lake is the primary source of the constituent Wetland Complex (Lake End Wetland—LEW and East Branch GPB Swamp—EBS) which may yet harbor a population of bog turtles – either on their property or federal property or perhaps both.  Any meaningful progress in furtherance of conservation measures or management for this federally threatened species will require a reasonable and informed partnership approach.  To this end, a brief chronology, admittedly imprecise, will be manifestly relevant in any future mutual endeavors.

Gaps in past decades may be salient to future discussions and determinations or estimations of the underlying hydrology of this 40-50 acre Wetland Complex.

·         18??-19??:  Schauger (Shawger) family holdings, hotel, Green Pond history?

·         19??:  Legal incorporation of Green Pond and/or Lake End entities?

·         19??:  “Corduroy Road” constructed in &across mouth (breadth) of East Branch GPB and the Lake End wetlands to access an “existing dam” at an outlet point for West Branch GPB, just north of the neighboring property?

·         Same era as above:  How would the Wetland Complex at that time be classified today?

·         1933:  Old Corduroy road replaced or not; if so how?  Sawmill slabs laid in the mucky shallow wetland to maintain a surficial or sometimes submerged trail tread.  Present weir constructed?

·         1957:  Phineas Sprague Memorial Foundation tract acquired by DA.

·         1960s:  East Branch GPB Swamp reportedly an open non-canopied [emergent type] wetland per Green Pond lifelong resident, K.P.

·         Late1960s-Mid1970s:  Bog Turtle sighting by K.H. (Rutgers University).

·         1974:  National Wetland Inventory Map classifies the entire Wetland Complex south of the Green Pond “Main Outlet” (LEW as well as EBS further south) as PSS1 = Palustrine Scrub Shrub Wetland with Broad-leaved Deciduous type woody vegetation. 

·         1975-79:  Bog Turtles reportedly found, enjoyed, collected? in EBS by children during summer vacations at Green Pond and/or Lake End communities.

·         Late1970s-Mid1980s?:  Picatinny Arsenal command authorized hemlock timber harvest as well as boundary line marking, clearing, including use of mechanized “ducks” (amphibious type vehicles/vessels) plowing across the wetland.  This observed activity was reportedly on government property south of the corduroy trail and nearly parallel to it.

·         1981:  Aerial Photo of Green Pond and Picatinny Arsenal reveals sharp ecotone between advanced woody succession south of common boundary line (EBS) and minimal encroachment or canopy cover changes north of the line (LEW).

·         1979-1987:  Reliable observer, D.A., reports dramatic acceleration of woody succession in  EBS.

·         1987:  Three Bog Turtles sighted by D.A. in EBS.  Last sighting of record in NJ Natural Heritage database.

·         2000:  Picatinny Arsenal Bog Turtle Survey conducted by professional herpetologists in EBS and LEW within DA easement tract.  No bog turtles or sign of bog turtles observed.

·         2001:  Site visit and additional reconnaissance of EBS and other pockets of wetlands downstream of weir along West Branch GPB with state, federal and contract biologists.  No turtles sighted.  No suitable habitat conditions.  Higher water levels due to recent beaver dams at south end of EBS as well as at Weir at West Branch GPB.  Consensus was to allow beaver to inundate EBS to drown woody vegetation.

·         2003:  NJDEP Dam Safety Section reports recordation of a “dam” on government property apparently near southwest corner of EBS; yet no dam or weir recorded on Lake End property at West Branch GPB.  Real property history of the purported dam on Army lands should be researched, as well as private control of the weir on Lake End property.  Both structures affect discharges downstream through Army property and both could be instrumental in future regulation / manipulation of the optimum hydrologic regime.

 

1.2    Responsible and Interested Parties

 

Lake End Corporation.   Homeowners in the southern half of Green Pond are represented by this entity.

Green Pond Corporation.  Homeowners in the northern half of Green Pond are represented by this entity.

Picatinny Garrison.  Public Works and Environmental Affairs Offices.

United States Fish and Wildlife Service—USFWS

New Jersey Division of Fish and Wildlife; Endangered and Nongame Species Program—NJDFW ENSP

New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection—NJDEP  Dam Safety Section of Natural and Historic Resources Division.


FIGURE 1   PROJECT LOCATION MAP
FIGURE 2   HISTORIC SIGHTING AREA

 


2.0   SPECIES INFORMATION

 

This section provides a description of the species, including distribution, habitat/ecosystem, life history, evidence for its decline, and conservation measures taken by various agencies or organizations.

 

2.1    Description

 

The bog turtle is a small turtle ranging from 3 to 41/2 inches long.  Formerly called “Muhlenberg’s turtle”, it is darkly colored with a domed carapace that ranges from light to dark brown and almost black.  The bog turtle’s distinguishing characteristic is a head patch that is orange or sometimes yellow and the large scutes of the carapace may have yellowish or reddish centers.  The plastron is brownish black with creamier yellow inclusions along the midline. (Carr 1995).

The bog turtle, which is the smallest member of the genus Clemmys, has a similar appearance to the spotted turtle (Clemmys guttata).   The spotted turtle is slightly larger with a carapace that is spotted with yellow dots.  Although it lacks the orange head patch, the spotted turtle occasionally will lack spots on its carapace and may have some spotting on the head and neck, which could cause some confusion with the bog turtle.  However, the spotted turtle’s neck and head markings are not as large and pronounced as those of the bog turtle allowing for separation of the two species (Conant and Collins 1991).

On November 4th , 1997 the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service listed the bog turtle (Clemmys mulhlenbergii) as threatened pursuant to the Endangered Species Act of 1973 (50 CFR Part 17 Vol. 62 No. 213).  The turtles were listed as state endangered in New Jersey as early as 1974.

 

2.2    Distribution

 

The bog turtle has been found over an extended range from New England south to northern Georgia.  The animals are sparsely distributed throughout that range, with a large 250-mile gap between Maryland and Virginia separating the northern population from the southern population.

In New Jersey there were 18 counties with historic records of bog turtles.  Since 1975 there have been no sightings in 5 of those 18 counties, and of the 18 counties only half had a documented occurrence.  From 1993 to 1995, the New Jersey Endangered and Nongame Species Program conducted extensive surveys to locate and document bog turtle habitat.  Of the 473 wetlands investigated, only 77 sites contained potentially suitable bog turtle habitat and bog turtles were found at only 8 of those wetlands (USFWS 1997).

 

2.3    Habitat/Ecosystem

 

Spring-fed wetlands with shallow water, fen bogs, wet meadows that have muddy bottoms are the general habitat types for bog turtles.  The vegetative communities typically include tussock sedges (Carex stricta), alder (Alnus spp.), willows (Salix spp.), sphagnum moss (Sphagnum spp), skunk cabbage (Symplocarpus foetidus), bulrushes (Juncus and Scirpus spp) and jewelweed (Impatiens capensis).  Habitat typically consists of a mosaic of upland dry patches and saturated areas, lower wetland channels and springs that are inundated perennially.  The substrate consists of a soft muck, allowing the turtles to burrow into the mud to escape heat and cold as well as predators when necessary.  Often times the wetlands are spring fed and surface water is shallow with tussock sedges and trees such as alders and willows that create cover for the turtles and the invertebrate prey they feed on.  The vegetation in such habitats tend to have exposed roots, hanging branches and leaves that provide burrows, channels that form a network of rivulets that offer travel corridors and cover for turtles.  The water on the sites being spring fed or from small streams tends to be cool offering the turtles escape from the desiccating effects of the sun during the summer month (Carr 1995).

2.4    Life History/Ecology

 

Bog turtles in the northern part of their range are primarily active during late spring and summer months and hibernate during the fall and winter months.  Generally the turtles are out of hibernation by mid-April and do not return to hibernation until mid-October.  Utilizing the soft substrate of their habitat the turtles burrow under the surface of the mud to spend their winter months and hibernate.  Depending on the severity of the winter the turtles may burrow deeper in the mud to escape the freezing temperatures (USFWS 1997). Bog turtles also over winter under the roots of trees such as alder or willow, and in tunnels created by small mammals or underground springs.  During the active months the turtles feed on a wide variety of invertebrates such as beetles, caddisflies, stoneflies, dragonfly larva and a wide array of other invertebrates such as centipedes and millipedes.  In addition they also feed on aquatic vegetation seeds and carrion.

Breeding takes place from May to July, during which mature turtles of 5 to 8 years of age deposit 2 to 6 white eggs atop a tussock sedge, moss mat, or some other elevated plant mass that keeps the eggs dry.  Nest areas generally have open canopies that allow the eggs to be incubated by the sun’s heat.  After a period of 42 to 56 days the eggs hatch with young turtles emerging in August or September.  Hatchling turtles are 25mm to 30mm long.  The turtles spend vast amounts of time basking during the summer months and toward the end of summer when the wetlands become drier the turtles may aestivate to escape heat.  When the temperatures begin to decline the turtles bury themselves during the cooler hours and on the cloudy days when basking opportunities are low (Bury 1979).

 

2.5    Reasons for Listing

 

The loss and degradation of sphagnum bogs, slow moving meadow streams with muddy bottoms, and swamps that compose the wetland habitats that the turtles utilize in the United States is a major reason for their decline.  These habitat losses are due to agriculture, development, natural succession and the introduction of exotic plants; all resulting in a decline in bog turtle populations.  In addition, unauthorized collecting of the animals for the pet trade is a significant threat.  The southern population of bog turtles, ranging from southern Virginia to northern Georgia, was determined to have threatened status due to similarity of appearance to the northern population.

 

2.6    Conservation Measures

 

The Bog Turtle (Clemmys muhlenbergii) Northern Population Recovery Plan was completed by USFWS in 2001.  Critical habitat has not been designated because disclosing known locations of bog turtle habitat exposes these populations to potential extirpation due to poaching (USFWS 1997).  As with any wetland that supports a special-status species, bog turtle habitats in New Jersey are designated as exceptional value (EV) wetlands.  These EV wetlands are subject to more stringent permitting and buffer requirements (NJDEP New Jersey Freshwater Wetland Protection Rules, N.J.A.C. 7:7).  Bog turtle surveys are required to be carried out by qualified individuals who are recognized by the USFWS and the appropriate state agency (i.e. NJDEP Division of Fish and Wildlife; Endangered and Nongame Species Program).


3.0   CONSERVATION GOALS

 

The ultimate goal of this ESMP is to improve habitat for bog turtles on Picatinny Garrison so that any existing population is protected from decline and its numbers enhanced in the future.  Four phases are envisioned to achieve this goal.  These are outlined below and amplified in section 4.0 -- Management Prescriptions and Actions.

1)         Document presence of bog turtles in order to activate and implement all action elements of this plan. This is a reasonable and fiscally prudent pre-requisite (Phase I). 

·         Survey repeatedly and intensively in appropriate remaining habitats south of Green Pond (primarily Lake End Wetland) to document presence or absence of this species.  Once presence is demonstrated the Army stewardship elements and initiatives of this plan will be updated, revised as necessary, and implemented forthwith.

 

2)         Allow beaver activity to continue on federal property swamplands (and if possible on private property wetlands) until unwanted woody vegetation is sufficiently stressed, deadened and/or removed from formerly suitable bog turtle habitats (Phase II).  Failing this natural method to halt or reverse seral succession, manual labor and herbicidal methods should be employed to reclaim and restore former habitat conditions (Phase III). 

·         Encourage and maintain beaver induced inundation effects to cause deadening of several acres  of advanced woody succession, nearly all of which is pronounced in EBS within Garrison property.  Cooperation and coordination with Lake End (and perhaps Green Pond) homeowners associations is anticipated and desirable insofar as water level control at their community weir on the West Branch GPB.

 

3)         Restore the hydrologic, edaphic, and hydrophytic conditions optimal for the Wetland Complex south of Green Pond (Phase III).  Eventually designate and maintain a sufficient portion as a Habitat Conservation Area for the bog turtle’s continued existence (Phase IV).

 

·         A better understanding of the historic hydro-geography and phyto-geography of this GPB Wetland Complex and any man induced alterations over the past 75 years (especially any significant event(s) in the decade from mid 1970s- late 1980s) seems essential in order to formulate and propose an optimum hydrologic regime conducive to bog turtle survival and recovery, and consonant with other goals and objectives within the entire Green Pond drainage.

 

3.1    Green Pond Wetlands Complex (private and federal property)

 

Green Pond Brook Wetlands Complex encompasses approximately 20 acres within Picatinny Garrison property (East Branch Green Pond Brook Swamp –EBS) and about 25-30 acres on private property owned by Lake End Corporation (Lake End Wetland—LEW). .  Of the 20 acres on government property (EBS), less than one-half acre consists of marginally suitable habitat for bog turtles (study area 1 of Figure 3); the remainder is unsuitable.  Approximately 5 acres within the southerly portion of Lake End Wetland (near study area 3 of Figure 4), including a corridor for potential recruitment back into EBS (Garrison property) , could possibly be restored to suitable bog turtle habitat conditions. This portion of Green Pond Brook Wetlands Complex may be established as part of a Bog Turtle Habitat Restoration Area, if and when a remnant population is determined to be extant south of Green Pond (the open water lake).  If deemed successful, this area should be re-designated as a Bog Turtle Habitat Conservation Area (HCA).

A complete survey of those portions of Green Pond Brook Wetlands Complex that historically supported bog turtles was completed in June of 2000 to determine the amount of suitable bog turtle habitat on the Arsenal and to confirm the presence of bog turtles (The Louis Berger Group, 2000).  The areas surveyed are depicted in Figures 3 and 4.

Based on surveys conducted on the Arsenal in June 2000, it is not likely that bog turtles still occur in EBS, although a surviving population may yet inhabit LEW.  A population estimate cannot be made because presence of this species was not confirmed, and historical population estimates do not exist.  For the purposes of this plan, the bog turtle population in the Wetlands Complex  is assumed to consist of 5-10 individuals.  This assumption is based on the combined experience and discussions between Ms. Deborah Poppel (a NJDFW Qualified Bog Turtle Surveyor and ecological consultant) and Mr. Jason Tesauro (NJDFW Bog Turtle biologist).  The estimate is derived from the survey of 5 acres assuming a presence of 1-2 individuals per acre.  At another location, Ms. Poppel had documented 30-40 individuals being supported in a similar size and slightly better quality habitat.  Given the vagaries of coordination, time frames to assess or remediate hydrology, implement or maintain beaver control measures, and other elements of this plan, recruitment of individuals from LEW into the EBS portion of the Wetlands Complex could be slow and tentative; therefore the Garrison bog turtle population goal has been established at 15 individuals.

In the past (1970’s), the entire Green Pond Brook drainage supported a substantial population of bog turtles (J. Tesauro, NJDEP ENSP, pers. comm.).  Suitable bog turtle habitat still exists outside the Garrison property from which recruitment could occur via the proposed corridor of restored habitat.  It is hoped that any habitat enhancement will also encourage recruitment across the common boundary.

 


FIGURE 3        SURVEYED AREAS
FIGURE 4        SURVEYED AREAS


4.0   MANAGEMENT PRESCRIPTIONS AND ACTIONS

 

The primary goal of the habitat restoration plan is to reduce the canopy cover within a dense shrub swamp that was once an open sphagnum bog and former bog turtle habitat, and to retard its succession into a forested red maple swamp.  These activities are expected to improve habitat conditions for bog turtles. 

Prior to intensive restoration activities (Phase III), some pre-requisite actions must be accomplished and documented.  Some interim actions can and ought to be pursued immediately at minimal federal expense.

 

4.1    Phase I:  Pre-Requisite Actions (non-Army)

 

Before committing any resources of the Department of the Army (DA) pursuant to restoration or management projects on behalf of the bog turtle; documentation of actual turtles or demonstration that a small population is surviving either on government property or the private holdings upstream of the Army owned wetlands shall be required.

1)         The USFWS and/or NJDFW (ENSP) personnel should contact the respective homeowners’ Associations governing Green Pond.  The southern half of the lake, nearest the wetlands complex where turtles may still inhabit, is represented by Lake End Corporation.  Green Pond Corporation represents the northern half of the lake.

2)         Assuming the private landowners are cooperative, arrangements should be made to conduct informal or formal presence/absence surveys in the Wetland Complex immediately south of the Green Pond “outlet.”

3)         Determine to some degree the historical hydrologic conditions, which prevailed within the Wetland Complex prior to 1930.

4)         Determine as best as possible any hydrologic impacts or changes, if any, from activities of private landowners, as well as Picatinny Arsenal (DA) personnel after 1930.

 

4.2    Phase II:  Immediate (Interim) Actions

 

Steps, which can be implemented without incurring added costs to the Picatinny Garrison, are listed below.

1)         Encourage periodic, seasonal visual surveys and/or conduct trapping for bog turtles, in suitable wetlands north of Picatinny property, prior to restoration activities.

2)         Encourage and maintain higher than normal water levels, by local beaver population, for a period sufficient to deaden a majority of woody canopy species in the EBS and southern most portions of LEW.  Normal levels were those, which occurred prior to CY 2001.

3)         If beaver induced inundation achieves a natural reduction of woody species to an overall canopy cover approximating 30%, then beaver eradication /control and removal of beaver dams should be undertaken to lower and stabilize water levels to normal conditions.

 

4.3    Phase III:  Restoration Actions

 

The major steps needed to satisfy restoration objectives are:

1)         Remove red maples from 3-5 acre area in southeastern corner of LEW, as well as 2-4 acres in the middle to southerly end of EBS through beaver induced inundation and drowning; or by using mechanical techniques and spot-treatments of herbicide.

2)         Reduce shrub species (Clethra, Vaccinium) density in same area, as mentioned above, such that overall canopy cover is approximately 30%.

3)         As above, thin out woody species to create a five to ten foot wide corridor of suitable habitat that will connect the restored area to suitable wetland habitats outside of the northern boundary of Picatinny property but within the Green Pond Brook Wetland Complex.

4)         Determine the optimum hydrologic conditions to be maintained within the Wetland Complex (technical expertise); and find consensus among the private landowners, installation Garrison command, and NJDEP on how to achieve and maintain such conditions (cooperative efforts).

 

4.3.1   Establishment of Bog Turtle Habitat Restoration Area

 

A three to five acre area within the southeastern portion of LEW (private property) as well as a 2-4 acre area within EBS (federal property) shall be designated as a Bog Turtle Habitat Restoration Area (Figure 5).  This area has been selected due to the fact that earlier surveys for bog turtles (June 2000) revealed some areas of open canopy and potentially suitable habitat, and it is the location where bog turtles were once observed on the Arsenal.  In addition, a five to ten foot wide corridor in the center of the swamp will be restored that connects the two units of the Restoration Area as well as with suitable habitats outside the Garrison property boundary to the north.  The corridor will provide a route by which bog turtles can migrate within the restored habitat.

 

4.3.2   Habitat Restoration and Management Techniques

 

The locations of a three to five acre area in LEW as well as 2-4 acres in EBS for habitat restoration and management activities will be selected as the initial Bog Turtle Habitat Restoration Area. A qualified herpetologist, USFWS, NJDEP and the Arsenal Natural Resource Manager should perform a field review of the existing wetland habitat to establish the limits of the management area(s). Concurrence of representatives of Lake End Corporation will be necessary within the LEW sector.  Any Memoranda, which seem reasonable and prudent should be negotiated and executed as necessary among or between cooperating parties.  The limits should be clearly marked in the field and surveyed to obtain a set of known coordinates for the management area boundary. This will allow the limits of the work area for restoration and management activities to be clearly defined on plans for future reference.  This activity may need to be repeated if the program proves successful and expansion of the management area is warranted.

To achieve the goals described above, woody species (trees and shrubs) need to be removed from the selected habitat restoration management area.  All red maples should be removed or deadened, and shrub species sweet pepperbush, (Clethra alnifolia), and highbush blueberry (Vaccinium corymbosum) should be thinned out such that there is approximately 30 percent shrub canopy cover over the entire restoration area.

The recommended techniques to achieve the desired restoration parameters are a combination of mechanical removal (loppers, chainsaw) and spot application of a systemic herbicide (e.g. Roundup TM or Rodeo TM). Tree and shrub removal would be performed during the winter months (January to February) when ground conditions are typically frozen to prevent unnecessary disturbance to wildlife and herbaceous vegetation.  Small trees (DBH < 10 inches) and shrubs can be cut as low as possible and removed from the management area.  The woody debris can be used to create brush piles along the upland/wetland margins to benefit other wildlife species. Larger trees (DBH>10inches) can be girdled around their base by cutting away the cambium layer in a complete circle. Without further treatment, the tree will die within one or two seasons and create a snag for wildlife use.

The application of herbicides to stumps should be conducted between April and September to minimize stump sprouts. The application of a systemic herbicide, such as glyphosate, will kill the below ground root system, prevent root sprouts, and increase the overall effectiveness of the first year of management activities. To minimize the exposure of desirable vegetation to the herbicide, the recommended application method is to paint the tree and shrub root stumps. Trees that are girdled can also be treated with herbicide by a direct application to the exposed trunk. This will hasten the loss of foliage and minimize root sprouts.

To achieve the desired density of woody species during restoration activities, at least 25 feet of cleared area should exist between each remaining shrub, and all trees should be removed or girdled.

Dependent upon the results of habitat monitoring (see Section 5), these activities may need to be repeated at least once each year for the first two years, and then at a lower frequency as determined by monitoring activities.


FIGURE 5        BOG TURTLE HABITAT RESTORATION AREA


 

4.4    Phase IV:  Conservation Actions

 

The major steps needed to achieve conservation goals are:

1)         Redesignate Restoration Area (once populated) as Bog Turtle Habitat Conservation Area, including any revised or updated Memoranda of Agreement / Understanding among cooperating parties.

2)         Disallow research, testing, or training activities within the HCA that will be incompatible with bog turtle conservation.

3)         Conduct trapping for bog turtles in both LEW, as well as EBS after restoration activities.

4)         Implement multi-year monitoring program that will include periodic bog turtle trapping and surveys, vegetation cover monitoring, ground level photo stations, and aerial photographs.

5)         Control / prevent beaver activity as necessary.

6)         Maintain optimum habitat conditions, improve or suppress any deteriorating influences, and/or expand acreage of suitable habitat within Wetland Complex.

 

 

4.5    Management Techniques Considered but Not Recommended

           

The following endangered species habitat management techniques were considered but are not recommended as part of this plan.

 

1)         Mechanical Removal Only

 

Mechanical removal without the use of herbicides, alone was considered to be an option for the restoration activities.  However, this method is problematic because the trees and shrubs will re-sprout from the stumps each year, often with even more vigorous growth.  With out the use of herbicides physical cutting and clearing would be required more frequently to maintain the desired degree of openness in the restoration area.

 

2)         Broadcast Herbicide Application

 

A less labor-intensive method of using herbicides is broadcast application, whereby the herbicide is sprayed from the air or by using a non-targeted spray method from the ground.  This method is problematic in that the desired percentage of clearing cannot be accurately controlled and there is more potential for impacting non-targeted species, including state rare plants that are present in the surrounding area (i.e. featherfoil, Hottonia inflata; mountain holly, Ilex montana).

 

3)         Reintroduction of Bog Turtles

 

The possibility of re-introducing bog turtles to Picatinny Garrison was considered.  However, upon consultation with the NJDFW Endangered and Nongame Species Program (J. Tesauro, pers. comm.), this action is not recommended. It is possible that a small remnant population of bog turtles remains somewhere within the Wetland Complex.  Opening up the habitat will facilitate future surveys and trapping that can be conducted to confirm presence of this species.  In addition, it is hoped that the proposed habitat restoration will encourage natural recruitment of bog turtles from suitable wetlands located outside the Garrison boundaries.  Reintroduction of this species is untested and would be fraught with problems related to population genetics and locating a legal source that would not adversely impact another population.

At the present time, there is insufficient evidence available to suggest a need to translocate individuals.  Natural expansion of remaining populations from within and outside Picatinny Garrison may be sufficient to promote growth in the regional population of the species.  Reintroduction from populations outside the area is not recommended due to potentially adverse genetic consequences, not to mention currently unsuitable or marginal habitat conditions.

 

4)         Education Program

 

No education programs regarding the Management Plan should be conducted at the Garrison.  Advertising the presence of bog turtle habitat on the Garrison would be detrimental to the goals of this Plan due threats to this species by unauthorized collection.

 

4.6    Future Recommendations

 

To maximize the effectiveness of this Plan, the following activities are recommended.  These activities are not components of this Plan, but may be parts of future plans or may be carried out as budget and schedules allow.

1)         Cultivation of interest and cooperation among key representatives of the Green Pond Communities will be paramount from the outset and essential for continuing progress.

2)         An intensive yet targeted education program may be necessary for Green Pond and/or Lake End communities to ensure protection of turtles from collection by trespassers, or infrequent non-resident guests or visitors.

3)         A thorough bog turtle habitat assessment of all wetlands in the Green Pond Brook Wetlands Complex should be conducted to determine all potential suitable areas where bog turtles may inhabit the Garrison or where future restoration activities may be warranted.  If turtles are found, radio-telemetry will be considered to determine the prime areas of utilization so as to refine the habitat assessment.

4)         A low fly-over aerial photo of Green Pond Brook Wetlands Complex that allows for stereoscopic photo-interpretation should be taken to identify additional areas that are potentially suitable bog turtle habitat or that would be good candidate areas for restoration.

5)         Depending on the success of this Plan, the habitat restoration area may be expanded to encompass ten acres or more.

6)         Hydrology management may be deemed necessary if it is determined that Green Pond water management activities are adversely affecting the habitat within the Garrison’s EBS.

 


5.0   MONITORING PLAN

 

The monitoring plan is designed to ensure the long-term viability of the selected management area(s) within the Bog Turtle Habitat Restoration Area.  Qualitative and quantitative evaluation techniques will be used. The primary purposes of monitoring the Management area are to document the degree of success or failure in achieving the goals of this Plan, and to identify the need for additional management or remedial actions. Monitoring also serves to identify needed adjustments in monitoring and maintenance methods, to evaluate the effectiveness and suitability of the restoration procedures and performance standards used at the site, to broaden knowledge of habitat restoration procedures, and to document baseline conditions for long-term habitat monitoring at the site.

 

5.1    Habitat

 

A goal of 30 percent shrub canopy closure has been established for this plan. Within the proposed restoration area, canopy cover currently averages 90 percent.  Bog turtles prefer open wetlands that have no more than 60 percent canopy closure (USFWS 2000).  A small scrub-shrub component is desirable.  Bog turtles are known to rest/aestivate/hibernate beneath the roots of alders and willows.

The following monitoring techniques should be conducted prior to the implementation of restoration activities, as well as once each year for the duration of the three-year monitoring plan.

 

#          Qualitative Assessments

 

Hydrology and Substrate

A qualitative assessment as to the pre- and post-restoration characteristics of hydrology and substrate should be made within the management area(s).  Hydrologic characteristics should include presence/ absence of surface water, approximate depth, overall distribution of surface water, presence/absence and location of spring upwellings and groundwater seeps, presence/absence and location of flowing surface water, and presence/absence and location of subsurface flow.  A patchy distribution of surface water and drier areas is desirable. Any significant increase or decrease in water levels could adversely impact the success of the restoration activities within the management area(s).

The desired texture of the substrate is soft muck.  The existing organic substrate is supersaturated and unconsolidated.  A slightly drier and firmer substrate would be desirable.  Observations of the substrate within the selected management area should be recorded and monitored for changes.

 

Vegetation

Photo stations should be established at a number of locations that are evenly distributed throughout the management area(s). Before and after restoration activities, photographs should be taken during the same time of year from these established stations.  The photographs will be used to make a comparative visual assessment over the course of the monitoring program to determine the degree to which woody species have been reduced.


#          Quantitative Assessments

 

Aerial Photos

Low-level aerial photos taken before and after the restoration activities (each year for three years) will allow a quick assessment as to the overall percent cover of woody species vs. open canopy areas that are dominated by herbaceous vegetation. Photos should be stereoscopic to allow for photo-interpretation that will distinguish between shrub and herbaceous plant species.  Aerial photographs will also allow the calculation of specific acreages of the restored area and of open-canopy areas, as long as the scale of the photograph is known.

Line Intercept

The Line Intercept methodology (USFWS 1981, Kent and Coker 1992) is recommended to determine the percent herbaceous ground cover and may be modified to estimate percent canopy cover of shrubs and trees. Three parallel transect lines should be established across the length of the site. The transects should be sampled using the Line Intercept Method following the procedures described in Estimating Wildlife Habitat Variables (USFWS 1981). A cumulative percent canopy cover can then be computed for the entire restoration area. The analysis of the data over the course of several years will determine if the desired reduction in percent canopy cover is achieved and if cover from trees and shrubs is increasing, requiring further intervention.

 

5.2    Bog Turtle Population

In addition to assessing whether the habitat goals are being achieved, it should be determined whether the bog turtle population goals are being achieved. Based on surveys conducted on the Arsenal in June 2000, there is not a substantial population of bog turtles on the Arsenal.  A population estimate cannot be made because presence of this species was not confirmed, and historical population estimates do not exist.  For the purposes of this plan, the bog turtle population on Picatinny Garrison is assumed to be de minimus or extirpated within the EBS portion of the Wetlands Complex.  The Garrison  bog turtle population goal has been established at 15 individuals.

 

#          Pre-Restoration

 

Presence-Absence Surveys

Pre-restoration presence/absence surveys were conducted for bog turtles in June of 2000. Survey methodology followed guidelines prescribed for New Jersey by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS) and the New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection (NJDEP) Endangered and Nongame Species Program (USFWS, 2000).   Sites were visited three times between June 15th and June 30th, 2000.  Surveys were conducted at least three days apart, between the hours of 10:00 am and 2:00 pm.  Surveys were not conducted during rain events or on very cloudy days when the temperature was below 70 degrees. Survey techniques included searching visually for exposed individuals and probing/searching by hand in mud, tunnels, under vegetation, in pockets of standing water, and other microhabitats likely to support bog turtles. An assessment of the wetland and its suitability as potential bog turtle habitat was made during the initial site visit and was supplemented with information gathered during the surveys. 


Presence of bog turtles on the Arsenal was not confirmed during the June 2000 surveys. It is likely that diminished habitat quality due to succession within Green Pond Brook Swamp, combined with unauthorized collection of turtles, has caused the population to be reduced to such an extent that standard survey methods may not be sufficient to document the presence of this species.

Trapping

In order to confirm presence of this species on the Garrison, and to get some sense of the population size under the existing habitat conditions, it is recommended that trapping for bog turtles be conducted prior to restoration activities. If the timing of habitat management activities necessitates, trapping may be conducted during the spring concurrent with or immediately following restoration. Trapping methodology is described below.

 

#          Post-Restoration

 

Presence-Absence Surveys

Once each year throughout the three-year monitoring period, post-restoration presence/absence surveys for bog turtles, following the methodology described above, should be conducted in the spring within the Restoration Area.

Trapping

Once each year throughout the three-year monitoring period, post-restoration trapping should be conducted concurrent with presence/absence surveys to assess the status of the bog turtle population.  Trapping methodology is described below.

It is recommended that at least five drift-fence/funnel trap arrays be distributed evenly throughout the management area.  Additional areas outside the management area may be trapped as well as time/personnel allows.  The drift fence should consist of eight to ten inch high aluminum flashing buried approximately six inches into the ground so as to be self-supporting.  The “fence”, about 100 feet long, guides animals into one of two traps placed at both ends of the fence. Traps are rectangular boxes made of hardware-cloth with a funnel or trap door entrance where it meets the fence and closed off at the opposite end. An alternative to drift fences that has been used with success in other bog turtle studies (e.g. Morrow et. al. in press) are box traps with “wings” that serve the same function of guiding animals into the trap. Traps should be placed in rivulets, runs, between tussocks, and other places that turtles are likely to use as travel corridors.  Traps should not be baited as this attracts predators. Traps must be placed in shallow water, covered with vegetation and checked at least once a day and should be closed during hottest part of day if used in summer.  Trapping should be conducted for at least 10 consecutive days.  Permits from the NJDEP Division of Fish and Wildlife are required to trap bog turtles and trapping must be conducted under the supervision of a qualified bog turtle specialist.

Population Estimates

Any individuals caught during presence/absence surveys or by trapping should be marked (by notching certain marginal scutes of the carapace, as described in Plummer 1989) so that estimates of the population size can be made.  A number of mathematical formulas for estimating wildlife population sizes based on mark/recapture studies exist (e.g. Petersen, Schnabel, Jolly-Seber, as described in Krebs 1989).


6.0         TIME, COSTS, AND PERSONNEL

 

The initial planning and funding period for the implementation of this ESMP is 5 years, though some components of the plan may extend beyond 5 years.  Projected annual costs for implementation are summarized in Table 2.  Table 3 provides an estimate of the required resources by proposed activity by year. 

TABLE 2 FIVE YEAR RESTORATION / CONSERVATION COSTS

Labor Expenses

 

Tasks

 

Total by Year

Overall Total

 

Year 1 (Y)

Year 2 (Z)

Year 3 (A)

Year 4 (B)

Year 5 (C)

 

1. Trapping

$15,200.00

$15,960.00

$16,758.00

$17,595.90

$18,475.70

$83,989.60

2. Presence/Absence

   Survey

$8,150.00

$8,557.50

$8,985.38

$9,434.64

$9,906.38

$45,033.89

3. Vegetation Monitoring

$6,540.00

$6,867.00

$7,210.35

$7,570.87

$7,949.41

$36,137.63

SUB-TOTAL COSTS

$29,890.00

$31,384.50

$32,953.73

$34,601.41

$36,331.49

$165,161.12

Tasks 4 & 5 below may not be necessary if beaver induced high water inundation deadens woody vegetation

4. Tree & Shrub Removal

$8,210.00

$4,105.00

 

 

 

$12,315.00

5. Herbicide Application

$4,420.00

$2,210.00

 

 

 

$6,630.00

TOTAL COSTS

$42,520.00

$37,699.50

$32,953.73

$34,601.41

$36,331.48

$184,106.12

 


 

TABLE 3       ESTIMATE OF REQUIRED RESOURCES BY ACTIVITY BY YEAR

 

 

Fiscal Year

 

 

Activities

Personnel (Man Hours)

Cost

 

Total

Personnel

Materials

Equipment

Contract

 

 

 

PHASE I & PHASE II

 

FY

2005

2-4Q 2005

Intro / Coord Mtgs w/ LEC & GPC

PICA: 8

NJDFW: ?

USFWS: ?

 

 

 

 

 

FY

2005

2-4Q 2005

Sprague tract / PICA land-wetland history

PICA: 8

 

 

 

 

 

FY

2005

2-4Q 2005

Note beaver activity & water levels

PICA: 12

 

 

 

 

 

FY

200?

3-4Q 2005-200?

Pre-Confirmation Trapping and/or Y-N surveys

PICA: ?assist

NJDFW: ?

Contract: 80

USFWS: ?

 

 

 

 

 

FY

200Y

4Q

200Y

Assess %Woody cover reduction

PICA: 8

 

 

 

 

 

 

PHASE III

 

FY 200Y

3-4Q 200Y

Conduct Pre-Restoration Trapping

Contract: 80

 

 

 

 

 

FY 200Y

3-4Q 200Y

Conduct Pre-Restoration Y-N Surveys

Contract: 80

 

 

 

 

 

FY 200Y

4Q 200Y

Ground Level Photographs

 

 

 

 

 

 

FY 200Y

4Q 200Y

Aerial Photographs

Contract: ?

 

 

 

 

 

FY 200Y

3-4Q 200Y

Conduct Vegetation Cover Analysis

 

 

 

 

 

 

FY 200Z

2Q 200Z

Mechanical Removal of Trees and Shrubs

Contract: ?

 

 

 

 

 

FY 200Z

3Q 200Z

Herbicide Application

Contract: ?

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

FY 200Z

3-4Q 200Z

Continue Restoration Trapping

Contract: 80

 

 

 

 

 

FY 200Z

3-4Q 200Z

Continue Restoration

Y-N Surveys

Contract: 80

 

 

 

 

 

FY 200Z

4Q

200Z

Vegetative Cover Analysis

 

 

 

 

 

 

FY

200Z

3-1Q 200Z

Control water levels.  Modify hydrology?

 

 

 

 

 

 

FY

200A

2Q 200A

(Mechanical Removal of Trees and Shrubs)?

 

 

 

 

 

 

FY

200A

3Q

200A

Herbicide Application

 

 

 

 

 

 


 

TABLE 3       ESTIMATE OF REQUIRED RESOURCES BY ACTIVITY BY YEAR

 

 

Fiscal Year

 

 

Activities

Personnel (Man Hours)

Cost

 

Total

Personnel

Materials

Equipment

Contract

 

 

 

PHASE III & PHASE IV

 

FY 200A

3-4Q 200A

Post Restoration Trapping

Contract: 80

 

 

 

 

 

FY 200A

3-4Q 200A

Presence/Absence Surveys

Contract: 80

 

 

 

 

 

FY 200A

4Q

200A

Vegetation Cover Analysis

 

 

 

 

 

 

FY 200B

2Q 200B

(Mechanical Removal of Trees and Shrubs)?

 

 

 

 

 

 

FY 200B

3Q 200B

(Herbicide Application)?

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

FY 200B

3-4Q 200B

Post Restoration Trapping

Contract: 80

 

 

 

 

 

FY 200B

3-4Q 200B

Presence/Absence Surveys

Contract: 80

 

 

 

 

 

FY 200B

4Q

200B

Vegetation Cover Analysis

 

 

 

 

 

 

FY 200C

2Q 200C

(Mechanical Removal of Trees and Shrubs)?

 

 

 

 

 

 

FY 200C

3Q 200C

(Herbicide Application)?

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

FY 200C

3-4Q 200C

Post Restoration Trapping

Contract: 80

 

 

 

 

 

FY 200C

3-4Q 200C

Presence/Absence Surveys

Contract: 80

 

 

 

 

 

FY

200C

3-4Q 200C

Ground Level Photographs

 

 

 

 

 

 

FY 200C

4Q

200C

Vegetation Cover Analysis

 

 

 

 

 

 

FY 200D

2Q 200D

(Mechanical Removal of Trees and Shrubs) extra?

 

 

 

 

 

 

FY 200D

3Q 200D

(Herbicide Application) extra?

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

FY 200D

4-1Q

200D

Next 5Y Revision ESMP

PICA: 40

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


 

7.0         CHECKLIST

 

 

Schedule

Activity

Implemented

Date

Signature

PHASE I & PHASE II

 

 

Spr/Sum/Fal 2005

Introductory and Working Meetings with LEW representatives – Concept, scope, access, agreements, history

 

 

Spr/Sum/Fal 2005

Sprague tract / Picatinny Arsenal history

 

 

Spr/Sum/Fal 2005

Monitor beaver activity; note water levels

 

 

Spr/Sum 2005-200?

Pre-Confirmation Trapping

 

 

Spr/Sum 2005-200?

Pre-Confirmation Presence/Absence Surveys

 

 

Spr/Sum 200X

PRESENCE CONFIRMED…

 

 

Sum 200X-200Y

%Woody cover canopy reduction Evaluation

 

 

PHASE III (Pre-Restoration)

 

 

Spr/Sum 200Y

Trapping

 

 

Spr/Sum 200Y

Presence/Absence Surveys

 

 

Spr/Sum 200Y

Ground Level Photograph Stations

 

 

Sum 200Y

Aerial Photograph

 

 

Sum 200Y

Vegetation Cover Analysis

 

 

Win 200Z

Beaver trapping / control; lower water levels

 

 

Win 200Z

Mechanical Removal of Trees and Shrubs, if needed

 

 

Spr 200Z

Herbicide Application

 

 

PHASE III (Restoration)

 

 

Spr/Sum 200Z

Trapping

 

 

Spr/Sum 200Z

Presence/Absence Surveys

 

 

Sum 200Z

Vegetative Cover Analysis

 

 

Spr -Fal 200Z

Control water levels.  Modify hydrology?

 

 

Win 200A

Mechanical Removal of Trees and Shrubs, if needed

 

 

Spr 200A

Herbicide Application

 

 

PHASE III & PHASE IV (Post-Restoration)

 

 

Spr/Sum 200A

Trapping

 

 

Spr/Sum 200A

Presence/Absence Surveys

 

 

Sum 200A

Vegetative Cover Analysis

 

 

Win 200B

Mechanical Removal of Trees and Shrubs, if needed

 

 

Spr 200B

Herbicide Application, if needed

 

 

 

 

 

 

Spr/Sum 200B

Trapping

 

 

Spr/Sum 200B

Presence/Absence Surveys

 

 

Sum 200B

Vegetative Cover Analysis

 

 

Win 200C

Mechanical Removal of Trees and Shrubs, if needed

 

 

Spr 200C

Herbicide Application, if needed

 

 

 

 

 

 

Spr/Sum 200C

Trapping

 

 

Spr/Sum 200C

Presence/Absence Surveys

 

 

Spr/Sum 200C

Ground Level Photograph Stations

 

 

Sum 200C

Vegetative Cover Analysis

 

 

Win 200D

Mechanical Removal of Trees and Shrubs; expansion

 

 

Spr 200D

Herbicide Application; expansion

 

 

 

 

 

 

Sum/Fal 200D

Next 5Y Revision ESMP

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


8.0   REFERENCES

 

Bury, R.B.  1979.  Review of the Ecology and Conservation of the Bog Turtle, Clemmys muhlenbergii. U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service Spec. Sci. Rep. Wildlife 219. 9 pp.

 

Carr, Archie Fairly.  1995.  Handbook of Turtles: The Turtles of the United States, Canada, and Baja California

 

Conant, R. and JT Collins.  1991.  A Field Guide to Reptiles and Amphibians: Eastern and Central North America. Houghton Mifflin Co., Boston, MA. 450 pp.

 

De Graaf, R.M. and A Shigo. 1985. Managing Cavity Trees for Wildlife in the Northeast. Gen. Tech. Rep. NE-101.

 

Kent, M. and Coker, C.  1992.  Vegetation Description and Analysis. CRC Press, Boca Raton, FL. 363 pp.

 

Krebs, C.J.  1989.  Ecological Methodology. Harper Collins Publishers, New York. 654 pp.

 

Morrow, J.L., J.H. Howard, S.A. Smith, and D.K. Poppel.  2001.  “Home Range and Movements of the Bog Turtle (Clemmys muhlenbergii) in Maryland.” Journal of Herpetology, 35(1): 68-73.

 

NJ Division of Fish and Wildlife; Endangered and Nongame Species Program.  200?.  NJ Bog Turtle Conservation Summary.

 

Plummer, M.V.  1989.  “Collecting and Marking”. pp. 45-60 in: Harless and Morlock (eds.) Turtles: Perspectives and Research.  John Wiley and Sons, Inc. New York.

 

The Louis Berger Group, Inc.  2000.  Picatinny Arsenal Bog Turtle Survey Report. Prepared for Department of the Army, Armament Research, Development and Engineering Center, Picatinny Arsenal, New Jersey. July 2000.

 

U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service.  1981.  Estimating Wildlife Habitat Variables. FWS/OBS-81/47. September.

 

U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service.  1997.  Final Rule to List the Northern Population of the Bog Turtle as Threatened and the Southern Population as Threatened due to Similarity of Appearance. 50 CFR, Part 17.  Federal Register, Vol. 62, No. 213, Nov. 4, 1997.

 

U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service.  2000.  Bog Turtle (Clemmys muhlenbergii) Characteristics and Survey Guidelines. 4 pp. New Jersey Field Office, Pleasantville, New Jersey. May 2000.

 

U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service.  2001.  Bog Turtle (Clemmys muhlenbergii) Northern Population, Recovery Plan.  Hadley, MA, 103 pp.

 

 

 

 

 

 


9.0   INDIVIDUALS AND ORGANIZATIONS CONTRIBUTING TO THE PLAN

 

9.1    Picatinny Arsenal ESMP Team

 

Jonathan Van De Venter- Natural Resources Manager

 

9.2    The Louis Berger Group, Inc.

 

Andrew Schueller- Contract Manager

Mark Renna- Vice President of Environmental Sciences

Ed Samanns- Principal Environmental Scientist

Bill Mullin- Environmental Analyst

 

9.3    Individuals Contacted

 

Lisa Arroyo- USFWS, New Jersey Ecological Services Field Office

John Jensen- State Herpetologist, Georgia Nongame-Endangered Wildlife Program

Scott Smith- Maryland Department of Natural Resources, Wildlife and Heritage Division

Jason Tesauro- NJDEP Division of Fish & Wildlife, Endangered and Nongame Species Program

Don Gulliksen- Lake End Homeowners Association

Deborah Poppel- Environmental Consultant, ENSR Services.