Conservation of Tillmans Ravine and Stokes State Forest in New Jersey

Conservation of Tillmans Ravine and Stokes State Forest in New Jersey

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Conservation of Tillmans Ravine and Stokes State Forest in New Jersey

In 1907 the New Jersey Forest and Park Commission

purchased 5,432 acres of land in the northwest corner of

the state and named it "Stokes State Forest" in honor of

Governor Edward Stokes who had 500 acres. Some of the

tracts included in the original purchases were acquired

for one dollar per acre. subsequent acquisitions have

slowly increased the total land area to it's present size

of over 17,000 acres. Stokes State Forest is managed as

a multi-use forest with the primary functions of

protecting the natural resources while serving the public

at the same time.


Within Stokes State Forest lies some of the finest

mountain scenery, clearist fresh water streams, and

natural scenic areas in new jersey. The area is enriched

with history, abounds with a vast diversity of flora and

founa, and offers many forms of recreational activities.

Stokes Forest is considered a Temporate Deciduous

Forest. Temporate Forests occur thoughout midlatitudes

where their is sufficient moisture to support the growth

of large trees. These trees drop their leaves before

winter, when temperatures are too low for effective

photosynthesis and water lost by evaporation is not

replaced from frozen soil. Many Temporate Forest mammals

also enter a dormant state called hybernation, and some

birds fly south to warmer climates. Virtually all the

original Deciduous forests in north America were

destroyed by logging and land clearing for agriclture and

urban development. This is one of the reasons why Stokes

State Forest is such a special place.


Within Stokes State Forest is a place called

Tillmans Ravine Natural Area. Natural Areas are Defined

as areas of land or water which have retained their

primeval character, although not necessarily completly

natural and undisturbed, or have rare or vanishing

species of plant and animal life, or have similar

features of interest which are worthy of preservation for

the use of visators. This is one of New Jersey's

picturesque natural areas and is visited by thousands of

people throughout the year. Taking any one of the trails

will lead down to Tillman Brook which originates from a

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spring in the Kittatinny Mountains to the east. The

stream flows swiftly past the massive red shale and sand

stone walls that have been carved out by years of

erosion. The tall canopy of eastern hemlock and tulip

trees along with spreading Rhododendroms blanket the area

in the spring and summer months.

Hopefully with New Jerseys strict conservation laws

Tillmans Ravine and the rest of Stokes State Forest will

be there for future genertions to enjoy.
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