Warren Grove Range (WGR) is staffed year round by a dedicated crew that has developed expertise in directing flights, collaborating with the New Jersey Forest Fire Service on prescribed burns, and maintaining the Range. Many Range activities, such as mowing after the growing season, seem to have a positive effect on populations of some threatened and endangered species that thrive in open areas.
Threatened Species: Pine Barrens tree frogs have “flash” colors that are not visible when the frog is crouching on a branch. If a predator gets too close, the frog jumps up and the colors flash out, startling the predator and giving the frog time to escape. See Research Projects: Amphibians to find out more.
The New Jersey Pine Barrens has the second highest rate of fires in the United States (after California chapparal). Warren Grove Range (WGR) is located in the middle of the dwarf pine forest, which is even more flammable than the rest of the pine barrens. Prescribed burning reduces fuel load and makes it harder for fires to grow large and unmanageable. Read more about how the New Jersey Forest Fire Service and WGR work together to control fires in [Fire Safety]. Also read Research Projects: Fire Ecology to learn more about how fire is important for the ecology of the New Jersey Pine Barrens.
Many military units come to WGR to participate in numerous training activities. Rescue training is one such activity. Here participants simulate a helicopter rescue of injured personnel. For more information, see Warren Grove Range: Training
Most training at WGR takes place during the day. However, military missions may necessitate night maneuvers. One of the most common forms of night training involves laser operations. When WGR is “hot” no one is allowed to travel around WGR or leave the buildings. Some laser operations take place during the day. Because of the many activities with potential to cause bodily harm, it is important never to be on WGR without permission.
The northern pine snake is very important to the ecology of the New Jersey Pine Barrens. Pine snakes prey on rodents and are in turn preyed on by hawks and other raptors. Pine snakes can dig holes with a special scale, the rostral scale. Pine snakes are secretive and hard to study because they spend a lot of time underground. For more information on pine snakes, see Research Projects: Snakes and Environmental Stewardship: Rare Species Protection..
Dr. Walter Bien has led multiple research projects on Warren Grove Range (WGR) since 2001. Fire is an important influence on WGR and here Dr. Bien is demonstrating measurement techniques to two students working on a fire ecology project. For more information on this and many other projects, see [Research Projects]
Warren Grove Range (WGR) is an active air-to-ground gunnery range operated by the 177th Fighter Wing of the New Jersey Air National Guard. Warren Grove Range provides training for pilots, but also works with other branches of the armed forces and with special security units.
Warren Grove Range is not only the largest Air National Guard range in the United States, it is one of the most active in the management of environmental issues. The Department of Defense is required by law to ensure that threatened, endangered and at-risk species are protected and that military activities do not harm populations. Warren Grove Range has a cooperative agreement with Drexel University which makes use of the expertise of members of the Laboratory of Pinelands Research, led by Dr. Walter Bien. Dr. Bien and his students study many aspects of the environment at WGR and make recommendations to military officials on how best to protect both rare and common species inhabiting WGR. Warren Grove Range has won numerous environmental awards during the eleven years of collaboration with Drexel University researchers.
Learn more about the military mission, environmental research, and fire safety procedures at Warren Grove Range.