Sparta Independent earns first place in national newspaper contest

Wins 'Best Environmental Series' for Sparta Mountain coverage

Make text smaller Make text larger


  • Photo taken in early 2016 showing trees felled near Sparta Mountain by the state Department of Environmental Protection Photo by Vera Olinski

The National Newspaper Association awarded The Sparta Independent first place for its stories on the Sparta Mountain debate.

The series, written by the Sparta Independent’s reporter Erika Norton, covered the conflict over the Sparta Mountain Wildlife Management Area Forest Stewardship Plan, and took first place in the National Newspaper Association’s Environmental Series category. The New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection planned to allow logging parts of the forest in Sussex County to create a “young forest habitat” for the endangered Golden-winged warbler. Local residents, environmentalists, and environmental groups opposed the plan.

“The Sparta Mountain plan was of huge importance to our community,” said Jeanne Straus, publisher of The Sparta Independent. “Kudos to Erika for her great reporting on such a complex, hotly-debated issue.”

To re-visit the award winning pieces, go to:

• <URL destination=" ">

</URL>• <URL destination=" ">

</URL>• <URL destination=" ">

Make text smaller Make text larger


Pool Rules


Image Physical Therapy Expert Melissa Prestipino, DPT: Causes of Pain from Running
Repetitive activities such as running can cause specific injuries for that population of people. Iliotibial Band Syndrome is one of the most common overuse injuries in runners.
Image Chiropratic Expert Dr. Mary Negri, D.C: Backpack Safety
With the new school year in session, it is important to discuss the importance of backpack safety. As a chiropractor one of the most common problems 1 see in my office are back...
Image Water Expert Andy Ball: Pressure Loss
Yes, a softener will cause some pressure loss due to the resistance from the resin bed, but excessive pressure loss can be caused by one or a combination of the...
Image What teens should do if they think their friend has a problem with drug abuse
With drug overdoses now the leading cause of death for Americans under 50, it's more important than ever to empower teens to help their friends and siblings who may be struggling...


Sign up to get our newsletter emailed to you every week!

  • Enter your email address in the box below.
  • Select the newsletters you would like to subscribe to.
  • Click the 'SUBSCRIBE' button.


Find more about Weather in Sparta, NJ