No, that thing in there usually comes with the headset, not the fork. It is not removable, but you can push it down farther into the steer tube. It's a really cheap part that just wedges in there. If you want to save it, just bang it down a bit with a big screwdriver and rubber mallet, then trim the steer tube above it.
There is a tool that sets it to the proper depth, search the parktool.com website for it. You can get away without it, though, if you're careful.
Also, be very very careful when trimming the steer tube. Measure twice, take a break, measure twice again, look at it from a different angle, and then cut once. You'll be really unhappy if you cut it too short.