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Jump directly to a topic...   Pipeline Proposals - Save Pinelands Forest
The Highlands - Regional Planning - Working to Protect the Palisades

Conservation Easement Revitalization


Pipelines Proposed in New Jersey


PennEast proposal threatens New Jersey land


PennEast pipeline route mapBREAKING NEWS:




An Open Letter to Residents of New Jersey:


Privately-owned PennEast – a consortium including PSEG, South Jersey Industries, New Jersey Resources and UGI - is planning to tear up 4,000 acres of central New Jersey’s preserved and historic lands and farmlands, private property, and some of the state’s cleanest, most ecologically significant waterways.


Every New Jersey town and county along PennEast's path has officially objected to the proposed pipeline. It would damage and scar our land, contaminate our air and water, and put communities at risk of a  potential explosion.


Pipelines like PennEast set us behind in our drive for a clean energy future. Let’s move towards an energy future that's clean, green and renewed by nature every day. Let's build a legacy to be proud of. Say "No" to PennEast!


Read Michele Byers' column about land condemnation and the flawed federal approval process >>


New Jersey Pipelines Proposed


The fracked gas rush west of New Jersey is creating a frenzy of utility companies proposing new lines – which would cut through the New Jersey Highlands, the Pine Barrens and the Delaware River watershed – and pose a serious threat to our state's natural heritage. We are contending with an unprecedented onslaught of energy infrastructure projects that fall outside of any overall plan or vision and have the full force of federal energy policy behind them. With the exponential increase in pipeline proposals, there is no predicting where the next project will be announced, putting every part of New Jersey at risk.


These linear developments fragment forests, segment preserved farms, and put waterways at risk, all while furthering our dependence on fossil fuels. New Jersey Conservation Foundation is working with partners at the local, state and federal level, advocating for a policy shift that will require a comprehensive approach to pipeline review that considers the cumulative environmental impacts, and whether the gas is really needed or better alternatives exist.


"10 Most Endangered" list includes historic properties threatened by pipelines >>


There is evidence to suggest that the gas these proposed pipelines would bring is not needed in New Jersey. A recent analysis conducted by Labyrinth Consulting found that the proposed PennEast pipeline alone would result in a 53 percent surplus beyond current demand in New Jersey and concluded that the gas is bound for other markets, including export overseas.


The current rush to build multiple new pipelines in New Jersey puts us on course for significant over-building, resulting in supply that far exceeds actual needs, and causing irreparable harm to our communities.  Ratepayers and communities would suffer the costs when pipelines become obsolete as renewable sources of energy become less costly and needed to meet carbon reduction goals to address climate change.


Natural gas pipelines are currently considered in isolation, with no single state or federal entity looking at the bigger picture to determine if all this gas is needed, and whether better alternatives exist. This is like letting corporations build toll roads wherever they want without a transportation plan. 


We are in a new era for energy in New Jersey and nationally. We are at a fork in the road and we need to decide if we are going to head on the more destructive and expensive path that relies on additional natural gas through a harmful and expanded network of pipelines or if we will become a leader in the transition to this new energy era by fully implementing renewables and efficiency.


Read NJ Conservation’s comments on the update of New Jersey’s Energy Master Plan >>



PennEast Pipeline: The PennEast pipeline, a completely new gas pipeline proposed to cross the Delaware River into Hunterdon and Mercer counties, would cut across preserved farms, forests and vital public drinking water supply streams, on its way to Trenton. 


Holland, Alexandria, Kingwood, Delaware and West Amwell Townships in Hunterdon County would be directly impacted, as well as Hopewell Township in Mercer County.


The PennEast pipeline proposes to cross over 4,000 acres of preserved natural lands and farmlands that are legally protected in perpetuity from development.


It threatens other lands containing a multitude of environmentally sensitive attributes and features, including forests, surface and groundwater recharge watersheds, wetlands, the Delaware Wild and Scenic River, dozens of NJ Category One streams, habitat of rare, threatened and endangered species, steep slopes, and productive agricultural soils.


The project would also impact significant cultural, historic and archaeological resources, causing significant and irremediable damaging effects on valuable and irreplaceable resources.


The New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection outlined a thorough process that PennEast must follow before submitting permit applications. Please thank NJ DEP Commissioner Martin and ask the Department to hold firm in not considering an incomplete application.


NJ Congressional Representatives Speak Out

Update on PennEast!


PennEast formally filed with the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) on September 24.


Speak up and oppose the PennEast pipeline, which sets a terrible precedent for the next wave of pipeline applications.


Please contact U.S. Senators Cory Booker and Robert Menendez, and your congressman or congresswoman, and ask them to:


•  Stop the siting of pipelines on environmentally sensitive lands, including preserved farmland and open space.

•  Speak up and oppose the PennEast pipeline at FERC, and require a comprehensive analysis that includes non-pipeline alternatives.

•  Call for a halt on new pipelines until there is a comprehensive plan for new energy infrastructure.







Congresswoman Bonnie Watson Coleman (12th district) and Congressman Leonard Lance (7th district) have both called on FERC to consider a more careful, comprehensive approach to pipeline reviews, citing serious bipartisan concerns with the proposed PennEast pipeline.


Congressman Leonard Lance applauds NJDEP for stance on PennEast and asks FERC for more comprehensive review of pipeline proposals.


Read Congresswoman Watson Coleman's letter >>


NJ Legislators Announce Opposition


Members of the New Jersey Senate have announced their opposition to the PennEast proposal, and the 16th District legislators have written a letter to the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC).


NJ Conservation Foundation Weighs In with FERC


PennEast’s Resource Reports, which form the foundation for the Environmental Impact Statement required by FERC, are riddled with inaccuracies, omissions and outdated information. NJ Conservation’s comments on several of those reports call for more rigorous data and analysis of the natural and cultural resources at stake:

Read July 15 letter >>

Read August 17 letter >>

Read August 31 letter >>


See new route map for proposed PennEast pipeline >>


New Jersey Conservation Foundationalso provided scoping comments for the EIS in late February and testified at the February project hearings. In addition, New Jersey Conservation's Board of Trustees passed a resolution opposing the PennEast pipeline.



South Jersey Gas


In 2014, the Pinelands Commission defeated a massive gas pipeline proposed by South Jersey Gas through the heart of the New Jersey Pinelands. The pipeline would traverse the Pinelands Forest Management Area – a Pinelands planning district where this kind of infrastructure is forbidden unless it primarily serves people living inside the Pinelands – in order to bring natural gas to the BL England Power plant on the shores of Great Egg Harbor.

In May 2015, South Jersey Gas submitted an amended application for the pipeline, arguing that the power plant will mostly serve the needs of residents within the Pinelands. Pinelands Commission Executive Director Nancy Wittenberg issued a certificate of filing, asserting that the project meets the provisions of the Comprehensive Management Plan (CMP). The pipeline’s route and stated purposes have not changed at all since 2014, so the new claim that the proposal complied with Pinelands rules all along is not credible. Instead, South Jersey Gas simply reframed its argument for exactly the same development plan – a plan that violates the Forest Area protections and threatens the integrity of the CMP.
The BPU is planning a hearing on the South Jersey Gas petition for a waiver of municipal land use regulations. Granting such a waiver would violate the Pinelands Protection Act.


See South Jersey Gas map >>


New Jersey Natural Gas


NJNG has proposed the Southern Reliability Link, a 28-mile, 30-inch diameter pipeline that would travel from Chesterfield in Burlington County to Manchester Township in Ocean County. The proposed route passes through the Joint Base McGuire-Dix-Lakehurst, a U.S. military facility in the Preservation Area of the Pinelands - the heart of the Pine Barrens ecosystem and home to many threatened and endangered species.
NJNG has provided various rationales for this new pipeline, including obtaining access to a second supplier for its network, reaching new customers in Ocean County and providing a redundant source of gas to the Joint Base, but it appears that the project is really aimed at using the Base to reach the developed areas of Ocean County.
All but two of the impacted municipalities have objected to the proposal and received participant status in the petition. NJNG has admitted the project has environmental constraints, and the survey reports for threatened and endangered species have not yet been submitted. This project is progressing more slowly than the South Jersey Gas proposal, and is currently undergoing BPU review of municipal concerns through the end of this year. Once this review is finalized, the BPU will consider the application, which is not yet complete.


See New Jersey Natural Gas map >>


Diamond East Pipeline Project


Proposed by Transcontinental Gas Pipeline Company (Transco) in August 2014, this line would go through Luzerne County, PA; Carbon County, PA; Northampton County, PA; Bucks County, PA; Hunterdon County, NJ; Mercer County, although the route is not yet finalized. Designed to be a large-scale transmission pipeline stretching 50 miles from a gathering system in Luzerne County and Lycoming Counties in Pennsylvania, the line would terminate in Mercer County, New Jersey.


The proposed project includes new pipeline looping and additional compression to transport roughly 1 billion cubic feet of natural gas per day and would impact over 600 acres of land. The project is Transco’s third consecutive pipeline upgrade in three years, and appears to be wholly redundant with the PennEast Pipeline. Both projects propose to carry one billion cubic feet of natural gas per day and follow a parallel path through the Delaware River Basin.


Pilgrim Oil Pipeline


Pilgrim Pipeline Holdings has proposed building two parallel pipelines connecting oil terminals in Albany, New York to a refinery in Linden, New Jersey. 


The pipeline would cut through the New Jersey Highlands and the Great Swamp National Wildlife Refuge and would be able to transport 400,000 barrels of Bakken crude oil and refined products per day - Bakken shale oil would be sent south while refined products (including kerosene) would be sent north.


Citing safety and environmental concerns, the Morris County Freeholders unanimously approved a resolution opposing the proposed Pilgrim Pipeline in late March. The resolution calls for a “full environmental impact” to be conducted, and called into question the reliability of the company proposing the project.


State Senators Richard Codey and Thomas Kean Jr. are also opposed to the Pilgrim Oil proposal.


Pilgrim’s proposal cuts across 3 major drinking water rivers and two EPA designated sole source aquifers, the Ramapo Aquifer and the Buried Valley Aquifer. The Great Swamp National Wildlife Refuge, also in the pipeline's path, was established more than 50 years ago by the United States Department of Interior and offers protection to the headwater of the Passaic River.


A major pipeline spill could contaminate the drinking water for the several million people and dozens of municipalities who rely on these irreplaceable water sources. 


More Pilgrim Oil Pipeline information >>


Learn more


Hopewell Township Citizens Against the PennEast Pipeline


Concerned Citizens Against the Pipeline


Pipeline Safety Coalition


Stop the PennEast Pipeline Facebook page


Contact your district's state legislators


Protect Pine Barrens Forest


NJDEP begins to address off-road vehicle


damage to Wharton State Forest



At 125,000 acres, Wharton State Forest in the Pine Barrens is by far the largest state-owned forest in New Jersey. This remarkably diverse forest is home to many rare plants, threatened and endangered species and historic sites, including some 300 bird species, nearly 60 reptile and amphibian species, and more than 90 fish species. Forty-three of these animals are listed by the state as threatened or endangered, including bobcats, timber rattlesnakes and red-headed woodpeckers.


Wharton also has some 850 plant species, including wild orchids, sedges, grasses and insect-eating plants. Rarest among them include bog asphodels, curly-grass ferns and Pine-Barrens gentians.

Since Wharton was purchased in the mid-1950s, motorized vehicles have been allowed to travel its network of sandy roads to tour the quiet of the forest’s interior, visit historic ghost towns and put in a canoe.


In recent years the damage to habitats and roads within the state forest has greatly accelerated as people in 4x4 vehicles have deliberately torn up fragile wetlands creating deep and dangerous puddles, destroying habitats, and making access for other users almost impossible.


The damage at Wharton State Forest has also hindered fire suppression efforts and search and rescue due to impassable roadways. Enforcement of illegal off-road activities has been extremely difficult without a map clearly designating roads where motorized vehicle use is permitted and delineating those areas that are strictly prohibited.


In August 2015, the state released a plan to protect the forest by placing some roads off-limits to motorized vehicles, while leaving 225 miles open for vehicle access. However, due to vocal opposition from some motorized recreationists, the plan has been suspended indefinitely and the State is now seeking additional public input for its revision.


While public input is always beneficial when it comes to the management of our public resources, the State has not acknowledged that it is bound by its own regulations, including the Pinelands Comprehensive Management Plan, mandating that motorized access is subordinate to protecting natural and cultural resources. This means that the use of the forest to test drivers' skills of fording streams, climbing sandy hills and reducing pristine wetlands to barren mud pits is not permissible under any management scenario.


We urge the public to tell the DEP to protect Wharton State Forest by emailing their comments to: In addition, a public meeting will be held at 6:30pm on Thursday, Nov. 5, at Hammonton High School, in Hammonton, Atlantic County. Your voice needs to be heard! Register to attend at whartonmapcomments@dep.nj.govby October 28. For more information, visit


See Motorized Access Plan map for Wharton State Forest >>

Read more about this issue in a "State We're In" column by Michele S. Byers, Executive Director >>



Sustainable State Funding for Preservation and Stewardship


Federal Land & Water Conservation Fund expires


The National LWCF Coalition is working hard to secure the reauthorization of the Land and Water Conservation Fund, which expired on Sept. 30.


New Jersey Congressmen Frank LoBiondo joined efforts to permanently reauthorize the LWCF last spring, and now NJ Congressmen Pallone, Sires, Pascrell, Smith and Lance have joined as co-sponsors of legislation to fully fund this critical preservation mechanism.


The LWCF, established in 1964, created a dedicated, permanent means of funding land preservation and outdoor recreation through setting aside a small portion of the federal royalties collected for allowing oil and gas drilling in public offshore waters. New Jersey has received over $340 million from the LWCF, including funding for the Pinelands, 5 national wildlife refuges, Morristown NHP, Delaware Water Gap NRA and other federal sites, numerous state and local projects in every county, plus over $20 million from the Forest Legacy Program and nearly $5 million from the Highlands Conservation Act, which together helped preserve over 11,000 acres in the NJ Highlands.


Please contact your Congressional Representative and ask them to support full funding and permanent reauthorization for the Land and Water Conservation Fund. Thank you!


New Jersey Congressional Representatives






Norcross, Donald




LoBiondo, Frank




MacArthur, Tom




Smith, Chris




Garrett, Scott




Pallone Jr., Frank




Lance, Leonard




Sires, Albio




Pascrell Jr., Bill




Payne Jr., Donald




Frelinghuysen, Rodney




Watson Coleman, Bonnie





Land preservation to be funded by corporate


business tax

NJ preserved farmland sign


New Jersey Conservation is working with the NJ Keep it Green Coalition (KIG) to secure implementing language for funding preservation programs with the Corporate Business Tax allocation approved by voters in 2014.


The final Fiscal Year 2016 Budget for New Jersey allocates 60.5% of the CBT to the DEP for land acquisition, development and stewardship; 36.5% to the State Agriculture Development Committee; and just 3% for historic preservation. The administration’s proposal to allocate nearly $20 million to park staffing was left out of the final budget though there is still the possibility that this amount could be taken from the CBT funds.


See "A Legacy of Green: Celebrating 50 years of the Green Acres Program" >>


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Working to Protect the Palisades


Conservation groups, LG reach settlement



Following 11 months of constructive discussions, LG Electronics USA, New Jersey Conservation Foundation and a number of parties interested in LG’s new North American headquarters in New Jersey, have reached agreement on a new design, which all parties are celebrating as a “win-win” solution.


After exploring a range of options during the discussions, consensus has been reached on a new design that will create a world-class, sustainably designed building to the benefit of LG, the town of Englewood Cliffs and the state of New Jersey, while protecting the iconic vistas and integrity of the Palisades Park, a National Natural and Historic Landmark.


LG reached the mutually beneficial settlement with Scenic Hudson, the New Jersey State Federation of Women’s Clubs, the Natural Resources Defense Council, New Jersey Conservation Foundation and New York-New Jersey Trail Conference.


As part of the settlement, the conservation groups agreed to withdraw their pending legal appeal regarding zoning approvals in Englewood Cliffs and pledged to work with LG to secure necessary municipal approvals so the project can move forward as expeditiously as possible.


The new building design, reflecting compromises by all the parties, calls for a five-story north wing just shy of 70 feet in height and a three-story south wing, protecting the scenic views of the Palisades. LG will implement landscape, lighting and other design features to further reduce visual impacts, while retaining the scale of the complex as home for LG’s growing U.S. business.


See press release announcing settlement >>

See New Jersey Conservation Foundation statement >>

See former New Jersey governors' letter to LG >>


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Advocating Sound Stewardship of Public and Private Lands

New Jersey Conservation Foundation advocates for state policies that give high priority to protection and restoration of biodiversity on public and private lands, urges the use of modern ecological principles in developing management plans for New Jersey’s public lands, and defends preserved land from improper diversion to other uses.


Take action now to stop industrial park on


Green Acres land


In July 2013, the state’s Green Acres Program purchased 81 acres of forest in Cumberland County, expanding the Menantico Ponds Wildlife Management Area to 474 acres. This land – the former Durand Glass property – contains prime breeding habitat for several state threatened species, including Northern Pine Snakes.


The land had been preserved for less than a year when the City of Millville protested, arguing that it was needed instead for economic development. The city, along with Cumberland County, convinced the Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) to overturn the Green Acres purchase and sell it to the city for an industrial park.


The proposal was scheduled to be voted on in June by the State House Commission, but due to procedural concerns, the vote was held.


Meanwhile, in August, the Appellate Division of the State Superior Court ruled in DEP's favor in a case brought by Millville and Cumberland County challenging the State's acquisition of the Durand tract. The Court’s decision was unambiguous in its support of the DEP’s initial acquisition. Despite this court case and ruling, the DEP is proceeding to divert the property and sell the land to Millville or Cumberland County.


If allowed to go through, this proposal would set a catastrophic precedent for the Green Acres Program and our public lands. Any municipality could now claim the need for economic development to justify further diversions of public trust Green Acres properties for private commercial use. This would severely undermine almost 60 years of public support for Green Acres funding.


Take Action! Please ask the State House Commission members to vote NO if this proposal comes before them again. Contact information can be found at


Read more about this issue in a "State We're In" column by Michele S. Byers, Executive Director >>


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Protecting the Land that Grows Our Food

NJ Conservation's farmland preservation works!

Through our farmland preservation work, New Jersey Conservation Foundation is working toward a day when an abundance of locally grown New Jersey food, produced in a healthy, environmentally sustainable manner, will be available to feed the region.

As part of that vision, large concentrations of preserved farmland will not only support the local food system, but will also protect the state’s water supply and wildlife habitat, combat global warming by sequestering carbon, and connect with other preserved lands – parks, trails, and natural areas – as part of an interconnected system of public and private open space, with all of the benefits associated with preserved, open land.

To fulfill this vision, we lobby Congress for New Jersey's fair share of federal farmland conservation funding. NJCF is New Jersey's leading non-profit recipient of USDA Farm and Ranchland Protection Program funds. We have been recognized by the State Agriculture Development Committee as New Jersey's leading non-profit organization for both acres of farmland and total farms preserved.

We promote natural resource protections – especially soil protections - for farmland preserved with public money, so that the agricultural soils of today will be available to grow food tomorrow. And while we support clean renewable energy sources, we are working to ensure that these sources don't come at the cost of our most productive farmland.

We are working to strengthen farmland preservation and agricultural viability in our Delaware Bay Watershed project area. This region is rich in natural resources, and is truly the bread basket of New Jersey agriculture. We are developing pilot projects, including marketing initiatives, to assist sustainable farm operations in the region and connect local food with urban centers.

Agriculture comprises one of the most important sectors of New Jersey's economy, while also providing a host of public and community benefits that cannot be fully measured. NJCF is committed to keeping the garden in "The Garden State."


Read more about soil protection efforts in Michele Byers' column, "The State We're In" >>



Conservation Easement Revitalization Project

A conservation easement is a legal agreement between a landowner and a land trust or government agency that permanently limits uses of the land in order to protect its conservation values. Easements are a widely used tool for preserving land.  Yet because the land itself generally remains in separate, private ownership, ensuring that easements continue to fulfill their original promise as time passes and land changes hands is often a challenge.

New Jersey Conservation Foundation recently took part in a national project called the Easement Revitalization Research Project. The project was sponsored and funded by the Open Space Institute in New York and funded by the Geraldine R. Dodge Foundation, the Kohlberg Foundation and Resources Legacy Fund.


New Jersey Conservation Foundation was one of six case study partners nationally working with consultant Marc Smiley from Solid Ground to obtain a comprehensive understanding of the extent to which land trusts are encountering situations where conservation protections on private lands are not being honored, and to focus on how land trusts can remedy or otherwise manage these troubled easements.

A subsequent report evaluated the case study easements and gave options for addressing the challenges that have arisen. NJCF staff provided feedback on the report, which has been finalized in the form of a general guidebook, “Easement Revitalization Guidebook,” for land trusts across the country.  

Download a copy of the guidebook >>

On a state level New Jersey Conservation Foundation, as the state’s leading private holder of conservation easements, has launched an initiative to ensure the long-term viability and integrity of conservation easements throughout the Garden State. Working with conservation partners from all sectors, we are developing strategies to ensure that easements remain an effective preservation tool and that preserved land is truly protected in perpetuity.


Advancing and Defending Environmentally Sound Regional Plans

New Jersey has a strong history of adopting comprehensive regional plans. Regional planning that incorporates environmental protection is critical to protecting the land and water supplies on which we depend. Other important benefits of such planning includes stabilizing local property taxes, retaining the character of rural areas and established communities, and generally promoting growth in places where it is less environmentally damaging and more cost-effective to build, because of the presence of existing infrastructure like roads, sewers and public water systems.

New Jersey Conservation Foundation has been integrally involved in the passage of many landmark New Jersey regional planning laws, including the Pinelands Protection Act, the Highlands Water Protection and Planning Act, the Delaware and Raritan Canal State Park law, and the State Planning Act. Constant vigilance is required to ensure these laws and their regional plans aren't weakened over time.


Help Protect the Highlands

Pyramid Mountain, Morris CountyThe Highlands are part of the great sweep of the Appalachian Mountains that shadows the East Coast from Maine to Georgia. The Highlands Region extends from southeastern Pennsylvania through northwest New Jersey into New York and Connecticut. With forested ridges, pastoral farmland, and pure streams, lakes and reservoirs, the Highlands form a greenbelt surrounding the most populous metropolitan area in the US. The Highlands provide an essential source of drinking water, clean air, critical wildlife habitat, historic resources, recreational opportunities and scenic beauty for both its residents and the millions of people who live within an hour’s travel.


About the New Jersey Highlands Act

New Jersey’s 2004 Highlands Water Protection and Planning Act passed by overwhelming majorities in the State legislature after two decades of focused citizen and governmental efforts to protect the New Jersey Highlands Region. The 860,000 acre Highlands, with only 17 percent of the land in the State, provides drinking water to 5.4 million – nearly two-thirds – of the State’s residents, who live in fifteen counties in northern central and southern New Jersey. If you are either a Highlands water-drinker or a Highlands resident, there is good reason for you to become involved in the region’s protection.

If you are either a Highlands water-drinker or a Highlands resident, there is good reason for you to become involved in the region’s protection.The New Jersey Highlands Coalition has an outreach program directed to Highlands water-receiving areas outside the region. To find out more visit the Highlands Coalition website.

The Highlands Act affects 88 municipalities in parts of seven counties:  Bergen, Passaic, Morris, Somerset, Hunterdon, Sussex and Warren. The Highlands Water Protection and Planning Council (Highlands Council) and the New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) are both charged with implementing the Act. The DEP has rule-making authority over the Preservation Area, about half the region, much of which is preserved state and county lands. The Highlands Council completed the required Regional Master Plan (RMP) for the 88 municipalities in 2008. 

Highlands Plan Conformance

Conformance with the Plan is mandatory for the Preservation Area, but voluntary for the Planning Area.  Since the Plan is based on scientific assessments of available water supply and septic capability in each watershed, its build out scenario, along with required environmental ordinances, offers a blueprint for sustainable, capacity-based development for all Highlands municipalities in both the Preservation and Planning Areas. Implementation is achieved through municipal conformance with the Plan, which benefits substantially from the involvement and support of local residents. 

Conformance Update

As of December 2012, 43 municipalities and two counties (Passaic and Somerset) have had their Plan Conformance Petitions approved by the Highlands Council. Of the 88 Highlands municipalities, 60 have submitted Plan Conformance Petitions. You can check the status of specific municipalities on the Highlands Council website -

You can help move Plan Conformance along! The New Jersey Highlands Coalition, of which NJCF is a founding member, has a Highlands Advocate Program that you can join to take action. Please visit the New Jersey Highlands Coalition website to find out more. 

Let's Not Let Politics Trump Water

New Jersey Conservation Foundation is working to defend the Highlands from efforts by the Christie Administration to weaken the Highlands’ protections.

Damaging steps already taken include the appointment of anti-conservation individuals to the Highlands Council. At the Council, the progress of plan conformance by municipalities has slowed dramatically. 

We and other environmentalists are concerned about potential weakening of the Regional Master Plan during an upcoming review process. Also, it is feared that strongly protective DEP Highlands rules may be revised. Without gubernatorial leadership committed to Highlands protection, New Jersey faces the serious risk of damage to the watersheds that represent the State’s primary source of drinking water.

The Highlands Council meets monthly at 5 p.m. on Thursdays at the Council headquarters at 100 North Road (Route 513) north of Chester Borough in Morris County. New Jersey Conservation Foundation regularly monitors and comments at these meetings.

We also periodically post action alerts on Highlands issues, so please sign up for our email alerts and stay tuned!

Read statement by former Governors about the importance of protecting Highlands, Pinelands >>




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