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SANDY PERRY, COMMUNICATIONS MANAGER
PHONE: 908-234-1225, EXT. 104
SANDY@NJCONSERVATION.ORG

48-acre farm in Warren County preserved

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE/ 02/24/15

New Jersey Conservation Foundation
Shaley Hill Farm
WARREN COUNTY - New Jersey Conservation Foundation and its partners have permanently preserved a 48-acre family farm in northern Warren County where corn and hay are grown, and sheep and beef cattle have been raised.

"Shaley Hill Farm" is located on Johnsonburg Road and straddles the border of Hope and Frelinghuysen townships, just north of Interstate 80. Its uppermost fields are located on a ridge top with views of the Delaware Water Gap in the distance.

A partnership of Warren County, New Jersey Conservation Foundation, the State Agriculture Development Committee and the U.S. Department of Agriculture's Natural Resources Conservation Service purchased the development rights from owner Patricia Cooke on Jan. 22. The land is still owned by the Cooke family, but is now forever restricted to agricultural use.

"We're very pleased to assist in this farmland preservation project," said Michele S. Byers, executive director of New Jersey Conservation. "This is a productive farm that has been in the same family for years, and we wanted to make sure it's always available for farming."

Shaley Hill Farm is located in a rural, agricultural area, near other preserved farms and natural areas, including the Bear Creek Preserve and Jenny Jump State Forest.

"We appreciate all the hard work that staff from New Jersey Conservation, the State Agriculture Development Committee and the Natural Resources Conservation Service put into this project. They've been really great partners," said Corey Tierney, Warren County's land preservation director. "And I want to thank our Freeholders for continuing to support the farmland preservation program, and the Land Conservancy of New Jersey for originating the project."

Protecting the Cooke farm maintains the rural and scenic character of the area, and protects the soils for water recharge and food production.

"The State Agriculture Development Committee was happy to partner in the preservation of this farm, which furthers all our cooperative efforts to ensure that agriculture will always remain an important part of the landscape, economy and way of life in Warren County," said Agriculture Secretary Douglas H. Fisher.

"Shaley Hill Farm lies in an area of active farming," said Carrie Mosley, State Conservationist for the Natural Resources Conservation Service. "It is also less than an eighth of a mile from Category 1 waters and is approximately 30 percent forested. By preserving this farm in the Highlands region, we are protecting both the future of agriculture in the region and the resources that support the area's communities."

New Jersey Conservation Foundation is a private nonprofit that preserves land and natural resources throughout New Jersey for the benefit of all. Since 1960, New Jersey Conservation has protected 125,000 acres of open space - from the Highlands to the Pine Barrens to the Delaware Bayshore, from farms to forests to urban and suburban parks. For more information about the Foundation's programs and preserves, go to www.njconservation.org or call 1-888-LAND-SAVE (1-888-526-3728).

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