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Six Flags Agrees to Environmentalists' Action to Block Clearcut

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE/ 10/03/16

Toms River/Trenton, NJ - Environmentalists announced today that Six Flags Great Adventure and KDC Solar have agreed not to proceed with clear cutting or any other damaging activity concerning their controversial plan to destroy 70 acres of significant Pinelands forest unless and until pending litigation in the Law Division is resolved.

The agreement is in response to the environmentalists' filing (available at www.cleanwateraction.org/sites/default/files/Brief%20in%20Support%20of%20OSC%20Final%20.pdf) for an injunction in Ocean County Superior Court last week. The groups are suing Six Flags, KDC Solar, Jackson Township, and Jackson Township Planning Board for violating local and state land use law in their efforts to clear cut a forest to install a solar farm instead of putting it over Six Flags' parking lots.

"Six Flags shouldn't be using chain saws to power their rides especially with litigation pending in Superior Court. There is a high likelihood we will win our case, and any clear cutting before that time is premature and would cause irreparable harm," said David Pringle, NJ Campaign Director of Clean Water Action. "We hope Six Flag's decision to voluntarily agree instead of litigate is a sign of a new day with a new CEO. Six Flags can save paradise by putting it over the parking lot."

"Great Adventure can't be permitted to clear cut first, and ask questions later," said Doug O'Malley, director of Environment New Jersey. "This injunction will put a pause on any effort to raze this small slice of Pinelands forest land for a misguided goal of a solar installation. We urge Great Adventure to rethink its strategy, drop plans to raze the forest and actually support the environment."

"Clearing 70 acres of upland forest will result in the permanent and irreversible destruction of a critical habitat for many rare and threatened species. Jackson Township, by accepting the solar applicant's flawed environmental impact analysis, has fallen incredibly short of its responsibility to protect critical natural resources," said Emile DeVito, Ph.D., Manager of Science and Stewardship, New Jersey Conservation Foundation.

"We strongly support solar power, but there are better alternatives Six Flags and KDC can take other than this clear-cut plan. If Six Flags would have put solar panels on their parking lot, they would be operating already. This proves that this is a bad project because after all this time and all this money spent, there's still no solar," said Jeff Tittel, Director, New Jersey Sierra Club. "We are going to Court because this is a good project in the wrong place. Instead of clear-cutting 16,000 trees, there are other alternatives Six Flags could take that do not impact habitat, water quality and flooding. We need them to stop the clear-cut because it will undermine all the benefits of clean energy."

The 1st of the 2 part case is currently scheduled for trial in December. Crosswicks-Doctors Creek Watershed Association and Save Barnegat Bay are the two other plaintiffs in the case against Six Flags, Jackson Twp., and KDC Solar.

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