Monthly Update
Open Space Month Video Series
We had a great Open Space Month and would like share the final video in our series titled "New Jersey's World Biosphere Reserve" please WATCH, SHARE, ENJOY and don't forget to visit your local open space!

Check out the other videos in the series below!
Bellmeade Decision
The Coalition, along with Raritan Headwaters Association, NJ Sierra Club and the Township of Readington, in a lawsuit in which we were represented by Aaron Kleinbaum of the Eastern Environmental Law Center, challenged NJDEP’s renewal of a wastewater discharge permit for Bellemead’s unbuilt, potential office complex in Tewksbury. The permit had previously been denied when Bellemead requested an extension of an expiring permit. At that time, in 2008, the public turned out in numbers at a public hearing, testifying and submitting written comments opposing the permit.  When DEP denied the reissuance of the permit, Bellemead appealed the decision and in 2011 DEP and Bellemead went through an adjudication procedure where Bellemead eventually prevailed. None of the public was informed of the adjudication until the permit renewal was issued. We challenged the permit in appellate court on several counts including that DEP had not consulted with the Highlands Council, a requirement of both the Highlands Act and DEP’s own regulations.

    The Court, in finding for the plaintiffs, based their decision on a important point that is hugely favorable towards the protection of Highlands resources. In their written decisions, the judges opined, “(t)he DEP cannot issue a permit for the planning area if the permit is incompatible with the goals of the RMP…the DEP must consult with the Highlands Council on permit applications for the planning area.”

    The Coalition has always believed that although municipal conformance in the Planning Area (the aligning of local land use and zoning ordinances to be consistent with the RMP) is voluntary, the State—as in NJDEP—must adhere to the higher standards of the RMP when issuing a permit in the Planning Area, whether or not the municipality is conformed. The DEP had not agreed and would issue permits in non-conforming municipalities under the standards that applied to the rest of the State, not holding the applicant to the higher standards of the RMP.  The Court’s opinion supports our interpretation and we expect this will have significant impacts in the Highlands as we move forward.

Highlands Council
                                                    Next Scheduled Meetings:

RMP Amend. Comm. Meeting: July 12th, 2017 | 4 pm
Regular Council Meeting: July 20th, 2017  |  4 pm
 100 North Road, Chester, NJ

At the June Highlands Council meeting the release of the RMP monitoring plan, which is the first step in revising the RMP, was motioned for approval with a 60 day comment period. The motion was approved and the plan will be released after the June meeting minutes are approved by the Council and the Governor.  

The Bloomsbury redevelopment area application was moved and approved by the Council, contrary to a split of support among Council members and opposition by public commenters.  It was stated that there will be more "bites at the apple", making this only the beginning of the redevelopment process.  

Highlands Council Info
Upcoming Pub Crawls
Get Hopped Up in Boonton & Mooristown!
Boonton Hopped Up Scavanger Pub Crawl
Friday, September 1st - 7 PM

A friendly rendezvous at any of Boonton’s local watering holes is always a good time. You have four hours to visit these locations to find the answers to trivia questions to win cool prizes. The first stop on the crawl is Poor Henry’s where you can enjoy a discount on malty Belgian ale, and stouts to hoppy, bitter beers like India pale ales.  Classic Irish pub faire and a new delicious small plate menu will also be part of our visit. You’ll have an opportunity to visit Boonton Station, Johnnies Tavern and Sharkey’s West on the pub crawl.

The event will begin at 7:00 PM on Friday, September 1 and will come to a close at 11:00 PM at Sharkey’s West. Get your friends together and come crawl along. Buy your tickets below!
Buy Boonton Tickets
Mooristown Hopped Up Highlands Pub Crawl
Friday, October 13 - 6 PM

Experience Morristown’s growing Craft Beer scene among the bustling night life of Downtown Morristown. Join us as downtown restaurants and tap rooms showcase the beers of New Jersey at our 4th Morristown Hopped Up Highlands Pub Crawl on Friday, October 13, 2017 from 6:00PM – 11:00PM

New to this year’s pub crawl is Revolution, A Social Brew House featuring an scratch kitchen, German Cuisine and 40 craft taps. Stirling Tavern offers a large number of NJ craft beers, great empanadas and a retro rustic vibe.

We will be heading back to the newly renovated George & Martha's American Grille and ending at End of Elm with 24 draft lines where they always have a beer from Carton, Kane and Bolero Snort in addition to an expanding, rotating selection of New Jersey Breweries. Come see for yourself the excitement that is brewing up in Morristown! Get your tickets below!
Buy Mooristown Tickets
Uphold the Highlands Update

Led by George Stafford, our Uphold the Highlands program, which has garnered well over 100 municipalities’, counties’ and regional and local Environmental Commissions’ support for the Highlands Act and Regional Master Plan, is moving into a new phase.

We hugely appreciate those communities being open minded and taking the time to understand and appreciate our efforts, even if sometimes they asked for a little persuasion! We have not given up on the remaining communities, which are still being pursued actively, albeit more slowly than earlier converts.

Our outreach has now expanded to other efforts seeking local and governmental support. We, of course, will still approach targeted towns outside the Highlands that receive water from the Highlands to approve our Resolution of Support for the Highlands Act. But now, we are working with the Keep It Green Campaign on resolutions advocating continued funding support for Open Space acquisition.  We had also worked with SaveH20NJ on a resolution supporting the release of the long delayed New Jersey Water Supply Plan, which was finished in 2011 but had not been released to the public, informing and supporting local and regional planning decisions. The Water Supply Master Plan has just been released by NJDEP and was out for public comment until June 30th.  Communities as diverse as Bernardsville, Newark and George Stafford’s home town of Wharton recently signed on to both of these resolutions. Political events both in Washington and here in New Jersey have made the local and regional government/political picture somewhat cloudy, but we continue to meet with officials inside and outside the Highlands in places like Stanhope and Paterson, and to promote the important economic and environmental values of the Highlands.

The Highlands Rediscovered
Complimentary Screenings

We have been busy showing the NJN film "The Highlands Rediscovered" and we would like to continue sharing this beautiful and informative film. We're happy to work with your organization (or an organization you know) if interested in hosting the New Jersey Highlands Coalition for a free screening of this film, followed by a short Q&A session. Just let us know where and when!
Schedule a Screening
for the latest news and exclusive behind the scenes access to the NJ Highlands Coalition!
​The New Jersey Highlands Coalition

We represent a diverse network of organizations - small and large, local, regional, statewide and national - and individuals with the common goal to protect, enhance and restore the New Jersey Highlands and to preserve the quality and quantity of drinking water both for the 850,000 people in the Highlands as well as the more than 5.4 million people in surrounding areas who depend on Highlands water. For more information visit our website.

Thank you for all of your support! 
508 Main Street | Boonton | New Jersey | 07005