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As your voice in Trenton and throughout northern New Jersey, Julia Somers, Elliott Ruga, George Stafford and Zachary Cole continue to push for the protection and preservation of the Highlands wherever and whenever they can. However, we owe a lot of our success to our members and supporters.

Will you help us keep up this work in 2019?

2018 was a banner year for the Coalition, here are some of the Highlights:

 

Undoing the misguided activity of the previous administration

We are thrilled to share the news that earlier in December Governor Murphy's administration officially overturned rules made by his predecessor concerning septic system density in the Highlands. The proposed new rules would have allowed more development in the region by increasing the number of septic systems permitted in an area protected by state law. In January the legislature found the rules inconsistent with the safeguarding of natural resources mandated under the Highlands Water Protection & Planning Act. Finally we have confirmation DEP will return to the original standards.

 
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A new approach to forest stewardship

In March this year, DEP Commissioner McCabe halted logging activities on Sparta Mountain Wildlife Management Area, stating she would “review the science”. Since then we have successfully worked with DEP to demonstrate the values of our Highlands forests and minimize irreversible damage through proposed stewardship activities.

 

We believe this huge effort represents a new dawn for collaboration on future forest stewardship initiatives.

 

Setting the course for strong environmental policy in the Highlands

This year, we put pen to paper – a lot in the name of Highlands values and natural resources, submitting comments to the Forest Service, the Highlands Council, DEP, and the Board of Public Utilities, on a number of plans and proposals that would affect the Highlands, not to mention the op-eds. Also we completed several White Papers: Policy Recommendations for Forest Stewardship on Public Lands, focuses on best practices for forestry on public lands in New Jersey, and Protecting the Resources of the New Jersey Highlands, co-written with and led by the Eastern Environmental Law Center, argues for enforcement of Highlands regulations under the Highlands Act and the importance of the Highlands Regional Master Plan to that end. 

It is through these meaningful and thoughtful efforts that our voice is heard in Trenton, advocating for the protection of the NJ Highlands and all its precious natural and cultural resources.

 

Contributions from supporters such as you are New Jersey Highlands Coalition’s largest source of funding and ensure that the Coalition has the resources to continue to be your voice speaking up for the NJ Highlands in the year to come.

Thank you all for your continued support! 

 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 6.2 million people in surrounding areas who depend on Highlands water.

 

For more information visit our website.

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