COUNTY, WANAQUE BOROUGH
PRESERVE HIGHLANDS PROPERTY
(05/12) TRENTON -- Department of Environmental Protection
(DEP) Commissioner Bradley M. Campbell today announced the preservation
of a 125-acre property located within the Highlands preservation
area in Bloomingdale and Wanaque boroughs.
"DEP's preservation of this environmentally sensitive watershed
land is a step forward for the protection of water resources for
future generations of New Jersey residents," said Acting
Governor Richard J. Codey.
The property, which is comprised of woodlands and forested wetlands,
is adjacent to Norvin Green State Forest and Wanaque Reservoir.
The DEP Division of Parks and Forestry will manage the newly acquired
property as an addition to the 4,365-acre Norvin Green State Forest.
It will be open to the public for passive recreation.
"This preservation area acquisition complements DEP's regulatory
work and the Highlands Council's planning efforts," said
Commissioner Campbell. "The project demonstrates the importance
of forming partnerships with private landowners and county, municipal
and nonprofit groups to conserve Highlands water resources."
The preservation of this property will protect water resources
and endangered species habitat. The property is located within
1,000 feet of the Wanaque Reservoir. It protects portions of the
watersheds of three tributaries of the reservoir, including the
trout-producing West Brook.
This Highlands parcel provides habitat to a variety of threatened
and endangered species. Endangered species found at the site include
the red shouldered hawk, northern goshawk, and timber rattlesnake.
Threatened species found at the site include the barred owl, cooper's
hawk and wood turtle.
"We are continuing our efforts to acquire open space in
Passaic County and we are delighted with this latest preservation
effort," said Lois Cuccinello, Passaic County Freeholder
and liaison to the Passaic County Open Space Committee.
DEP purchased the property from a private owner in partnership
with the Passaic County Open Space Trust Fund and Wanaque Borough.
The DEP Green Acres Program contributed $1,061,000 in state acquisition
funds. Passaic County and Wanaque Borough jointly contributed
$200,000 in Passaic County Open Space funds.
"This is an outstanding acquisition," said Wanaque
Mayor Warren Hagstrom. "I want to thank the DEP Green Acres
Program and Passaic County. This fits in perfectly with Norvin
Green State Forest and the Wanaque Reservoir."
The DEP Green Acres Program purchases land to protect environmentally
sensitive open space, water resources and other significant natural
and historical open space. Land acquired becomes part of the statewide
system of parks and forest, wildlife management areas and natural
In 2004, the Green Acres Program acquired 23,237 acres of open
space. To date, Green Acres has protected 686,745 acres of open
space and provided funding to develop hundreds of parks statewide.
The statewide system of preserved open space and farmland totals
almost 1.3 million acres.