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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
September 19, 2005

Contact: Elaine Makatura
(609) 292-2994

DEP OFFERS FEDERAL FUNDS TO SUPPORT FOREST STEWARDSHIP IN THE HIGHLANDS

(05/112) TRENTON -- Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) Commissioner Bradley M. Campbell today announced the availability of $150,000 in federal funds for private forestland owners in the New Jersey Highlands to help promote sound forest stewardship.

"The sound management of private forestlands in the Highlands is paramount to preserving the natural resources of this region," said Commissioner Campbell. "The funding will provide greater opportunities for private landowners to receive the technical assistance that they need to be more proactive and environmentally responsible in the management of their forest resources."

The New Jersey Forest Service will provide reimbursement of up to a maximum of $3,000 spent by a qualifying landowner to develop a forest stewardship plan for their property. The grants are funded by the US Forest Service through the Forest Stewardship Program.

Private forestland owners with 10 or more acres of woodlands in the Highlands and no prior forest management plans are encouraged to apply. Applications are due by October 15.

The Forest Stewardship grant program is intended to encourage management of private forestland for non-commodity benefits, such as wildlife habitat, recreational value and water quality, as well as traditional commodities such as timber and wood products. Stewardship promotes long-term active management while emphasizing consideration of all the forest resources and benefits.

Applicants who receive funding are required to maintain and implement their forest stewardship plans for a 10-year period.

The New Jersey Highlands is a 1,250 square mile area in the northwest part of the State noted for its rugged hills, lush forests and scenic lakes. It stretches from Phillipsburg in the southwest to Ringwood in the northeast, and lies within portions of 7 counties (Hunterdon, Somerset, Sussex, Warren, Morris, Passaic and Bergen) and 87 municipalities. The larger Highlands region runs from Connecticut through New York and New Jersey into Pennsylvania.

The Highlands region is a critical source of drinking water. Surface and ground water sources in the Highlands supply water to 292 municipalities and 16 counties in New Jersey. The region produces one-third of the state's potable water and supplies some or all of the drinking water to approximately 64 percent of New Jersey residents. In addition to water resources, the Highlands region contains exceptional natural resources such as contiguous forests, wetlands, pristine watersheds and plant and wildlife species habitat.

New Jersey's forestlands cover 2.1 million acres of the state, of which 62 percent is owned and managed by private individuals and enterprises.

DEP's Forestry Service administers the Forest Stewardship Program.

To receive a grant application, call NJ Forest Service Northern Regional Office at (973) 827-1325 or the Trenton Office at (609) 292-2531.

 

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NJDEP Forest Service
http://www.njparksandforests.com/forest/

 

 

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Last Updated: September 19, 2005