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