Appropriations Committee Approves Funding for Highlands Conservation Act

Washington, DC– Rep. Rodney Frelinghuysen (NJ-11) today praised the House Appropriation Committee for including his request for funding for the Highlands Conservation Act as part of the Fiscal Year 2016 Interior, Environment and Related Agencies Appropriations bill.

Frelinghuysen, a senior member of the House Appropriations Committee, stated that $3 million for land acquisition, from willing sellers, in the Highlands region is included in the bill that was passed by the Appropriations Committee today.  The legislation has been referred to the full House for further action.

“I am pleased that Chairman Ken Calvert (CA) recognized the ongoing need for this critically important funding.  Preserving the New Jersey Highlands is, and should remain, a federal priority.  A major source of drinking water and in the most densely populated metropolitan area in the country, the Highlands is a critical area in need of protection.  By negotiating land acquisition with willing sellers, this appropriation shows just how efficiently the federal Highlands Conservation Act has been working. The Act requires that every federal dollar be matched 100 percent by non-federal dollars.  Over $17 million that has been previously appropriated under the Act has leveraged state, local, and private funds at a better than two-to-one ratio,” Frelinghuysen said.

The Highlands cover more than three million acres across New Jersey, New York, Pennsylvania, and Connecticut.  To date, more than 5,000 acres in the 4-state Highlands Region have been protected under the Act.