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Important Highlands Tract Preserved

Date : Wed, 29 Aug 2012 11:02:16 -0400

For Immediate Release
August 16, 2012 Contact: Jeff Tittel, NJ Sierra Club, 609-558-9100

Important Highlands Tract Preserved Today the Trust for Public Land and Green Acres Program will announce the preservation of the Baker Residential Property or Mase Mountain in Jefferson Township.This 835 acre track was previously slated for development and has long been a preservation priority in the Highlands region.Jeff Tittel, Director of the New Jersey Sierra Club, issued the following statement in response:

"One of the most important mountains in the Highlands is now preserved.This is a very important acquisition, one of the gems of the Highlands.This is in some ways long overdue.For close to 25 years people have been working to save Mase Mountain and now it has finally been acquired."

"The property was slated for one of the biggest battles for preservation back in the 1990's when 850 units were proposed for the site.Sierra Club had listed it as one of the worst sprawl projects in New Jersey.Local citizens and environmental groups spent years fighting the proposed developments and sewers on the site which lead to the ultimate protection of the site."

"This was one of the properties listed as a treasure of the Highlands at the beginning of the effort to protect the region along with Sterling Forest, Pyramid Mountain, Windy Acres, Sparta Mountain, and that is why this is one of the most important acquisitions in the Highlands in a long time.The site is home to important wetlands and threatened and endangered species habitat and feeds water supply reservoirs and intakes."

"This acquisition is even more important now given Governor Christie's rollbacks to protections in the region, including his appointments to the Highlands Council and replacement of Council staff with political cronies."

"We thank both our Senators for securing funding through the Highlands Conservation Fund to preserve this property.This shows why we need the federal government to fully fund Highlands conservation especially as Green Acres is running out of money."

"This is one of the real treasures of the Highlands but there are still others that need to be preserved like Saddle Mountain in Ringwood."

"This is a great victory for Highlands preservation at a time when we really need it given the rollbacks.The only sure way to protect a property is through acquisition unless someone proposes a power line."

Kate Millsaps
Program Assistant
NJ Chapter of the Sierra Club
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Received on 2012-08-29 08:02:16

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