Conservation Victory in the Mid-Atlantic Highlands
Conservation Victory in the Mid-Atlantic Highlands

Conservation Victory in the Mid-Atlantic Highlands

March 29, 2018

AMC Cheers Highlands Conservation Act Renewal and Full Funding

Protecting the places you love just got a lot easier. Congress last week renewed the popular Highlands Conservation Act for seven more years, providing $10 million this year to fund open space projects in the Mid-Atlantic region.

First passed in 2004, the Highlands Conservation Act (HCA) allowed Congress to allocate money from the Land and Water Conservation Fund for important land protection efforts in Connecticut, New Jersey, New York, and Pennsylvania. When the HCA expired in 2014, AMC led the charge to reauthorize it.  Today and at long last, we’re proud to see that come to fruition within the passage of the 2018 Omnibus Appropriations Act.

Since the 1990s, AMC has led efforts to protect the Highlands Region, beginning with the fight to save Sterling Forest, which at the time was threatened by an enormous development scheme. After a decade of working to secure the support needed to protect Sterling Forest, AMC then took a leadership role in the Highlands Coalition, where we still serve as the lead force behind a partnership of more than 200 organizations.

With AMC’s stalwart support, projects under the HCA have received more than $47 million of federal LWCF dollars to-date and have protected more than 7,000 acres of valuable landscapes across the region.

Besides Sterling Forest, the Mid-Atlantic Highlands include spectacular and popular places such as the Hopewell Big Woods in Pennsylvania, Allamuchy Mountain in New Jersey, and Bear Mountain in Connecticut. Many such places host the Appalachian National Scenic Trail and often are the first stop for outdoor adventures near more urban centers.

AMC’s leadership in the Highlands Coalition continues today. Learn more about the Highlands Conservation Act, the Land and Water Conservation Fund, and other important conservation funding programs. Or voice your support for continued conservation funding through the federal Land and Water Conservation Fund on AMC’s Conservation Action Network. Don’t forget to add your name so that we can reach you when your voice is needed most!

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Mark Zakutansky

As AMC's Director of Conservation Policy Engagement, Mark works to advance a number of important priority federal and state conservation issues, including land conservation funding, river and watershed protection, as well as access to public lands. Mark is an avid outdoor enthusiast, primarily as a whitewater paddler and telemark skier.