Crucial funding for land conservation in the Highlands region is set to expire in 2021 without your help.
Congress needs to hear your support today to continue the successful Highlands Conservation Act land protection program, which is set to expire at the end of 2021. There are two bills, H.R.2793 and S.753, that would reauthorize the program. Please urge your members of Congress to bring these bills to a vote as soon as possible.
The Highlands Conservation Act was first passed by Congress in 2004, authorizing the use of $10 million a year for land conservation funding within the Highlands region. Spanning 3.4 million acres across Connecticut, New Jersey, New York, and Pennsylvania, the Highlands region of is home to lush forests, important waterways, stunning Appalachian peaks, fertile agricultural lands, and diverse populations of wildlife. The region provides access to outdoor recreation for residents living in some of the country’s largest metropolitan areas. Most notably, the act protects drinking water for millions of people and conserves large swaths of untouched forests critical to climate resiliency.
The Highlands region is extremely vulnerable to irreversible development that threatens this important natural landscape. The Highlands Conservation Act has provided more than $75 million to states in the region to help protect and conserve these valuable lands. It is crucial that Congress reauthorizes the Act to protect these vulnerable lands.
More than 10,000 acres have been permanently protected under this program, and it has spurred collaboration among federal, state, and local agencies. To find an interactive map of the various projects that have been completed, or to learn more about the act, you can visit The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service’s website.
Please ask your members of Congress to bring this reauthorization to a vote as soon as possible. Unless this act is reauthorized, federal funding is expected to end next year, threatening a unique landscape that provides clean drinking water, habitats for endangered animals, recreational opportunities, and key agricultural lands.