The Highlands Conservation Act (H.R.
1964, 2004; 16 U.S.C.
3901) is designed to assist Connecticut, New Jersey, New York and Pennsylvania in conserving land and natural resources in the Highlands Region through Federal assistance for land conservation projects in which a State entity acquires
land or an interest in land from a willing seller to permanently protect resources of high conservation value.
The USDA Forest Service (USFS) has identified lands that have high conservation value through the â¿¿New York New Jersey Highlands Regional Study:
2002 Updateâ¿ and the â¿¿Highlands Regional Study:
Connecticut and Pennsylvania 2010 Update.â¿ Subject to availability of funds through Federal appropriation, each year, Governors of the four Highlands States may submit proposals for up to 50 percent of the total cost of land conservation projects in the Highlands Region.
Proposed projects must be consistent with areas identified in the Study and Update as having high resource value.
This program funds land conservation by State agencies in the Highlands Region.
Such acquisitions help create a conservation stewardship second only to Teddy Roosevelt by creating opportunities for more public access to lands.
State land acquisition increases access for recreational opportunities for the public, including hunting and fishing.
Additionally, the first purpose of the program (listed above) exemplifies the priority of utilizing our natural resources, such as drinking water, by recognizing their importance and conserving their utility for current and future generations of Americans.
Lastly, this program restores trust with our local communities through partnering with State agencies to fund state and local projects.