The Sourland Conservancy works for the adoption of policies, plans, ordinances and stewardship practices that protect the Sourlands. In order to be effective, we need the active support of our members and the general public.
Advocacy projects require a great deal of work, involving research, attendance at meetings of local boards, letter writing, canvassing, displaying yard signs, organizing community members, and more. We need your help!
Below are listed some of the issues we are currently working on, and what you can do to help. If you are interested in helping the Sourland Conservancy with its advocacy efforts, or if you have any questions about these issues,
please contact us.
Click on an issue below to learn more:
- Community Comment Form for PennEast Draft EIS
- Map of Proposed PennEast Pipeline Route Showing Affected Parcels
- Sourland Conservancy Resolution Opposing PennEast Pipeline
- Searchable Map of Proposed PennEast Pipeline Route
- Sourlands Region PennEast Pipeline Analysis GIS Map
- PennEast Property Access Denial Letter
- Research on effects of fracking and gas pipelines (on page 22 of this magazine)
- Holland Township Questions and PennEast Answers
- PennEast Pipeline Meeting in Delaware Township
- PennEast Pipeline Action Alert
- PennEast Proposed Route (map )
- Reduce the damaging impacts of the oversized deer herd on the Sourland forest and the human population of the Sourland region.
- Prevent high-density development at Marshall’s Corner/Pennytown in Hopewell Township.
- Either stop the proposed Skillman Loop of the Transco Pipeline or assure that it is installed with minimal environmental impact.
- Assure that solar projects in the Sourland region are done in an environmentally responsible way.
Reduce the damaging impacts of the oversized deer herd on the Sourland forest and the human population of the Sourland region.
The Issue: The overpopulation of white-tailed deer in the Sourlands has negatively impacted human health and the health of the forest.
What You Can Do:
- Attend the Sourlands Deer Management Symposium, sponsored by the Sourland Conservancy, on November 26th, 7-9 p.m. at the Otto Kaufman Community Center. Sign up for our email blasts to receive information about registering for this event. Attend this symposium to learn about:
- Quality deer management in the Sourlands
- Responsible hunting on your property
- The impact of deer on the ecology of the Sourlands
- Construct deer exclosure fences on your property to protect native plants (refer to “Living in the Sourlands: A Guide For Responsible Stewardship.” )
- Support responsible hunting in the Somerset County Sourland Preserve and throughout the Sourland region.
- If you own land in the Sourlands, consider opening it up to deer hunting. The Sourland Conservancy can help identify people who will hunt your land responsibly. Contact us for further information.
Prevent high-density development at Marshall’s Corner/Pennytown in Hopewell Township.
The Issue: Hopewell Township purchased the site of the former Pennytown shopping center with the intention of building 70 units of affordable housing in a hamlet-style village. But the development plan expanded to beyond what is sustainable for that area: the joint development up to 365 new residences — 70 affordable housing units and up to 255 market-rate homes — and 15,000 square feet of commercial space.
Some combination of community opposition and economic realities have caused the Township to shelve this plan for the time being, but we must remain vigilant.
What You Can Do: Hopewell residents should visit http://pennytownfriends.wordpress.com/ for additional background information about this misguided project. Check back here periodically to see if further political action is needed.
Either stop the proposed Skillman Loop of the Transco Pipeline or assure that it is installed with minimal environmental impact.
The Issue: Williams Transcontinental Gas Pipeline Company (“Transco”) is proposing to expand its natural gas pipeline infrastructure (“Leidy Southeast Expansion Project Skillman Loop”) by adding a second natural gas pipeline of 42” diameter adjacent to its existing 36” diameter gas pipeline. The proposed “Skillman Loop” consists of 6.36 miles of pipeline in Princeton in Mercer County and in Montgomery Township of Somerset County. The negative impacts of this project include, but are not limited to, deforestation, loss of habitat, dislocation of species and flooding.
What You Can Do: Register on the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) website to access Transco’s filings, FERC’s communication with Transco, and to comment on the proposed pipeline project. FERC’s website is www.ferc.gov. Visit the Princeton Ridge Coalition website for project updates and citizens’ actions to avoid or minimize the damage from this project: www.princetonridgecoalition.org.
Assure that solar projects in the Sourland region are done in an environmentally responsible way.
The Issue: The Sourland Conservancy strongly supports solar energy, but there are some places that are not appropriate for solar installations. “With the rapid growth of New Jersey’s highly incentivized solar industry, a new type of development pressure has emerged. There is growing momentum to build large, utility-scale solar electric generating facilities on farmland, open space, forests and environmentally sensitive areas.” (from “Solar Siting and Sustainable Land Use,” Association of NJ Environmental Commissions – see the link below)
What You Can Do: Become aware of what constitutes a “good” solar ordinance and the solar ordinances that exist in your town. Contact local officials and urge them to strengthen insufficient ordinances.
- Visit your municipality’s website for the solar ordinances in your area.
- The website www.ecode360.com can be used to search and browse online municipal codes.
- Visit the ANJEC (Association of New Jersey Environmental Commissions) website for articles about environmentally responsible solar projects