Map of the Sourlands

Advocacy

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:

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:

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.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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