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NJ Conservation Foundation Urges Gov. Murphy to Strengthen Protections on Preserved Farms

Aug 10, 2022

FAR HILLS — New Jersey Conservation Foundation (NJCF) respectfully urges Governor Murphy to conditionally veto A2772/S757, the bill permitting frequent commercial, non-agricultural events on preserved farmland across the state. This bill undermines the Farmland Preservation Program’s purpose of protecting land from non-agricultural uses by allowing at least 26 two-day events, such as weddings and concerts, on a preserved farm each year — with six events permitted to have an unlimited number of attendees.

“Taxpayers have paid to protect the soil resources and agricultural productivity of New Jersey’s farmland for years, but this legislation does not adequately protect the public interest or investment,” NJCF Co-Executive Director Tom Gilbert said. “Large commercial events could cause significant soil compaction and other damage to natural resources, as well as noise and traffic, while keeping farmland out of agricultural production.”

Gilbert added, “This bill, as passed by the legislature, threatens the integrity of the preservation process. Governor Murphy has an opportunity to fix the bill to protect the public interest and ensure that nonprofit land trusts that preserve farmland can uphold the restrictions agreed to when the land was preserved.”

NJ Conservation Foundation, a nonprofit organization, helped create the Farmland Preservation Program and has preserved thousands of acres of farmland across New Jersey. 

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By Michele S. Byers,
Executive Director