OCEAN TOWNSHIP - Assemblyman Eric Houghtaling, who serves as Chair of the Assembly Agriculture and Natural Resources Committee, issued the following statement regarding today’s approval by the State Assembly of his bill, A1040, which establishes a New Jersey "Landowner of the Year" award program for wildlife and habitat preservation.
“If an owner of one our State’s open spaces makes a laudable effort to protect and support wildlife habitats on their lands, it’s important that we recognize their work and contributions,” said Assemblyman Houghtaling.
“Too many of New Jersey’s ecosystems are threatened by development or pollution, which is why it’s so vital to encourage our residents to take an active role in protecting and supporting the animals that make our communities such beautiful places to live. This legislation is about more than just a single award - it’s about promoting and celebrating every New Jerseyan whose work makes it possible for our state’s thousands of native species to live and flourish right here in the Garden State.”
A1040 would require the Department of Agriculture, in coordination with any agricultural organization as determined appropriate by the Department of Agriculture, in consultation with the Division of Fish and Wildlife in the Department of Environmental Protection, and appropriate wildlife organizations, to establish and promote an award program to be known as the New Jersey “Landowner of the Year” award program. The program would annually recognize a landowner who has demonstrated an outstanding record of improving, enhancing, and preserving wildlife populations and habitat on the landowner’s property. The bill also directs the Department of Agriculture to consult with the Division of Fish and Wildlife in the Department of Environmental Protection when establishing an application procedure, criteria, and guidelines for the eligibility, nomination, and judging of applicants for the award.
Assemblyman Eric Houghtaling represents New Jersey’s 11th Legislative District in the State Assembly, where he works to make the Garden State fairer and more affordable for its hard-working residents. As Chair of the Assembly Agriculture and Natural Resources Committee, Assemblyman Houghtaling also works to support and protect the food industries, open spaces, and natural resources that make New Jersey “the Garden State.” The 11th District includes the Monmouth County municipalities of Allenhurst, Asbury Park, Colts Neck, Deal, Eatontown, Freehold, Freehold Township, Interlaken, Loch Arbour, Long Branch, Neptune City, Neptune, Ocean Township, Red Bank, Shrewsbury Borough, Shrewsbury Township, Tinton Falls and West Long Branch.