Maloney pushes to re-up Highlands Conservation Act

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Rep. Sean Maloney in Fort Montgomery

FORT MONTGOMERY – Rep. Sean Patrick Maloney (D, NY-18) said he is working to help re-authorize the Highlands Conservation Act to help preserve the natural environment of the Appalachian region that merges with the Hudson Valley.

“This ensures our communities have the resources they need to preserve local forests, waterways and open spaces, while promoting the kind of tourism and recreational activities that we all depend on,” he said on Friday while at the Fort Montgomery State Historic Site.

The legislation is a land conservation program funded through the federal Land and Water Conservation Fund and has thus far protected more than 11,000 acres of conservation land. This protected area provides clean drinking water to 20 million people and is home to 150 bird and mammal species.

“Conserving this region across New York, New Jersey, Pennsylvania and Connecticut brings powerful benefits to the region’s residents,” said Seth McKee, the incoming president of Scenic Hudson.

Maloney also worked to get a permanent ban on oil barges anchorages between Yonkers and Kingston, a stretch of the Hudson in which the Highlands is centrally a located.

“This stretch of the Hudson behind us will not have the 43 barge births that were contemplated,” said Maloney. “It’s that kind of narrow-sighted policy is exactly the kind of thing the Highlands Conservation Act seeks to avoid by giving the local communities the resources they need to make conservation a priority and also be able to afford to do so. And it’s really that simple.”