Houghtaling and Taliaferro Bill to Create ‘Landowner of the Year’ Program Becomes Law

To recognize environmentally conscious landowners who make efforts to preserve wildlife on their property, legislation sponsored by Assemblymen Eric Houghtaling (D-Monmouth) and Adam Taliaferro (Gloucester, Cumberland, Salem) was signed into law Monday by Governor Phil Murphy.

The law (formerly A-1040) requires the Department of Environmental Protection, in coordination with any other agricultural organization deemed appropriate, to create and promote an award program known as the New Jersey Landowner of the Year initiative.

The title will be annually awarded to a landowner who has demonstrated an outstanding record of improving, enhancing, and preserving wildlife populations and habitats on their property.

“It takes an enormous amount of work to care for land, let alone do so in a way that protects the environment,” said Houghtaling. “Landowners who make the extra effort to preserve wildlife and natural habitats deserve to be recognized.”

“With cleaner water and healthier soil, endangered species have a better chance to thrive,” said Taliaferro. “It’s the landowners who are taking steps to responsibly improve conditions on their properties who are helping these species survive. Their work should not go unnoticed.”

The law was approved earlier this month by the Assembly, 74-0. It passed the Senate 27-0 in September.