The Sierra Club believes that the Highlands are in more jeopardy now than in any time since the passage of the Highlands Act. On the sixth anniversary of the Highlands Act, the Sierra Club has released its annual Highlands report card showing this key region of our state is under attack. Governor Christie has drawn a bull's eye on the Highlands with transition team reports that call for eliminating the Highlands Council, Executive Orders that put our water supply at risk, and funding cuts that will invite sprawl and overdevelopment.
Budget cuts, Red Tape Review Committees, Executive Orders and secret stakeholder meetings with special interests will take away many important protections in the Highlands region and prohibit full implementation of the Highlands Act. The Highlands Council still has numerous vacancies. Of the 15 slots, five are vacant.
This year, we rate the actions on protections for the Highlands an F. This grade is not a reflection of the Highlands Act itself, but rather the lack of implementation of the act and the plan.