Voters Approve Environmental Proposals in New York, New Jersey

November 08, 2017
New York-New Jersey Trail Conference


Voters Approve Environmental Proposals in New York, New Jersey
 Diamond Notch Falls - Catskill Park - Photo credit: Jeremy Apgar


Voters approved proposals in New York and New Jersey that have an impact on the environment, parks, and trails.

Voters in both New York and New Jersey had the opportunity to weigh in on several ballot questions this Election Day. We’re happy to report that, thanks to your support, both New York Proposal 3 and New Jersey Question 2 were approved by voters—a win for the environment, parks, and trails.

Approval of Proposal 3, the Public Health and Safety Land Account, creates a 250-acre Forest Preserve “land bank” in New York. Adirondack and Catskill communities will be able to draw upon this land bank when infrastructure projects require use of small amounts of Forest Preserve land. This allows these communities to make modest infrastructure improvements along Forest Preserve land without having to go through the long and expensive process of receiving an individual constitutional amendment for approval. In essence, lands removed from the Forest Preserve for infrastructure projects will be replaced. Large projects will still require a constitutional amendment.

Approval of Question 2, Revenue from Environmental Damage Lawsuits Dedicated to Environmental Projects Amendment, creates a “lockbox” that will require New Jersey’s Natural Resource Damages funds to be used only for their intended purpose. The constitutional amendment will designate National Resource Damages funds solely to: 1. Repair, replace and restore damaged natural resources; 2. Preserve New Jersey’s natural resources; and 3. Pay the legal costs for environmental contamination claims.