Updates from the Pennsylvania, New Jersey, New York, and Connecticut Highlands


Highlands Region

The Highlands have an incredible diversity of flora and fauna, as well as important water, agriculture and recreation resources.

By the numbers

  • 1.4 million acres federally recognized / 1.98 million acres total
  • <8% or about 150,000 acres protected
  • 12 state parks and 2 state forests
  • 13 counties & 200 municipalities
  • 223,000 acres of preserved farmland (2064 farms)
  • 95 miles of class A trout streams
  • 150 species of special concern
  • 11 conservation landscapes and 33 critical treasures


The Highlands is home to many unique plants and animals, protecting them is Important and will improve our health and quality of life.

  • By conserving wildlife habitats, our children and grandchildren can enjoy nature
  • Bad development threatens places where people & wildlife live
  • Conserving wildlife habitat keeps our air and water clean

Natural Areas

Natural areas offer scenic beauty and provide vital services to communities

  • Natural areas preserve the scenic beauty of the Highlands.
  • Conserving the Highlands provides natural areas for our enjoyment
  • The services that natural areas provide to local communities are priceless


The Highlands contain prime farmlands, providing local food, jobs, and rural community character

  • Highlands farms and soils are world renowned
  • Agriculture is a top economic generator
  • Working farms are an essential part of an appealing rural landscape


The Highlands offer a wide array of recreational opportunities that fund and support local economies

  • Recreational activities are good for the economy
  • Recreation in the Highlands is exceptionally diverse
  • Outdoor recreation is a fun way for people to stay healthy and enjoy time with family and friends


The Highlands provide clean water for drinking, recreation, and scenic beauty.

  • Millions of people rely on the Highlands for clean drinking water
  • Clean water is critical for quality fishing and boating
  • Aquatic wildlife in the Highlands is special


Conserving the Highlands reduces the impact of climate change

  • Smart growth reduces climate change impacts
  • Better land stewardship absorbs greenhouse gasses
  • New trees can be planted to offset emissions


Conservation is a foundation for economic growth and stability

  • Natural areas offer a high quality of life that attracts people and businesses to communities
  • Natural areas boost local economies by providing opportunities for tourism and recreation
  • Conserving natural areas is often less expensive than development

Community Character

Natural areas, working farmland and pristine waterways create rural landscapes and community character in the Highlands

  • People choose to live in rural communities because of a desirable lifestyle
  • Rural character is disappearing at a rapid pace
  • Working farms and forests are an essential part of an appealing rural landscape


Protecting the Highlands promotes healthy kids, wholesome communities and a nourishing environment

  • Natural areas offer families fun ways to stay physically active
  • Natural areas are places where people can relax, reflect, and enjoy life
  • Trees and plants in the Highlands clean our air and drinking water