By Demelza Davies
The Highlands Regional Master Plan is designed to protect the water supply for the northern part of New Jersey. The Highlands Region is 13% of the state; however, it supplies water to 65% of the population. The main points of the plan is to conserve the land and protect the water by monitoring human activity. This means that the state would have final say if a family or its community decides to apply developmental needs to buildings and properties.
This issue has members on each side, pro and con. Some agree that it is not too much to ask for it is for the better in the future, on the other hand others argue that it will prevent the local community from making its own decisions thus a violation of their simple rights to make decisions for their own land and community. Communities such as Denville are on the fence over this plan, as many residents are not sure if it is for the better or worse for New Jersey. People such as Gene Fitzpatrick concluded that this plan should be evaluated and researched thoroughly before any decisions are made. Gene Fitzpatrick is a Denville Councilman who wrote a letter in regards to the Highlands Regional Master Plan. He agrees that something should be done in regards to this matter, however is hesitant as to whether the Plan is the right way to go.
The Highlands Regional Master Plan is a good start to strengthening the ecosystem, but the plan needs to be fair to everyone so that rights are not sacrificed. We need to modify human behavior in every way possible like using less and conserving more. If we teach these simple policies to our children at an early age and reinforce this valuable information, then we are at a good start to saving the environment without upsetting people.
For more information on the Highlands Regional Master Plan please visit: http://www.riker.com/articles/index.php?id=11257To Read Fitzpatrick letter to the editor please visit: http://www.northjersey.com/news/opinions/letters/84540872_Letter__The_Highlands_Regional_Master_Plan_must_be_evaluated_thoroughly_in_Denville.html