Farmland owned for seven generations threatened by the pipeline

Harriet and Charlie from Sergeantsville NJ own a famous farm in Hunterdon county. They write:

My mother and I own 2 farms at 722 and 740 on route 604, in Rosemont, NJ. Ours were the first 2 farms to go into farmland preservation in the state. The Fisher family has lived here for 7 generations. Our two farms have around 200 acres of farmed land which is part of a remarkably beautiful farmscape comprising the Rosemont Valley. Our farm is designated to have the Penn East pipeline going right through it. It has been photographed for the Hunterdon phone book cover, state maps, Somerset/Hunterdon/Mercer Atlas, the county brochure and there is a huge photograph of it as a mural on the lobby wall of the Hunterdon Medical Center Hospital. Artists have painted our farm hundreds of times. This view has appeared on many places of honor exactly because of its unspoiled and quickly vanishing old fashion farm/agrarian appeal. The pipeline will be going right through the most beautiful rural and farming vista in the county and thus spoiling this beautiful farmscape. This pipeline undoes 50 years of all the conservation efforts which have gone into saving this federally designated historic and rural Rosemont Valley.

The fishers wanted to preserve these farms and this way of life. It was a monetary sacrifice because we could have subdivided and sold building lots for much profit but instead we saved our farms and open space for all future generations. We certainly did not do this so a pipeline could go through it!
The Audubon bird society comes regularly to monitor the birds on our farm. We have endangered grassland birds because we initiated a federal program for grassland birds these pass 10 years. We have planted grasses specifically for these birds and protect their nesting grounds as well as building and monitoring bird boxes.

The Audubon says we now have some rare birds such as the bobolink and kestrels to name a few. We have hundreds of snow geese which land here to rest as they migrate.

This protected area specifically designed for endangered species of birds is where the pipeline is to be located

As a farmer, I know that the pipeline will interfere with my farming and cause irreversible soil erosion.

This is an affront to all farmers who have trusted in the State and federal programs to save land in perpetuity.

This farm is so beautiful that a mural of it is hanging in the Hunted Medical Center. And PennEast wants to run a pipeline through it. Somehow I doubt that will improve its appeal…..

There submission is below:

Harriet and Charlie – FERC Generated PDF

Harriet and Charlie – FERC Generated PDF Alternate site

Robbing a farm of its organic certification

Carina in Delaware township NJ submitted USDA documents to the FERC that certify her farm as organic. In her submission comments she states:

I have attached CRP contracts with the Hunterdon County USDA that certified my farmland as organic over a period of 10 years. The PennEast Pipeline would destroy them and negate the time and taxpayer $ spent under PF15-1.

Her submission is here:
Carina Delaware Township – FERC Generated PDF

Think of Mr. Butterfoos!

Marie in Stockton is hoping that the rule of law is still in effect here in the U.S., and that corporations can’t do an end run around it by invoking eminent domain. Do we have a Right to Farm or don’t we?

Marie’s comments – FERC generated PDF

Marie’s comments – FERC generated PDF Alternate Site

Please be advised that the above-described Land, namely Parcel 1:10007-33-4i,s already established within the confines and commitments of 8 Farmland Preservation Easement held by the New Jersey Conservation Foundation, the United States ofAmerica and the County of Hunterdon, dated 10/30/2009.

My land has been secured for the perpetuity of”the Right to Farm” and as such, has been monitored for the past five years accordingly and successfully. I have enjoyed my walk and talks with my formidable partners and their representatives and have never felt pressure to defend and/or regret Green Land Restrictions until the PennEast Pipeline (and other’s like it) seemingly force a re-evaluation of “need” vs. “greed” and the distinctions between them.

Later on in the same submission she describes her property and what the pipeline is going to do to it – and we learn that no only is Marie’s farm in jeopardy, but a Mr. Butterfoos actual body as well….

I am the owner of a farm located in Hunterdon County, Delaware Township, Stockton, New Jersey, 08559, referred to as Block 33, Lot 4, encompassing 38 acres.

On a revised right away shown on the latest PennEast alternate drawing, the Proposed Pipeline is shown cutting right through the center of my farm. Five years ago, I placed my farm in the Farmland Preservation Program. I did this because of my desire to let future generations enjoy the beauty of this farm as has my family and in essence and with appreciation, many others — from those
who marveled at its great green, fertile fields, its radiant glowing water supply (our pond) apples, pears, peaches, cherries, strawberries and yes, natural shoe-stain to keep our boots abundantly “in order” and at the ready for the cow-stanchion in the great German tradition of”milking and storing the liquid gold” we call cow’s milk. To those who have loved its open spaces, long walks and even, longer talks; to those who came to visit —once again, the homestead of their Delaware Township families —from restored head boards with secret “initials” and “best buddy markings,” and yes — to visit once again – so as never to forget – the man who’s tombstone still graces this Farm, Mr. Ent Butterfoos!

The stewardship of this Farm —Lot 33-Block 4—-PennEast docket number: PF15-1-000 is inconsistent with its numerical value and its PipelineMonetaryPossibility. This farm supports life and your plan Pipelines to no future except to The Banks That Still Fail, destmys many more. (We may one day, learn to res—tore ruined crop fields; we will never learn to restore life to those we have taken life from no matter how many death-kills you so designate and worse, “march these victims off in the name of capitalism, socialism, communism and/or profit.”

Ava gets right to the point

Ava from Stockton uses both barrels to blow a hole through the PennEast proposal:

I am a 19 year old resident of Stockton, New Jersey and am writing to express my opposition to the PennEast pipeline which is threatening to destroy not only our community but my family’s property. I have had the privilege to grow up in this community, on a beautiful family farm that belonged to my Great Grandmother, Jane Henderson.

I am extremely upset that a company can come in and endanger our land and all the natural resources that come with it. If you drive through our community, you will the signs everywhere opposing this pipeline. The Delaware River,which is one of our biggest resources for water and tourism, is at risk as well as the land that we live on.


Farms owned by families going back to the Revolutionary War

Jeanne’s family has owned several farms in Holland Township for generations.  A LOT of generations – going all the way back to the 1700’s:

Jeanne’s comments – FERC Generated PDF

From her comments:

I am totally against the pipeline and a private company making a profit at my families’ expense by destroying the land in New Jersey Hunterdon County, specifically Holland Township. The route is planned to go through not only my husband’s and brother-in law’s family farms, but also through my original home farm. The Moore farm has been in our family since the 1700s. Our ancestors settled this land and started in a one room house that remains part of the current house today. We have documentation that both my original family and my husband’s ancestors fought in the Revolutionary War as Patriots. My husband’s great grandfather fought for the Union in the Civil War in the 9th NJ regiment. It saddens my family that our heritage is being destroyed, that the labor and sacrifice of our ancestors can be dismissed as if this is not entirely our rightful land. I feel especially violated by having my two family farms devalued and destroyed by a company’s bottom –line when none of this project would benefit the local residents of the area. We do not need to export gas/oil to other countries. The fact that it is going to the freight and shipping city of Trenton makes this clear no matter what the “company line” states. Also, I am now suspicious of the political leaders and their previous efforts to keep “open land” in New Jersey. How much are they to profit from this pipeline being approved on my family land?

Delaware Township farms

Stephanie of Brook hollow farms tells the FERC about the farms and preserved lands her family owns and how the pipeline is going to destroy them:

Stephanie’s comments – FERC Generated PDF

The whole first paragraph is worth repeating here:

We are located in a historic, agricultural and rural federally designated district. It was selected for this designation for its bucolic beauty and history. All the preserved farms and open space in Delaware Township didn’t happen by chance. Locals have been actively and persistently preserving for 50 years to keep this place one of NJ’s crown jewel in its undisturbed shape. My family put my 250 acre farm into farmland preservation & conservation land so it would remain the same in inperpetuity. My sister and I live here with our families and continue their conservation efforts. This land was conserved for the public and not for corporate profit. My parents donated land along the Wickecheoke Creek as a public walking path and the local people have been working to expand that to protect the creek corridor and allow the public to enjoy the woods and creek. Your pipeline goes right thru it. My township has spent decades working to preserve land here and many of us have given a lot of money to do this or taken discounts on land put in preservation. We did not devote all our time and energy so Penn East could destroy that resource. How are you going to mitigate for that? Do you think anyone will want to preserve land now? You have opened the door to increased suburbanization around here which will cost our township its rural character as well as make our tax dollars soar. How do you mitigate?

Not only is my farm protected but the whole view shed will be forever changes.

 She also comments on an issue I’m deeply concerned about, the placement of the pipeline on very steep slopes. We have a lot of slopes in this entire region and clearing them is known to cause all sorts of bad, long term issues.  Stephanie says:

I also have environmental and farmland concerns:
The massive erosion and sedimentation on my steep sloped forest land. The purposed pipeline goes thru wet lands as well on my property. Your standards are so low and unsuited to this kind of landscape. I have seen the photos on the Delaware River keeper webpage of the 300 line in PA which in places has been replanted three times with no success. The damage extends far beyond the ROW. The same with the Highlands line which has eroded down to bedrock in places. What recourse do we have when it doesn’t work? Can you direct me to even one new pipeline site on a steep formerly forested slope that is an example of what you will do here? All I can find are failed examples