DEP Opens Public Comment Period on Sale of Humus Tract to Feds

Feb 20, 2019

Nearly 620 acres of land in Stafford Township is expected to be sold to the federal government for $867,000, according to the state Department of Environmental Protection.

The land in question, known as the Humus Tract, was purchased by the DEP in 2006 for $648,120 to preserve the wooded wetland area until the federal government obtained enough funding to buy the tract. The property has no road frontage and is surrounded on three sides by the Edwin B. Forsythe National Wildlife Refuge.

The sale of the land would officially make it a part of the Forsythe Refuge, according to the DEP.

“We would continue to maintain the habitat in its current state,” Virginia Rettig, refuge manager, said.

Written comments on the proposed sale should be directed to Mary E. Monteschio, NJDEP Division of Fish and Wildlife, Mail Code 501-03, 501 East State St., P.O. Box 420, Trenton, N.J. 08625-0420. Comments will be accepted through March 15.

Selling the Humus Tract is subject to the approval of the DEP commissioner and the State House Commission, created in 1953, to control the sale and leasing of state-owned properties. The State House Commission consists of Gov. Phil Murphy; Lt. Gov. Sheila Oliver, first alternate; second alternate Justin Braz, deputy chief of staff for legislative affairs; Kate McDonnell, deputy chief counsel and third alternate; Elizabeth Maher Muoio, state treasurer; Catherine Brennan, deputy state treasurer and a designee to the commission; Joann Povia, treasurer’s office chief of staff; and David Ridolfino, acting director, office of management and budget, treasury.

Sens. Gerald Cardinale and Bob Smith are also part of the commission, while Sens. Dawn Marie Addiego and Linda R. Greenstein are alternates. Assemblymen Paul D. Moriarty and John DiMaio also serve on the State House Commission. Assemblymen Robert J. Karabinchak and Jon M. Bramnick are alternates.

Proceeds of the sale will be returned to the Garden State Preservation Trust Fun for future acquisition by the state.  G.G.S.

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