Space-McHose Bill to Protect Farmers’ Right to Sell Firewood Advances
TRENTON – To support farmers who sell firewood to supplement their incomes, Assembly Republicans Parker Space and Alison Littell McHose sponsor legislation clarifying the state’s farming law so that such farms cannot be considered industrial lumberyards. The bill, A-2765, today won Assembly Agriculture and Natural Resources Committee approval.
“Farming has evolved through the years, and farmers have had to adapt to those changes by expanding their sources of income,” said Space, R-Sussex, Warren and Morris. “We shouldn’t penalize farmers for selling firewood on their farms regardless of whether they grew the trees themselves. Now that enforcement officials are imposing lumberyard regulations on these family farms, we need to clarify that law.”
The measure allows a farm, a farm stand or any other agricultural operation to sell firewood obtained from property other than the sellers without being considered a lumber yard under municipal land use regulations or for other regulatory purposes.
“New Jersey is known as the ‘Garden State’ for a reason,” said McHose, R-Sussex, Warren and Morris. “Farming is a vital industry for our state, and we should not be doing anything to make an already challenging job more difficult. It’s absurd that our hard-working farmers have to be concerned about receiving a citation for selling firewood on their farms.”
The bill was prompted by a Mount Olive farmer who received a zoning violation for selling wood obtained off-site. His family had been doing so for decades, but the town’s zoning officer determined it was a logging operation and lumberyard.
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