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The Highlands Act, signed in August 2004, divides the 800,000-acre Highlands region into two areas:  a preservation area, where development is strictly regulated and a planning area, where development is monitored. The Highlands Water Protection and Planning Council was charged to implement a regional master plan for the region.

The Highlands Act includes a special review process for agricultural and horticultural activities and related development in the Highlands Preservation Area and required the Department of Agriculture to promulgate rules for that purpose. The rules are designed to implement the process established by the Highlands Act for review of new agricultural or horticultural development within the Highlands Preservation Area.


Agricultural Development in the Highlands Rule

Highlands Regional Master Plan

Highlands Master Plan Executive Order

Highlands Master Plan Executive Order Summary

Frequently Asked Questions 


For more information or questions about agriculture in the Highlands and how the Highlands Act pertains to agriculture, please call the Division of Agricultural and Natural Resources at (609) 292-5532.