T & E
P.L. 1997, CHAPTER 65, approved April 7, 1997
Senate, No. 1264 (First Reprint)
An Act establishing an interdepartmental ecotourism task force 1[and],1 supplementing Title 13 of the Revised Statutes1, and making an appropriation1.
Be It Enacted by the Senate and General Assembly of the State of New Jersey:
1. a. There is established within the Department of Environmental Protection the "Ecotourism Development and Strategic Planning Task 1[Force,] Force,"1 hereinafter referred to as the "task force."
b. The Commissioner of Environmental Protection, the Commissioner of Commerce and Economic Development, the Commissioner of Transportation, and the Secretary of Agriculture shall each appoint three employees of their respective departments to the task force. Each member of the task force shall be a person of recognized ability and experience in one or more of the following areas: parks management, natural resource protection, forestry, wildlife conservation, economic development, small business attraction and retention, marketing, tourism, agri-business, and road and trail building. The commissioners together shall select the chairperson and vice-chairperson of the task force from among its members. The task force shall organize as soon as may be practicable after the appointment of its members.
c. The task force shall meet regularly as it may determine, and shall also meet at the call of the chairperson of the task force.
d. A majority of the membership of the task force shall constitute a quorum for the transaction of task force business. Action may be taken and motions and resolutions adopted by the task force at any meeting thereof by the affirmative vote of a majority of the membership of the task force in attendance at the meeting.
e. The task force shall be entitled to call to its assistance and avail itself of the services of such employees of any State, county, or municipal department, authority, board, bureau, commission, agency, or entity, or of Rutgers, The State University or any other public institution of higher education in the State, as it may require and as may be available to it for the purpose of carrying out its duties under this act.
2. It shall be the duty of the task force to:
a. Identify existing and potential natural, historic and cultural resources that could be promoted as ecotourism destinations;
b. Evaluate and assess the measures recommended to be taken to ensure that the promotion of a resource identified pursuant to subsection a. of this section results in the preservation and increased protection of the resource, which shall include, but need not be limited to, any appropriate private, public or volunteer enforcement function, the creation or enhancement of educational or interpretive facilities or programs, and the coordination with local communities with regard to the resource management strategy to be employed;
c. Evaluate and assess the capacity of the resources identified pursuant to subsection a. of this section to accommodate tourism-related development and activities, which shall include, but need not be limited to, the creation or enhancement of transportation or other infrastructure, tourist visitation, and small business development;
d. Investigate methods for funding the costs of ecotourism promotion and development as well as resource preservation, including the use of volunteers, soliciting private financial support, providing departmental educational and technical assistance for interested public, nonprofit, and private entities, and establishing collaborative relationships between State agencies, the tourism industry and local communities; 1[and]1
e. Hold such public hearings as it may deem necessary to solicit public input on the matters set forth in this section1; and
f. Consult with the Pinelands Commission when implementing subsections a. through d. of this section in the pinelands area designated pursuant to section 10 of P.L. 1979, c.111 (C.13:18A-11)1.
3. The task force shall report its findings and conclusions and any recommendations for legislative or administrative action to the Governor, the Legislature, the Commissioner of Environmental Protection, the Commissioner of Commerce and Economic Development, the Commissioner of Transportation, the Secretary of Agriculture, and the public within one year of the effective date of this act, whereupon the task force shall dissolve.
4. There is appropriated from the General Fund to the Ecotourism Development and Strategic Planning Task Force established pursuant to this act the sum of $25,000 to meet the administrative costs of the task force in carrying out its duties pursuant to this act.
5. This act shall take effect immediately.
Establishes Ecotourism Development and Strategic Planning Task Force.