- Associated Press - Wednesday, April 2, 2014

ANDOVER, N.J. (AP) - State officials have agreed to preserve a 260-acre former dairy farm in Sussex County from development.

Some $5.8 million will be spent to spare the rolling hills and green fields of Francisco Farm in Andover that was targeted in the late 1980s for a housing project that would have tripled the town’s population.

Most of the land will become part of Kittatinny Valley State Park. Officials say 21 acres will be sold for non-open space use to help offset the purchase price.

In making the announcement Wednesday, state Environmental protection Commission Bob Martin says the preservation protects drinking water, safeguard the habitat and enhances recreational opportunities.