Candace McKee Ashmun
We mourn the passing of a giant in the environmental movement and Pinelands protection.
By Carleton K. MontgomeryMay 26, 2020
All of us at the Pinelands Preservation Alliance mourn the passing of Candace McKee Ashmun, who died last Friday at the age of 96.
Candy was one of the key figures in the generation that created the environmental movement in New Jersey. In 1979, Governor Byrne asked Candy to serve as a founding member of the Pinelands Commission. She answered that call and served continuously on the Commission until her death, the last original member of the Pinelands Commission. That dedication over so many years gave her unequaled insights and wisdom on the policies and controversies the Commission faced during its first forty years.
Candy was a personal hero and mentor to me, as she was to so many others. I recall that on my first day on the job at PPA in May 1998, she called me to make sure I knew what issues I needed to focus on, and from that day on she never hesitated to let me know where she thought I should focus for the good of the Pinelands. Her guidance shaped my understanding of how the Pinelands protection laws are supposed to work, and what we need to do to make them work better.
Candy has joined the pantheon of Pinelands heroes who secured this unique and wonderful place for the people. Now it is up to us to keep the flame alive and make sure the Pinelands and all its wildlife, plants, and waters survive intact for those who follow us.