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Gov. Murphy Appoints Richard Prickett to Chair the Pinelands Commission

Governor Murphy appoints new Chair of the Pinelands Commission.

May 15, 2019


Today Governor Murphy appointed Commissioner Richard H. Prickett to serve as Chair of the Pinelands Commission, the agency charged with overseeing conservation and growth in the Pinelands National Reserve, a 1.1 million-acre area of protected wilderness in southern New Jersey.  Congratulations to Rick Prickett and thank you to the Governor!

“Rick Prickett is an outstanding choice for Chair of the Pinelands Commission,” said Carleton Montgomery, Executive Director of the Pinelands Preservation Alliance. “He has spent decades as a teacher, local elected official, advocate, and member of the Pinelands Commission helping others understand what a wonderful resource we have in the Pinelands, and how important it is that we all pitch in to protect this unique part of New Jersey’s natural heritage.”

He is a naturalist with deep knowledge of Pinelands ecology.  He is also an eminently thoughtful person when it comes to important policy and development issues coming before the Commission.

“I am proud to announce the designation of Richard Prickett as the Chair of the Pinelands Commission,”said Governor Murphy in his official statement. “Richard’s experience serving on the Commission, coupled with his extensive background in environmental science, make him an exceptional individual to serve in this critical leadership position.”

Prickett retired in 2006 after 26 years teaching high school biology in the Lakewood School District.  He served two terms on the Pemberton Township Council, and he has been a governor’s appointment on the Pinelands Commission since 2012. 

Rick was named Teacher of the Year in 2004, and recognized by the Pinelands Preservation Alliance as an outstanding Pinelands educator in 2005. He is also the President of the Whitesbog Preservation Trust, where he has served as a Trustee since 2003. In addition, Mr. Prickett was a member of the Pemberton Township Council from 2002 to 2012, and served as Council President in 2002 and 2006.

There are many challenges ahead as the Pinelands Commission debates important policy issues like protecting Pinelands forests from the devastations we see from illegal off-roading and dumping, protecting the Kirkwood-Cohansey aquifer from over-pumping and pollution, and responding to climate change. 

We look forward to leadership at the Pinelands Commission that will address these and a number of other issues to faithfully execute the Comprehensive Management Plan, and to preserve, protect and enhance the natural and cultural resources of the Pinelands National Reserve.

Call Governor Murphy and thank him for appointing Rick Prickett as Chair of the Pinelands Commission! You can reach the Governor’s office at 609-292-6000.

Office of the Governor: Statement

News Coverage

Press of Atlantic City (May 15, 2019)
Murphy replaces Pinelands chairman who voted for South Jersey pipelines

Burlington County Times (May 15, 2019)
Rick Prickett, of Pemberton, named Pinelands Commission chair

6 responses to “Gov. Murphy Appoints Richard Prickett to Chair the Pinelands Commission”

  1. Helen Kemp says:

    RICK YOUR COMMITMENT to protecting our wonderful unique PINELANDS is very valuable and appreciated! Being a former member of PEMBERTON TWP. ENVIRONMENTAL COMMISSION & TWP. PLANNING BOARD I know we need good people at the top. Keep up the good work!
    HELEN KEMP, Realtor

  2. Bill Wolfe says:

    Dear PPA – I agree that this was a good decision. But it has taken far too long.

    In addition to praising and thanking the Governor, you should take advantage of the opportunity to spur your members and the public to lay out the policy litmus tests Chairman Prickett will need to achieve.

    Here are my suggestions:

    1) Form a majority of Commissioners to support replacement of ED Wittenberg;
    2) Block pending pipelines;
    3) incorporate climate change (emissions reductions and adaptation) and 100% renewable energy policies in the RMP; and
    4) implement the Kirkwood Cohansey research in ecologically based water allocations in the RMP.

  3. Kevin Sparkman says:

    Rick is a great choice to chair the commission.

  4. Bill Fisher says:

    Happy to hear a logical choice has been proposed to assure thoughtful stewardship of this valuable resource. It is wonderful that PPA can support this appointment.

  5. Temma Fishman says:

    Excellent news! Chairman Prickett is a true advocate for the Pinelands!

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