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Pinelands Commission Appointments

A complete Pinelands Commission is within sight!

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Overview

The Pinelands Commission is comprised of fifteen members, seven of whom are nominated by the governor, one appointed by each of the seven Pinelands Counties (Atlantic, Burlington, Camden, Cape May, Cumberland, Gloucester, Ocean), and one federal representative from the Department of the Interior. Members of the Commission serve staggered three-year terms, but, once their terms expire, they continue in office until replaced or they resign. The Governor appoints the Chair of the Commission.

Pinelands Commissioners have final say with regards to all rule changes and all development activities regulated by the Pinelands Comprehensive Management Plan (CMP). View the list of Pinelands Commissioners on the state’s website.

In recent years, the Pinelands Commission has approved several developments in violation of the plain terms and intent of the Pinelands Protection Act and CMP. The Commission has also moved to diminish the voices and rights of the public in their process and has failed to enact common-sense and critical policies. We are working with Counties to ensure that their representatives on the Commission are chosen through a fair and transparent process. It is essential that the governor also make new nominations of conservation-minded individuals, and that the state Senate confirm these nominations.

Current Status

On September 29, 2022, Governor Murphy nominated two people, Jessica Sanchez and Mark Mauriello, who both bring very strong environmental credentials to join the Pinelands Commission.  Jessica Sanchez, PhD, worked in water supply planning for the Delaware River Basin Commission and served as a Trustee of the Pinelands Preservation Alliance for many years, and Mark Mauriello rose to serve as Commissioner of the NJ Department of Environmental Protection to cap a 30-year career with the Department. The skills and energy they can bring to the Pinelands Commission will help move the Commission to advance regulatory reforms to address climate change, water supply and contamination, public lands protection, and procedural issues. 

Read our blog post about their nomination.

How you can help

Mr. Mauriello and Ms. Sanchez need their local Senators sign off on their nomination and then the State Senate confirms their nominations.  The NJ Senate has an antiquated custom of letting Senators from a nominee’s county veto their nomination for any or no reason by not signing off on them. If you are a constituent of the following Senators, or if you just care about the Pinelands, please let them know you expect them to let these nominations proceed to the full Senate for confirmation:

Jessica Sanchez:  Senator Troy Singleton (District 7, phone: 856-234-2790) and Senator Jean Stanfield, (District 8, phone: 856-817-2143)

Mark Mauriello: Senator Vin Gopal (District 11, phone: 732-695-3371) and Senator Declan O’Scanlon (District 13, phone: 732-444-1838)


You can also make noise at the county level to promote a transparent county appointment process. Attend your County Commissioner meetings and express support for a transparent process during public comment.

Questions? Contact Policy Director, Heidi Yeh. She can be reached at Heidi@PinelandsAlliance.org or by phone at 609-859-8860 ext. 122.

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