The Pinelands Commission is comprised of fifteen members, seven of whom are appointed 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. We are working with Counties to ensure that their representatives on the Commission are chosen through a fair and transparent process. But it is essential that the governor also make new nominations of conservation-minded individuals, and that the state Senate confirm these nominations.
Governor Murphy nominated 4 qualified individuals to the Pinelands Commission in March 2020: Jennifer Coffey, Robert Jackson, Theresa Lettman and Jessica Rittler Sanchez. These are the same excellent candidates that he nominated last year, but never received confirmation by the Senate. The Governor also re-nominated Ed Lloyd, who has served on the Commission since 2002. Read more here on the qualifications of these nominees.
The Senate Judiciary Committee must first vote on the nominees before they come up for a full vote in the Senate. It is crucial that the same mistake from last year is not repeated. The Judiciary Committee must act quickly to move these nominations!
How you can help
Email your New Jersey Senator today! Ask the members of New Jersey’s Senate to do whatever they can to make sure the Governor’s nominations to the Pinelands Commission get approved in the Senate. We can’t afford to leave the 1.1 million-acre Pinelands Natural Reserve unprotected. Use our Take Action Tool.
You can also make noise at the county level to promote a transparent county appointment process. We have sent resolutions to each Pinelands county for their consideration regarding the appointment process. Attend your county freeholder meeting and express support for this resolution during public comment.
Questions? Contact Policy Advocate, Rhyan Grech. She can be reached at RhyanG@PinelandsAlliance.org or by phone at 609-859-8860 ext. 122.