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. Starting in 2017, three counties chose new designees for the Commission who we hope will do a better job protecting the Pinelands. 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 2019, and these nominees needed confirmation by the Senate before beginning their terms. Unfortunately, the legislative session ended on January 14th without any action by the Senate, re-starting the process. We believe that the Governor will make his nominations for this session soon.
The Governor also appointed a new chair of the Pinelands Commission, Richard Prickett, in 2019, who will serve until a new chair is appointed.
One gubernatorial seat is currently vacant, and Commissioner Candy Ashmun intends to step down this year after 40 years of exceptional service to the Pinelands. The federal seat is also vacant, and the Commission has struggled in recent months to achieve a quorum of 8 Commissioners at their monthly meetings. That’s why it is so important to get these new nominees confirmed as soon as possible!
How you can help
Email the Chair of the Senate Judiciary Committee, Senator Scutari today! Ask him to advance the Governor’s nominations as soon as possible. Use our Take Action Tool.
Members of the Senate Judiciary Committee:
Nicholas P. Scutari (Chair, D, 22nd District), Nellie Pou (Vice-Chair, D, 35th District), Christopher Bateman (R, 16th District), Gerald Cardinale (R, 39th District), Kristin M. Corrado (R, 40th District), Michael J. Doherty (R, 23rd District), Joseph A. Lagana (D, 38th District), Paul A. Sarlo (D, 36th District), Troy Singleton (D, 7th District), Bob Smith (D, 17th District), Loretta Weinberg (D, 37th District).
Visit the New Jersey Legislative website to learn more about the members of the Senate Judiciary Committee.
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 [email protected] or by phone at 609-859-8860 ext. 122.