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.
In early January 2022, the New Jersey Senate confirmed three of Governor Murphy’s nominees to the Pinelands Commission: Theresa Lettman, Davon McCurry and Laura Matos. You can read more here.
There is still one vacant seat on the Commission, plus one gubernatorial Commissioner who should be replaced with a more dedicated environmental conservationist. Additionally, two excellent Commissioners are serving expired terms. We are calling on Governor Murphy to re-nominate Mark Lohbauer and Ed Lloyd, as well as nominate two new qualified, environmentally minded candidates. Then the Senate must confirm them as quickly as possible so the Pinelands Commission can get back to the business of protecting and preserving the Pines.
How you can help
Email Governor Murphy today! Tell Governor Murphy how important the Pinelands are to you. Urge him to nominate two conservationists, and to re-nominate Ed Lloyd and Mark Lohbauer, to the Pinelands Commission.
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 Commissioner meetings 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.