Opinion: Murphy has failed in his promise to protect Pinelands

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pinelands, new jersey environment

RACHEL BUNTING and LEE YEASH / BURLINGTON COUNTY TIMES – Under New Jersey Gov. Brendan T. Byrne, Congress created the Pinelands National Reserve in 1978, the first national reserve in the country. The Pinelands National Reserve comprises 1.1 million acres and spans portions of seven counties and all or part of 56 municipalities. It occupies 22 percent of New Jersey’s land area and is the largest body of open space on the mid-Atlantic seaboard between Richmond and Boston. It is so ecologically important and unique that the United Nations deemed it a World UNESCO site.

The Pinelands Commission was formed a year later with a mission to “protect, preserve and enhance” the reserve. To this end, Bryne appointed commissioners, chairs of the commission and executive directors committed to this essential mission. The Comprehensive Management Plan was initiated in 1979 as a strategic plan for future commissioners to follow for the health and well-being of the 1.1-million-acre reserve …

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