Editorial: Murphy must appoint new Pinelands leadership

Makepeace Lake, Pinelands

STAR-LEDGER – For too long, the Pinelands Commission has been manipulated like a political puppet show, a lamentable arrangement for a panel responsible for the stewardship of New Jersey’s ecological masterpiece – a 1.1-million acre preserve filled with rare plants and wildlife that cannot be found anywhere else on the planet, all resting above a 17-trillion-gallon aquifer that provides fresh drinking water for millions.

Eight years of Chris Christie transformed the Pine Barrens into a bureaucratic briar patch. With help from Senate President Steve Sweeney, the former governor reconfigured the 15-member commission to include more members of the pro-development crowd, the kind of people who find ways to ram a 30-mile natural gas pipeline through pristine, federally-protected land …

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