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Burn, Baby, Burn!

Another Example Of Failure To Adopt Real Climate Regulations

The NJ Forest Fire Service, the foresters (loggers) at the DEP Division of Parks and Forestry, and the Pinelands Commission repeatedly warn the public about the high risks of wildfires, especially in Pinelands forests.

As I’ve written, instead of using those risks as a basis to limit destruction of forests and development in forest fire hazard zones, perversely, those risks often are exaggerated and used as a pretext for logging NJ’s vanishing forests, particularly in north jersey’s hardwood forests, see:

So, what’s up with this?

More insanity: (Source: Pinelands Commission Management Report – December 2020)

  • Lighthouse at Barnegat (App. No. 1985-1432.010): On December 10, 2020, the staff issued a letter scheduling a public hearing for a preliminary and final major site plan approval granted by the Barnegat Township Planning Board on for the proposed development of two three-story buildings, containing 148 dwelling units. The proposed development is located within a Pinelands Comprehensive Management Plan (CMP) designated high forest fire hazard area. The Township land use ordinance and the CMP require that all residential development of 100 dwelling units or more in high fire hazard areas provide a 200 foot perimeter fuel break between all buildings and the forest. The concerned development proposes a forest fire fuel break consisting of a lawn area, ranging from approximately 42 to 67 feet. The Township approval granted a waiver for the reduction of the required perimeter forest fire fuel break from 200 feet to 42 feet.

I don’t know what’s crazier: building 148 new homes in a “high forest fire hazard area” or the Pinelands regulations that mandate a 200 foot  perimeter forest fire fuel break.

Both result in needless destruction of the forest. Both worsen the climate crisis.

We are in a climate emergency – there should be a moratorium on any new development or activity that destroys forests. Period.

Had the Pinelands Commission adopted real climate regulations instead of engaged in denial and delay, these kinds of insane projects would not be allowed.

Please go to the public hearing and give the Pinelands Commission hell for me, will you?

[End note: ironically, the climate land use bill now on Gov. Murphy’s desk fails to include wildfire risk!]

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