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NJ Highlands Council Accepts Wildfire Risk Petition

Pinelands Are NJ’s Most Wildfire Vulnerable Region

Yet Pinelands Commission Is Erecting Barriers To Public Discussion Of Risks

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This is a quick update on my prior posts on the wildfire issue (see:

After I called Executive Director Lisa Plevin’s Office on Wednesday to ascertain the status and discuss the petition, on Friday the NJ Highlands Council staff accepted the petition for rulemaking.

The Council’s Public Notice did a good job of summarizing the petition.  It will be published for public comment in the NJ Register on April 18.

The Council did not play games trying to undermine the credibility of the petition like DEP did.

Curiously, the region of the State with both the highest wildfire risks and most intense development pressure – the NJ Pinelands  (see map above) – is where the Pinelands Commission has not accepted the petition and is erecting illegal bureaucratic barriers to it.

Ironically – reflecting these wildfire risks – the Pinelands Comprehensive Management Plan (CMP) is the only regional plan or regulatory framework that addresses wildfire risks in land use regulations.

Why does the Pinelands Commission not want to talk about limiting new development in “extreme wildfire risk” areas and retrofitting existing development to reduce wildfire risks to people and property?

If the Pinelands CMP is a national model for wildfire risks management and regional land use planning, why doesn’t the Pinelands Commission want to publicly defend their CMP regulations on wildfire?

For details on that ongoing controversy, see:

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