Budget cuts and neglect led to the proposal to clear cut many acres of white pine trees planted during the days of the Civilian Conservation Corp. The CCC was established by President Roosevelt during the depression. At issue, the 80 foot tall trees, which were planted in 1908 according to the park sign, are blocking the view of a fire tower located on Greenbush Rd in Bass River New Jersey. The tower was built in 1939 and it well beyond it's 70 year service life. Instead of building a new tower, at a stated quoted cost of $483,000, the forestry service has proposed clear cutting, drum-chopping, prescribed burning, treatment with herbicides, and disking. The solution is clear, funding is needed for a new and efficient fire tower that will protect both the lives and property of residents as well as the fire fighters called in to fight forest fires. This will save the healthy established forest of trees over 100 years old from destruction. I'm asking Governor Phil Murphy and the NJDEP under acting Commissioner McCabe to reject the proposal and provide the needed funding for a new fire tower.
Update #45 months ago
New petition started the New Jersey refuses to act and provide the long needed fire protection for the Pinelands. They will not use technology to detect fire and GPS the location. There is no monitoring year round day and night. We are one of the last States using lookouts with binoculars. This puts the Pinelands Community at serious risk.
Update #310 months ago
On October 11, 2018 the NJDEP withdrew their application to clear cut around the Bass River Fire Tower. The understanding is that the NJDEP will be seeking alternative technology thereby preserving the existing colony of 100 year old white pines in Bass River State Forest. Thank you for your support.
Update #2about a year ago
On August 10th, in an unprecedented action, the Pinelands Commission did not approve the proposal to clear cut the 100 year old white pines. The decision will now go before the Office of Administrative Law where two environmental agencies will litigate against each other. A significant number of Commissioners believe they are responsible for the protection the Pinelands. I applaud their position and agree whole heartedly.
Update #1about a year ago
The New Jersey Pinelands Commission held it's public comments section of their meeting on June 8th to hear comments on clear cutting. We have been informed that the executive director will be recommending the approval of the permit to cut down the trees. The approval will be granted at their July 13th meeting.