NJ Conservation applauds Pinelands Commission nominations

Jan 22, 2019

FAR HILLS – New Jersey Conservation Foundation today applauded Governor Phil Murphy’s nominations of Theresa Lettman and Kelly Mooij to serve on the New Jersey Pinelands Commission.

“We are thrilled that Governor Murphy has put forth two strong conservation appointments to the Pinelands Commission,” said Alison Mitchell, policy director for New Jersey Conservation Foundation. “The Pinelands are New Jersey’s wilderness and we must be vigilant in protecting them. Theresa Lettman and Kelly Mooij are both experienced conservationists who will make excellent Pinelands Commission members.”

Lettman is a former staff member at the Pinelands Preservation Alliance and a former trustee of the Natural Lands Trust. If confirmed by the New Jersey Senate, she will replace Candace McKee Ashmun, the last remaining original commissioner, who has served since 1979. Mooij is an attorney who serves as director of government relations for the New Jersey Audubon Society.

“Theresa Lettman is an outstanding choice to serve on the Pinelands Commission,” said Mitchell. “She has decades of experience working with the Commission and a thorough knowledge of the Pinelands Comprehensive Management Plan – as well as the Commission’s processes and regulations – gained through her longtime work on the staff of the Pinelands Preservation Alliance. Her deep historical experience with significant issues that have and will continue to shape the long-term survival of the New Jersey Pine Barrens ecosystem will be an invaluable addition to the Pinelands Commission.”

“Kelly Mooij will bring years of commitment to environmental protection work as a staff member at New Jersey Audubon Society to the Pinelands Commission,” added Mitchell. “Kelly’s extensive legislative and advocacy expertise will be invaluable. Together, Theresa and Kelly will strengthen the Pinelands Commission and help ensure the long-term protection of this incredibly vital region of New Jersey.”

“These nominations are a much needed first step by Governor Murphy to ensure that the Pinelands Commission will make science-based decisions to protect the plants, animals and water of the Pine Barrens,” said Michele S. Byers, executive director of New Jersey Conservation Foundation. “We hope that Governor Murphy will move quickly to appoint a new chair to provide strong leadership and commitment to upholding the Pinelands Comprehensive Management Plan and ensuring the protection of the Pine Barrens.”

About New Jersey Conservation Foundation

New Jersey Conservation Foundation is a private nonprofit that preserves land and natural resources throughout New Jersey for the benefit of all. Since 1960, New Jersey Conservation has protected 125,000 acres of open space – from the Highlands to the Pine Barrens to the Delaware Bayshore, from farms to forests to urban and suburban parks. For more information about the Foundation’s programs and preserves, go to or call 1-888-LAND-SAVE (1-888-526-3728).

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By Michele S. Byers,
Executive Director