The Pinelands Land Protectors are a group of dedicated volunteers organized through the Pinelands Preservation Alliance to protect the wildlife, plant life, habitat, and the public enjoyment of the Pinelands National Reserve. This volunteer group began officially last year and has had a large impact on the public land within the Reserve. This effort is unlike any other stewardship effort in the country. We aren’t just picking up bottles and cans or removing the occasional invasive plant, we are going to head-to-head with some of the hardest challenges affecting land and water in our area. From planting trees and protecting habitat from off-road vehicles, removing illegal dumping and searching for threatened and endangered species to providing public support for conservation policy and against oil and gas exploitation and unsustainable development, we work to identify and correct behavior that is damaging the waters, lands, and air around the Pinelands National Reserve. The Pinelands Land Protectors can be counted on to show up with a strategy crafted by PPA and implemented with the help of volunteers to address the problem with thoughtful consideration, hard work, and public pressure.
What makes an innovative group like this possible, is the decentralized nature of land management in the National Reserve. Instead of just one agency responsible for the land, such as in our National Parks, the Reserve has many different non-profit-organizations, governmental agencies, and private individuals responsible for managing land and waters. The diversity of groups we have partnered with so far include, Wharton State Forest, Bass River State Forest, Brendan T. Byrne State Forest, Whitesbog Preservation Trust, New Jersey Conservation Foundation, The Nature Conservancy, The Katz Family Trust, NJ Natural Lands Trust, NJ Fish and Wildlife, The Rancocas Conservancy, NJDEP Watershed Ambassadors, Herpatological Associates, the NJ Pinelands Commission, and more. PPA has worked to cultivate strong relationships with the agencies and individuals responsible and we leverage those connections to facilitate long-term plans to solve difficult problems.
Volunteer projects and events are always designed with the volunteers in mind–we want to make sure every volunteer knows that their time is being well spent. We try hard to design projects around tangible benefits to improve upon one of the special places within the Pinelands National Reserve. Some projects are only geared towards conservation, where others are for public enjoyment and appreciation, such as our upcoming work on the NJ State Trail. We have a high rate of volunteers that come to event after event because they know they are contributing to a long-term effort to protect the places that they hold dear. All of our success to date, from controlling off-road vehicles, to cleaning up thousands of pounds of waste, has been possible because of the dedication of volunteers we call the Pinelands Land Protectors.
If you want to be a part of this effort, please join us by clicking on this link Stewardship Signup