Stewardship in Environmental Policy


“Stewardship” in the Pinelands.

When it was initially formed in 1979, the Pinelands Environmental Commission was charged with “Stewardship” of the Lands under the protection of the Pinelands Protection Act. The Comprehensive Management Plan put forth by the Commission received final approval by Secretary Andrus of the Department of the Interior in January of 1981.  From the early days of the Pinelands Commission until today, their role has been that of “Stewards” of this vast National Resource.

“Stewardship”.  That word seems to have a very different meaning  in the minds of many of our leaders, today,than it did nearly four decades ago.

Stewardship is oversight or management for “protection” and “preservation”,for the common good.

Stewardship is NOT “exploitation” for private gain.

The expectation in forming the Pinelands Environmental Commission was that it would act to protect and preserve the acreage under its care.  It is not unlike the stewardship of a church – (and churches use the same word) – referring to “stewardship” of their missions, their flock, and their facility.

To be blunt, any minister, pastor, or priest will tell you that “Stewardship” may be THE most unpopular subject for a sermon – so I expect this article to be treated as pontification.

So be it.  Maybe it is.

Stewardship comes from a leadership paradigm.  Exploitation comes from a paradigm of social narcissism.

Some of the members of the commission take their role very seriously – as they should.  They continue to educate themselves as our knowledge of the ecosystem they are charged with protecting increases.  They rely on the wisdom and advice of others more expert in a particular field than they, and seek to make informed decisions.

Others of more recent vintage are, to all appearances, nothing more than the pawns of our broken system – puppets in the bi-partisan failure-ship that “rules” our State.

They are appointed purely as tools of the corrupt political machines, rather than as conservators or caretakers…”stewards”, if you will.  Their placement is wholly at the direction of those, elected and “un-elected”, who have carved out their petty kingdoms herein NJ…and wish to insure their continued rule.

The deck is carefully being stacked to pull the teeth of the Comprehensive Management Plan.  The plan is adaptable, but it was put in place to preserve the Pinelands as the invaluable resource that it is.  It is the linchpin of the protections enforced by the Commission.

A specific agenda has been undertaken – using smaller issues, such as the pipeline, to provide a fatal chink in the armor that is the CMP – a flaw that will allow exploitation of the whole region.

That agenda is to convince the majority of the members to pass through the “memorandum of agreement” (“MOA”) process to a private entity through a government office – because, once that is given through to one entity, others can sue for similar treatment – and the State would be put in the position of having to comply.

Once the precedent is set, once Pandora’s box has been opened, all the demons will escape, leaving behind only “hope”.

I don’t want to “hope” that my grandchildren and great-grandchildren are only able to learn of the great outdoors from books and the internet, as part of a HISTORY class.

Those lands are held “in trust”, for generations to come.  Don’t let that trust be broken.

“Trust” – another word that, by all definitions, certain present corrupt leaders could care less about.

They are who we seek to supplant.

Join us.

“Stand for what’s right, or settle for what’s left” – Frederick John LaVergne for Congress, NJ CD3


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