Letter to the Editor: Fight to protect the Pinelands from gas pipelines

Piney and conservation enthusiast Kristina Headley hopes residents will work together to win this battle

This is in response to “Protecting the Pine Barrens by Giuseppe Collia in the Jan. 18–24 edition. I was pleased to see an article aiming to urge residents of Tabernacle to “serve to protect the land that we live on.” I certainly agree that combating gypsy moths and understanding the importance of controlled burning is knowledge all “Pineys” should have. There is no disagreeing with Mr. Collia’s concern for climate change and the negative impact it may hold on the Pinelands National Reserve.

As a fellow Piney and conservation enthusiast, I would like to express my opinion and that of many others that the largest threat the Pine Barrens face today is the impending gas pipelines. I feel an obligation as one of the inhabitants of our nation’s first national reserve to urge you to do your duty to ensure its protection. Be aware of the proposed 22-mile fracked gas pipeline from SJGas, the 30-mile pipeline by NJNG, and the notorious PennEast pipeline which may cross over 80 waterways, 44 wetlands and 33 conservation easements. Everyone is well aware of the risk of leaks, spills and explosions that cause harm to air and water resources, including drinking water, not to mention possible habitat loss for all species including endangered species such as bald eagles, herons, and ospreys.

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Congress did not protect this land for it to be destructed by Big Oil, especially when the future is in alternative energy. Please take action, go to a public meeting, voice your opinion and help protect this land that is of such significant importance. If we don’t fight this battle together, than the Pinelands will lose.

Information is available through the PinelandsPreservationAlliance.org, cleanwateraction.org, the SierraClub.org, and StopPennEast.org. To learn more about the Pinelands National Reserve, visit www.nps.gov/pine.

Kristina Headley

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