SENATE, No. 3547

STATE OF NEW JERSEY

219th LEGISLATURE

INTRODUCED MARCH 11, 2021

 


 

Sponsored by:

Senator† BOB SMITH

District 17 (Middlesex and Somerset)

 

 

 

 

SYNOPSIS

†††† Establishes working group to evaluate coordination and cooperation between various government entities and private landowners with respect to forest stewardship in pinelands area.

 

CURRENT VERSION OF TEXT

†††† As introduced.

††


An Act concerning cooperation between various government entities and private landowners with respect to forest stewardship in the pinelands area.†

 

†††† Be It Enacted by the Senate and General Assembly of the State of New Jersey:

 

†††† †1.†† a.† There is established in the Department of Environmental Protection the Pinelands Forest Stewardship Working Group.† The working group shall evaluate coordination and cooperation between federal, State, and local government entities and private landowners with respect to the development and approval of forest stewardship plans in the pinelands area, and make recommendations as to how such coordination and cooperation can be improved so as to encourage and promote greater forest stewardship.

†††† †b.†† The working group shall consist of 14 members as follows:

†††† (1)†† the Commissioner of Environmental Protection, the State Forester, the chairman of the Pineland Commission established pursuant to section 4 of P.L.1979, c.111 (C.13:18A-4), and the chairperson of the Pinelands Municipal Council established pursuant to section 6.1 of P.L.1979, c.111 (C.13:18A-7), or their designees, who shall serve ex officio;

†††† (2)†† five members who shall be appointed by the Secretary of Agriculture, upon the recommendation of the State Board of Agriculture, as follows:†

†††† (a)†† two members from recognized Statewide nonprofit organizations that have demonstrated substantial work in the fields of environmental conservation or forest stewardship, as determined by the Secretary,

†††† (b)†† two members who are private landowners in the pinelands area, and who have developed and implemented forest stewardship plans pursuant to P.L.2009, c.256 (C.13:1L-29 et seq.), and

†††† (c)†† one member who is a certified forester; and

†††† (3)†† five public members, including three appointed by the Governor, one appointed by the President of the Senate, and one appointed by the Speaker of the General Assembly.†

†††† †c.††† All appointments to the working group shall be made no later than 90 days after the effective date of this act.† Vacancies in the membership of the working group shall be filled in the same manner as the original appointments.† The working group shall organize as soon as practicable following the appointment of its members, and the Commissioner of Environmental Protection, or the commissionerís designee, shall serve as chairperson.† The chairperson may appoint a secretary who need not be a member of the working group.†

†††† †d.†† The public members of the working group shall serve without compensation, but may be reimbursed for necessary expenses incurred in the performance of their duties, within the limits of funds made available to the working group for its purposes.

†††† e.†††† The working group shall be entitled to call to its assistance and avail itself of the services of the employees of any State, county, or municipal department, board, bureau, commission, or agency as it may require and as may be available to it for its purposes.

†††† f.†††† The Department of Environmental Protection shall provide staffing and administrative support to the working group.

†††† g.††† No later than one year after its organization, the working group shall prepare and submit to the Governor and, pursuant to section 2 of P.L.1991, c.164 (C.52:14-19.1), to the Legislature, a report containing the findings and recommendations of the working group, including any recommendations for legislative, regulatory, or local government action to improve coordination and cooperation between the federal, State, and local government entities and private landowners with regard to forest stewardship.†

†††† h.††† The working group shall expire 30 days after issuance of the report pursuant to subsection g. of this section.†

 

†††† 2.††† This act shall take effect immediately.

 

 

STATEMENT

 

†††† This bill would establish a working group to evaluate coordination and cooperation between federal, State, and local government entities and private landowners with respect to forest stewardship in the pinelands area.† The working group would be responsible for making recommendations as to how coordination and cooperation between these parties could be improved so as to encourage and promote greater forest stewardship.† The working group would be composed of 14 members representing various government entities, nonprofit organizations, private landowners, and foresters.† No later than one year after its organization, the working group would be required to submit a report to the Governor and to the Legislature containing its findings and recommendations.†