Section: Words and phrases defined
The Legislature hereby finds and declares that the pinelands area comprises pine-oak forests, cedar swamps, and extensive surface and ground water resources of high quality which provide a unique habitat for a wide diversity of rare, threatened and endangered plant and animal species and contains many other significant and unique natural, ecological, agricultural, scenic, cultural and recreational resources; that the continued viability of such area and resources is threatened by pressures for residential, commercial and industrial development; that the protection of such area and resources is in the interests of the people of this State and of the Nation; that such protection will require the coordinated efforts of all relevant municipal, county, State and Federal agencies; that the Congress and President of the United States have demonstrated a recognition of these facts through the enactment of section 502 of the "National Parks and Recreation Act of 1978" (PL 95-625); and, that it is now necessary to implement the afore-cited Federal Act and insure the realization of pinelands protection through the establishment of a regional planning and management commission empowered to prepare and oversee the implementation of a comprehensive management plan for the pinelands area.
The Legislature further finds and declares that a certain portion of the pinelands area is especially vulnerable to the environmental degradation of surface and ground waters which would be occasioned by the improper development or use thereof; that the degradation of such waters would result in a severe adverse impact upon the entire pinelands area; that it is necessary to designate this portion as a preservation area, wherein more stringent restrictions on the development and use of land should be utilized and public acquisition of land or interests therein should be concentrated; and, that in order to facilitate such acquisition, and otherwise to effectuate the provisions of this act and the Federal Act, it is further necessary to establish certain notice requirements and procedures for the purchase of land or interests therein in such area.
The Legislature further finds and declares that the current pace of random and uncoordinated development and construction in the pinelands area poses an immediate threat to the resources thereof, especially to the survival of rare, threatened and endangered plant and animal species and the habitat thereof, and to the maintenance of the existing high quality of surface and ground waters; that such development and construction increase the risk and extent of destruction of life and property which could be caused by the natural cycle of forest fires in this unique area; and, that, in order to effectuate the purposes and provisions of this act and the Federal Act, it is necessary to impose certain interim limitations upon the local approval of applications for development in the preservation area, and upon certain State and local approvals in the pinelands area, all as hereinafter provided.
L.1979, c. 111, s. 2, eff. June 28, 1979.
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