Permanent preservation of environmentally-, historically- and agriculturally-significant tracts of land in the Pinelands Area has long been recognized as one of the keys to the success of the Pinelands protection effort. Over the years, permanent land protection has been accomplished through the efforts of many state and local agencies, non-profit conservation organizations, farmland protection programs and other regulatory initiatives. The Commission itself has been particularly active in land protection efforts since 2000, continuing several long-established programs and instituting a new acquisition program made possible by the Pinelands Conservation Fund.
As of June 30, 2014, nearly half of the Pinelands Area (450,000 acres) has been permanently protected. Importantly, 423,000 acres (or 94%) of the protected land is located within the Preservation Area District, Special Agricultural Production Area, Forest Area and Agricultural Production Area, the conservation areas of the Pinelands that the Commission is charged with preserving and enhancing. The majority of protected land was protected through federal, state and local land protection initiatives, with a relatively small percentage (3% or 13,000 acres) protected by non-profit conservation organizations. Programs administered or funded by the Pinelands Commission have protected approximately 85,000 acres through June 2014, accounting for approximately 19% of the total.
Commission staff members prepare an annual update on permanent land protection in the Pinelands Area, along with a map that displays lands preserved through the Commission's programs and those of other agencies and organizations.
Details on the Commission's active permanent land protection programs may be found below: