Candace Ashmun “Godmother of New Jersey Pines” Dies at 96

Renowned New Jersey environmentalist Candace Ashmun, who played a key part in preserving New Jersey’s Pinelands, passed earlier this week at her home in Basking Ridge at the age of 96 on May 23, 2020. 

Known to many in the environmental community as “Candy,” Ashmun was a lifelong environmental advocate and conservationist whose advocacy helped preserve 1.1 million acres of the pristine land and water resources located in New Jersey’s Pinelands. 

Ashmun also served for over 40 years as a commissioner on the Pinelands Commission, an independent agency charged with overseeing the protection of the Pinelands. 

New Jersey Governor Phil Murphy took to Twitter to remember the legacy of Ashman and issued the following tweet:

The New Jersey Pinelands Commission also issued a statement on Ashmun’s passing. The Commission’s statement contains a detailed account of her many accomplishments in protecting New Jersey’s environment. 

Environmental advocates across the State joined the Governor in praising Candy’s legacy. According to the Courier Post,  Carleton Montgomery, Executive Director of the Pinelands Preservation Alliance, stated, “She could always bring the big picture about why this rule or that rule mattered. She could explain ‘here’s what we were thinking’ and why it worked. When bad ideas were proposed to change the rules and weaken them came up, she was very successful in preventing them from moving forward”

Jeff Tittel, Director of the New Jersey Sierra Club, described Ashmum as “one of the founders of the modern environmental movement in New Jersey.”

Pinelands Commision Chairman, Richard Prickett stated, “The Pinelands has lost a very special champion, Candy Ashmun, who has effectively advocated for its protection so that people could experience its beauty and uniqueness for many generations to come.

Candace Ashmun Preserve at Forked River Mountain

In recognition of  her dedicated and relentless work in protecting the environment in New Jersey, the New Jersey Conservation Foundation named a 4,000 acre nature preserve in the Pinelands in her honor in October of 2010.

More information about The Candace Ashmun Preserve at Forked River Mountain can be found here.

Article written and supplied by Kevin Pflug.

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