Ire Over The DEP-Ordered Clear Cutting Of 16 Acres Of White Pines In Bass River State Forest Is Being Rekindled By The Unsightly Site

What remains of an approximately 16-acre area of the Bass River State Forest that was clear cut in January. Photo By Amanda Somes

By / Bill Bonvie

BASS RIVER—What now remains of approximately 16 acres of 80-100-foot tall white and loblolly pines in Bass River State Forest that were clear cut back in January on orders from the New Jersey Forest Fire Service (NJFFS), an arm of the New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection (NJDEP), is quite obviously anything but a pretty sight.

But the expanses of tree debris and stumps left in the wake of the deliberate destruction of what came to be known as the “Cathedral of the Pines,” most of which was planted back in the 1930s by the Roosevelt’s administration’s Civilian Conservation Corps (CCC), aren’t supposed to be a pretty sight—at least, not at this stage of the aftermath, according to Colin McLaughlin, head of operations for Advanced Forestry Solutions, the Salem County-based contracting firm hired by the state to complete the clear cut.

“After you get done logging a site, it looks like a bomb went off,” said McLaughlin in an interview with this newspaper. “But once they burn it, that will clear it all up.”