Theses (Historic Preservation)

Document Type

Thesis or dissertation

Date of this Version



Suggested Citation:

Wilson, Thomas James (2012). An Assessment of Preservation Opportunities in the New Jersey Pine Barrens. (Masters Thesis). University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia, PA.


The Pine Barrens of southern New Jersey is a 1.4 million acre expanse of dense forest that is one of the most unique ecological regions on the planet. From the late 17th century until the 1890's, a series of industries flourished deep within the Pine Barrens, forever altering the region's physical and cultural landscape. Of these industries, none had a greater impact on the region than the iron business. Although sites and ruins associated with the iron industry are still found throughout the Pine Barrens in various stages of decay, all of the industrial sites that remain comprise a cultural resource group that has the potential to yield important information about local and national history. Under the National Parks and Recreation Act of 1978, Congress set aside 1.1 million acres of the Pine Barrens to create the nation's very first National Reserve. This federally protected region is managed by a 15-member independent state agency called the Pinelands Commission, which regulates development and cultural resource preservation according to a Comprehensive Master Plan (CMP) and Cultural Resource Management Plan (CRMP). Published in 1981 and 1986, respectively, these plans have shaped historic preservation policy and cultural resource management in the Pinelands National Reserve. With a focus on sites associated with the iron industry, this thesis examines both the CMP and CRMP in order to ascertain the extent to which ecology has been favored over cultural resource preservation, and makes detailed recommendations that advocate for a balance between the preservation of nature and culture.


viewshed, cmp, landscape preservation, industry, cultural resource



Date Posted: 25 February 2014