Pine Barrens, coastal plain region, c.3,000 sq mi (7,770 sq km), S and SE N.J.; composed chiefly of sandy soils, swamp-edged streams, pine stands, and tracts of cranberries and blueberries. Originally a well-forested area of pine, cedar, and oak, its trees were indiscriminately cut for shipbuilding and charcoal-making until the 1860s, when they were nearly exhausted. A second growth of pine was of poor quality, and most of the region, except for scattered stands, remained bare. Several state forests and Fort Dix, a U.S. army base, are there. On the periphery of the Pine Barrens, suburban development has grown since the 1970s. Efforts to maintain the wilderness have increased as a result of environmentalist action, but such projects remain difficult. There is also a Pine Barrens on Long Island in New York.
See J. McPhee, The Pine Barrens (1968); R. R. Forman, Pine Barrens: Ecosystem & Landscape (1979).
The Columbia Electronic Encyclopedia, 6th ed. Copyright © 2012, Columbia University Press. All rights reserved.
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