Our country’s first national reserve, the Pine Barrens, harbors a wonderful secret unknown to most outsiders. This 1.1-million-acre treasure trove of pitch pine and sugar sand is home to many rare species and almost 17 trillion gallons of the purest water on earth. It was in this forest that men like Leland Champion logged trees and built sawmills. It was along these waterways that craftsmen like Gary Giberson made prized decoys. And it was in these woods that Stanley Switlik built a tower from which Amelia Earhart jumped, testing his parachute so it could be used in World War II. These woods yielded inventors whose products we enjoy today: cultivated blueberries, cranberry sauce, and Welch’s grape juice. It was here that Bob Buchanan reached for the mooring lines as the Hindenburg ended its final, fated voyage. And it was here in Buzby’s General Store that John McPhee penned his classic book, The Pine Barrens, setting into motion legislation to preserve this area for future generations.