$9.7 million to preserve 5,000 acres of woodlands and wetlands

manumuskin

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Jul 20, 2003
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Hey didn't want to make a thread for this but this pic I snatched off of Google earth.It is where I spent five weeks living in a hole i dug in the ground while waiting to invade Iraq in early 91.My whole is the one at upper left (northwest).My entire platoon lived here.The mess tent and sargeants tent left no marks on the ground.We dug holes chest deep and then covered them with camo desert tarps and bows from the truck.You could almost walk up on one and think they were hills.We lived dirt and ate dirt for five weeks.Didn't get a shower for 45 days and no hot shower for 60 days.had to take sponge baths and the wind covered you with dirt before you could dry.Luckily it was winter and in the 20's at night and 50 at noon.No body really stuck because it was cold or maybe we all stunk so bad we didn't notice each other.
 

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bushwacker

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May 18, 2009
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This thread started as a discussion about Lenape farms, it seems to have meandered a bit. Let me nudge it back from whence it came. I mountain biked Steelman landing rd, Steelman rd, burnt rail rd and honest john rd on the tract east of rt 50 yesterday. a beautiful piece of property. It was clearly marked as Tuchahoe WMA Lenape farms section. Non motorized access was encouraged. After that we attempted to explore the tract west of rt 50. what signage there was still discribed it as a private preserve, and there was no way in but to climb the fence. (for the record we stayed out). The first Press article I saw indicated that the east tract was acquired and the west was not yet as there were no remaing funds. Other articles seemed to indicate that both tracts were now public. My experience yesterday suggests that only the east tract is public right now.Can someone shed more light on this question?
 

c1nj

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Nov 19, 2008
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I believe it did have a date but I don't remember what it was. I think it was the 1930's 0r 40's.
 

NJChileHead

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Dec 22, 2011
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It's great news that this area is being preserved!

This kind of behavior against snakes makes me sick.I doubt snakes had a single friend back then and very few now.I guess a world without snakes,birds of prey,bears and any other predators seems like a paradise to some.I think it makes a more interesting world when you know that there are other things out there that demand a little respect besides your own species.
I agree. It's a shame that people cannot see the benefit of balance and leaving things to be as they should, instead of how they perceive what would most benefit humans (a typically inaccurate perception anyway).
 

manumuskin

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Jul 20, 2003
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http://topdocumentaryfilms.com/snake-venom-superman/
This fellow is crazy of course but he claims at the end of the flick that snake venom has been shown to dissolve tumors and kill cancer cells and that he believes a cure for cancer will be found in snake venom.I'm a conspiracist myself and believe if a cure for cancer is ever found whoever finds it will promptly disappear.Lot of money in chem:confused:h Lord now what was this thread about?Ahh! Yes 5000 acres graciously given (for 9.7 million bucks of course) to the citizens of the state of NJ.
 
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NJChileHead

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Dec 22, 2011
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http://topdocumentaryfilms.com/snake-venom-superman/
This fellow is crazy of course but he claims at the end of the flick that snake venom has been shown to dissolve tumors and kill cancer cells and that he believes a cure for cancer will be found in snake venom.I'm a conspiracist myself and believe if a cure for cancer is ever found whoever finds it will promptly disappear.Lot of money in chem:confused:h Lord now what was this thread about?Ahh! Yes 5000 acres graciously given (for 9.7 million bucks of course) to the citizens of the state of NJ.
I believe that there is some potential in this, the venom of vipers is especially designed to kill cells. Not sure how they would target the cancer cells vs. the healthy ones, but if they could get the venom to play a game of tag with only the cancer cells, it would be great news.

Thanks for that link, I look forward to watching.
 

Boyd

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After that we attempted to explore the tract west of rt 50. what signage there was still discribed it as a private preserve
I have been away for a few days and today was my first chance to check this out. I drove the perimeter of the Western 3000 acre parcel and bushwacker is right. The fence is still there, all the gates (7 or 8 total, I think) are closed and the "commercial preserve" signs remain.

I don't know why it isn't open yet, but see the map at the link Scott posted before. Makes it pretty clear as to the intention to open it up: http://www.nj.gov/dep/docs/lenapefarms-map.pdf

Also see the Tuckahoe North WMA map available here. It clearly shows the Western portion as well: http://www.state.nj.us/dep/fgw/pdf/wmamaps/tuckahoe_no.pdf

I think we just need to be patient while the state's wheels slowly turn. :)


lenape.jpg
 

Boyd

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But I'm wondering if my taxes will go up? Tiny Estell Manor is going to lose a lot of taxable land in the deal ($26,000 based on the records I posted before). Are towns somehow compensated when this kind of purchase takes place?
Found the answer to my question here in the Mayor's 2013 Estell Manor "State of the City" report: http://www.estellmanor.org/images/State_of_the_City_Address.pdf

Lenape Farms, which is also known as "The Game Preserve", was just sold to the State DEP. This is the property that has the fenced in area running down Cumberland Avenue, Maple Avenue, Rt. 50 and io"Avenue. What this does is change the funding formula for our P.LL.O.T. funding. The State did own 54% of the City of Estell Manor. Lenape Farms is just Under 5,000 acres meaning the State now owns well past 60% of the land mass of our town. The amount we are receiving from P.LL.O.T. funding is $132,000.00 which equals $7.50 per acre. We now should get $15.00 per acre which means $132,000.00 now becomes $264,000.00. Also, the 5000 acre purchase @ $15.00 per acre means another $75,000.00 minus the approximately $27,000.00 we currently receive from Lenape Farms equals a net gain of $180,000.00.
 

woodjin

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Nov 8, 2004
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I believe this is the area you were telling me about on the Retreat hike, Scott. right? this is great news. i am excited to check this place out. This will have to be a PBX event for sure.

Jeff
 

Boyd

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Just noticed that the preserve is now open although I have not had a chance to explore yet. The "commercial preserve" signs have all been taken down. The fence is still there, and evidently it will stay. This is kind of cool because I've always wondered what effect that fence has had on the land inside. BTW, that circular logo at the bottom right on the sign is for the New Jersey Chapter of the National Wild Turkey Federation. :)

len01.jpg


Here is the entrance opposite the Maple Lake parking area (same gate shown in my earlier photo above). A section of fence next to the gate has been removed to allow access.

len02.jpg


And this is the gate at the corner of Route 50 and Walker's Forge Rd next to Stephen Lake. There are other gates but I haven't yet checked to see if they also allow access now.

len03.jpg
 

Gibby

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Here is the entrance opposite the Maple Lake parking area
Boyd, are there other parking spots that are visible for those of us who aren't familiar with area? I am using the term parking spots very loosely.:)
 

Boyd

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There are existing parking areas on both sides of the Maple Lake Dam which is right across the street and probably pretty safe during the day - it is a popular fishing spot and people launch boats there. It has been know as a "party spot" at night, but not sure if that still happens very much.

Not a lot of parking space at the Rt 50/Walkers Forge area, but you could park on Walker's Forge Rd next to the old church.

There is another gate on Estell Ave (around 9th Ave) and I have not been there to check it. It's a dead-end and there's a house just before the gate. Haven't been down there for awhile.

Along the eastern edge, there are a couple gates on Cumberland Ave. You would basically be parking on the side of the road next to the fence, unless they are creating a space. Again, I haven't been over there recently. Will post more info later, unless somebody else beats me to it.

So I don't know about the "loose" interpretation of "parking spots" but if you want an actual parking area I'd say Maple Lake is the best bet. That fence has always impressed me because it's high, looks sturdy has been very well maintained. Whenever a tree fell, somebody would show up pretty quickly and do repairs. It still looks intact to me. There might be some spots you could sneak through, but I'm not aware of any. I wonder if the State will be as diligent?

And it's funny, because the corner of my land is only about 100 yards from the boundary, but I will have to go almost a mile down the road to get inside! :)
 
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Gibby

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Boyd , thank you for the information. I will take note of your tips when I visit the area. I have a older pickup that I use a woods vehicle, so parking for me is a spot open enough so that my truck can fit and I can open the doors. I am more concerned about my parking blocking access and staying legal, than a paved or open area. I usually squeeze into an open sandy spot as close as I possibly can to where I am starting my trek. My truck bears the pinestripe markings of many such "reserved" parking spots.
 

Boyd

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Thing is, I don't believe there are any narrow unpaved roads bordering the preserve, they are all paved and Cumberland Ave is a County Route. At least for the time being, I think you will need to park near one of the gates. You can do a full drive-around of the preserve and see for yourself when you visit. :)