A Fake State Forest?

Discussion in 'General Discussion' started by Teegate, May 19, 2018.

  1. Teegate

    Teegate Administrator
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    All,

    I have reason to believe that a fake Bass River State Forest has been showing up on topo maps from as far back as 1942. I will explain.

    I was looking over the Bass River area using topo maps, and decided to concentrate on this particular section of state forest near Harrisville and the Ives Branch . Notice it says Bass River State Forest on the map. You can either click on the link or just look at the map right below the link. Same location.


    http://maps.njpinebarrens.com/#lat=39.64379442011467&lng=-74.48697108428956&z=15&type=topo&gpx=


    Current.jpg

    I then wanted to get a general idea of the time frame that it first showed up on topo maps and using HistoricAerials.com I found that to be 1942.

    Notice the general outline of the property in the below map from 1942. In all future topos the quality of the outline improved, and Bass River State Forest it actually mentioned just like the above photo.

    1942.jpg


    Now here is where I started to have doubts. I decided to use Mobile Atlas Creator that Boyd has told all of you about to make a topo kmz file to load into Google Earth to see it's location in relationship to aerial photos and my records. When I did this I noticed that the BRSF property overlapped substantially a piece of land the state acquired in 1982. I have the survey information for this 1982 acquisition so I know I am correct.

    Notice the blue line which is the property line the state acquired in 1982, crosses quite a bit into BRSF. (The portion that actually says "Bass River State") The owner of the blue line property was a man named Frank J Cerza. It is Block 75 lot 6 and consists of 235.233 acres.
    layer.jpg



    I then made a parcel kmz using Mobil Atlas Creator (again, thanks Boyd) and overlapped that in Google Earth. We can see that the 1982 purchase is very close to being exact and since it is green we also have a clue that the state owns it as I mentioned above. The yellow pins are the BRSF boundary for comparison and you can see the BRSF from 1942 is inside the 1982 purchase property at some locations.


    parcel.jpg


    And to further bolster my belief, I did a search of Block 75 Lot 2 which is much of the top right portion of the BRSF and what do you think I found? That lot is privately owned as WAS the 1982 lot. Both of those lots almost entirely make up the BRSF property.



    75 2.jpg



    And going even further, I searched Block 75 Lot 5 which is almost completely in the BRSF, and sure enough that is privately owned by Cutts.

    cutts.jpg



    So the question is how can this even be a state forest when it does not even have a Block and Lot parcel and much of the property was private until at least 1982? It is as if someone just picked random locations and made a state forest out of it. I will soon be searching the property corners that I have access to and will see if I can come up with state monuments. If I do, this will need further research to see what was actually going on back before 1942.

    Guy
     
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  2. 46er

    46er Piney

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    I guess that would be the USGS when they did the topo. GE does not show those boundaries when you check the Parks/Recreation layer; I have no idea what they base those green outline boundaries on.

    The SF map does not appear to match either. :worms:

    http://www.state.nj.us/dep/parksandforests/parks/bass.html
     
  3. lj762

    lj762 Explorer

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    That's a very interesting find. I'm agreeing with 46er: it looks like a USGS topo map error, possibly copied from an error on an older map. The fact that the shape of that piece of forest does not match up with the lot boundaries at all makes me think it is just wrong. To add to the places you checked: Bass River Township Tax Map 20, dated 1966 "updated to 1985". It shows only lot 7 in that block 75 as being state property. (That lot 2 has to be the weirdest shape lot I've ever seen.)

    There's someone I would like to show that topo map to and ask, maybe next week.
     
  4. Teegate

    Teegate Administrator
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    Since then the state has acquired Block 75 Lot 6 (Acquisition 134), Block 75 Lot 1, Block 76 Lot 9, Block 75 Lot 9, Block 75 Lot 7, and even Block 75 Lot 4 (Acquisition 208) which is actually a Gore where two individuals had deeds to the same property which were Acquisition 134 and 208 mentioned above.
     
  5. Teegate

    Teegate Administrator
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    I think you mean Lot 5. Look closely at Map 20 and also read the text. And that actually is quite normal for many area's in the pines that had cedar logging, or in this case it was apparently another interesting reason. I will be checking into that also. I suspect I will find the same disturbance that I have found at other locations that were similar. However, the aerial photos seems to say differently. We shall see.
     
  6. Pinesbucks

    Pinesbucks Explorer

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    Guy i was told at one time that the state purchased land from cutts. However cutts kept the bogs and access right to keep gates closed or something to that affect. Dont know anything more than that but that it was in the paper back in the day or something.
     
  7. Boyd

    Boyd Super Moderator
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    FWIW, you can get the 1942 topo at higher quality with no watermarks from my "1949 in the Pines" map. :) https://boydsmaps.com/1949-in-the-pines/

    1942.png

    Here's the area of interest overlaid with tax parcels

    1942parcels.png

    Also note that my HD map of the pines includes parcel outlines (without labels) when you zoom all the way in. And I used parcels to indicate openspace in Wharton and Bass River on that map, which should be much more accurate than the State's openspace map. https://boydsmaps.com/boyds-map-of-the-pines-hd/
     
  8. lj762

    lj762 Explorer

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    No, I really did mean lot 2. Lot 2 looks like it is what was was left over after all the good parts were taken. The shape makes me think of voting district gerrymandering.

    I found the mystery "Bass River State Forest" chunk on another map: http://mapmaker.rutgers.edu/BURLINGTON_COUNTY/BurlingtonCoFarmland1980_2.gif This is a US Department of Agriculture, Soil Conservation Service map of "Important Farmlands". The date is November 1980.

    You can see the shape Teegate found on the USGS Topo map here, with ST FOR (State Forest) written inside. I see it says 563 below that, but that's 679 Chatsworth Road today.

    It's hard to read, but I think in the bottom right corner it mentions "USGS 1:100,000 county base map dated 1976" as the (something) source, so I guess this isn't really a new source. But it isn't an exact copy, either.
     
  9. Teegate

    Teegate Administrator
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    All,

    I visited the far western location today and the last 90 feet was wet going. Not on the ground but in the vegetation. In any event, I did find a state monument there. I give you NJ 304.

    IMG_1661a.jpg

    And there even is a semi old state rule board there so someone has been going there. I am quite confident they go in the winter. That is not a place to be in the summer.

    IMG_1668a.jpg

    lJ762, when you talk with the person you are going to show this to try and find out as much as you can about it. It is really odd that others owned the property and the boundary does not have a block and lot.
     
  10. Teegate

    Teegate Administrator
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    I believe Cutts lease some of the bogs from the state. I could be wrong.
     
  11. lj762

    lj762 Explorer

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    I asked the question, and received a response, but not yet an answer. I believe sources are being consulted. Perhaps old volumes are being dusted off and examined. Patience...
     
  12. Teegate

    Teegate Administrator
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    Old volumes are always a good thing.
     
  13. Teegate

    Teegate Administrator
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    Anything new?
     
  14. lj762

    lj762 Explorer

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    Nothing heard back. I'm not yet ready to ask again, but perhaps soon.