ATV park plan in for bumpy ride

bobpbx

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A hot button Guy, you pushed a hot button. No easy solutions or answers to this one, indeed. I have photos from this summer where, over by Aserdaten, the ATV's have started to leave the trail and went into and out of the adjacent bog, crushing rare plants in the process. That is a first in this area and a sign things really are getting out of control.

I also note that ATV's now routinely climb up the side of Forked River Mountain where that little spring begins. I actually know some of the people. People do not consider the damage they do as a big deal. And plants? Forget it. All plants are weeds to them.
 

BEHR655

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Feb 19, 2003
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"This would be a great habitat restoration project," Jeff Tittel of the New Jersey Sierra Club said of the Sahara Sand property.


He argues that attempts to control riding have backfired in California, where ATV riders leave designated riding areas and have scarred delicate desert habitats.


Tittel further argues that state money should not be used to fund a private interest.


"I'm a skier," he said. "Does that mean the state should build me a ski slope in the Highlands?"


I guess it's ok for him to tear up the slopes.:rolleyes:
Dirt bikes and atv's need a place to ride. Maybe Tittle will offer his backyard.

Steve
 

RednekF350

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Feb 20, 2004
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Another off-road vehicle park may have a small, positive effect on the pines.
It will draw a few of the current riders out of the woods that are nervous about getting nailed by the Parks and Forestry boys (or girls).
As for the majority of people who own quads and dirt bikes, they will continue to ride the State woods and stay prepared to give the rangers a run for the money when they have to. (Not that I have ever done that.)
There is really no strong lobby out there for the ATV crowd.
Most ATV riders I have met can't believe you can register and insure a quad in N.J. through DMV.
For stepping up and doing that, our generous state allows you to cross a public road while going between two pieces of private land. Nothing else.
Easy money for N.J. when they find someone stupid enough to register.
 

RednekF350

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Here is the text from a factoid that was in today's Courier as well.

ATV FACTS
From 1982 through 2004, at least 48 people died in ATV-related accidents in New Jersey, according to the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission. Those most likely to be involved are under the age of 16.


It is illegal to ride ATVs anywhere but on privately owned land with the owner's permission. Local fines vary; fines for riding on state-owned land, including state forests and wildlife management areas, can be as high as $1,000. The state issues special permits allowing limited use of state land for motorcycle "enduro' events.


State conservation and parks officers issued 1,613 summonses for illegal off-road vehicle riding between October 2002 and September 2005.
Published: October 22. 2005 3:00AM
End

Hmmmm....
Only 1,613 summonses over 3 years. A little over 500 a year over the whole state.
If there was good reason to register a quad in N.J., you would think the State would do the math and realize that they could be raking in in a sh-tpile of revenue every year from us bug eaters.
 

Ben Ruset

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Well, up until a few years ago, you COULD ride a registered and insured quad or atv in State Forests and WMA's. The law that Brad Campbell put through made driving anything beyond a dual-sport or truck through the woods illegal, subject to a $1000 fine or[/]b seisure of the vehicle of it's unregistered/uninsured.

The deal was that by 2005 there were to be more ATV parks in operation - one in the South and one in the North. Right now the only park is the one in Chatsworth, and that's set to close in a few years.

Are quads and ATV's destructive? Yes. Which is why riding should be encouraged in designated areas. When you don't designate those areas, well hey. I can understand why people would want to ride out in the woods. The state and the DEP did not hold up their end of the bargain. Frankly the law should be repealed. Let registered and insured ATV's and quads back in the woods.

I think that driving a quad is a lot of fun. I, personally, wouldn't be driving it through a bunch of rare flowers, but then again most people don't know about or don't care about rare flowers.
 

Ben Ruset

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RednekF350 said:
Hmmmm....
Only 1,613 summonses over 3 years. A little over 500 a year over the whole state.
If there was good reason to register a quad in N.J., you would think the State would do the math and realize that they could be raking in in a sh-tpile of revenue every year from us bug eaters.
The town of Manchester has an entire fleet of ATVs that they got by siezing unregistered/uninsured ones out in the woods. They use those to issue summonses and sieze more.

I heard a story that the Manchester PD puts a female rider on one, and she pretends to be broken down. When someone stops to help her, people come out of the woods and write tickets.

Trust me, it's a cash cow. And I bet that money doesn't go into preserving the environment. Probably pays for Campbells state owned car or something.
 

bobpbx

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bruset said:
Are quads and ATV's destructive? Yes. Which is why riding should be encouraged in designated areas. When you don't designate those areas, well hey. I can understand why people would want to ride out in the woods. The state and the DEP did not hold up their end of the bargain.
You can encourage them to drive in designated areas with signs all you want but young people need education first. It takes education and a deeper awareness of what the pines really consist of. I often drove my jeep where I should not have, and it took me awhile to really appreciate the topography, flora, fauna, and culture of the pines.

The parks will reduce it some but not change it. I see many more ATV's in Lacey then ever before; virtually packs of them. If they were to change one of the pits around here into a place to ride, it helps, but you will still have kids being kids.

All high schools in the surrounding counties could help out with more courses based upon our uniquely important and fragile area along with awareness field trips into the pines. You know, make 'em walk the boardwalk at Webbs Mill and tour a furnace site or Harrisville.

PS: I don't have problems with ATV's scouring the wooded trails per se, but when they leave the trail and consider the whole damn area their private fun park I really get outraged.
 

Windsor

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I just think there are too many grey areas as to where is legal and where is not legal. I have seen ONE sign in the Pines that said no motor vehicles were allowed past that point. That's totally fine. I'll stick to already made trails elsewhere.

The real threat to the Pines is the litter and dumping that goes on, not some guy in a 4x4, quad, motorcycle or whatever driving down a dirt trail.
 

Ben Ruset

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The first thing that needs to happen is that ATVs and Quads have mandatory registration when you buy them, and seriously bust people that ride without insurance and registration.

And yes - Bob there should be more education on the Pine Barrens in schools.
 

Teegate

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Windsor said:
I I have seen ONE sign in the Pines that said no motor vehicles were allowed past that point.
Those signs are at the entrance to Wilderness camps for hikers only. That is a good thing to keep them from being bothered and run over.

Guy
 

Windsor

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Yes, if they are operating on state owned roads, they sure as heck should be registered and insured without a doubt. My only fear is that once this off-road park is constructed are they then going to restrict vehicle access to the Pines even further? I wonder if this park is going to have something for everyone, like the one at http://www.paragonap.com ?
 

Windsor

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TeeGate said:
Those signs are at the entrance to Wilderness camps for hikers only. That is a good thing to keep them from being bothered and run over.

Guy
Definitely. I totaly agree with that. I've just read from other threads here that Rangers can pretty much pull you over wherever they want and write you a ticket depending on what kind of day they are having.

Sorry, I don't mean to get this thread off course or hi-jack in any way.
 

Ben Ruset

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Windsor said:
Yes, if they are operating on state owned roads, they sure as heck should be registered and insured without a doubt. My only fear is that once this off-road park is constructed are they then going to restrict vehicle access to the Pines even further? I wonder if this park is going to have something for everyone, like the one at http://www.paragonap.com ?
They should be more like the Chatsworth park. ATVs and bikes only.

You can still wheel in the Pine Barrens - very much legally. I'd rather see an ATV park kept for ATVs only. I think it would be far safer for everybody involved.
 

Windsor

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Ah, if that is the case, then I see this as a good thing. I haven't raced at Atco Raceway in quite some time, but don't they have a motorcross track there now? I know if I had a dirt bike, that's where I'd be. :) I think they even have a quater midget track too. Hmm... I'll have to get over there. :)
 

Teegate

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Windsor said:
Ah, if that is the case, then I see this as a good thing. I haven't raced at Atco Raceway in quite some time, but don't they have a motorcross track there now? I know if I had a dirt bike, that's where I'd be. :) I think they even have a quater midget track too. Hmm... I'll have to get over there. :)

You can see at least one of them from the road and it looks small. At least it did to me.

Guy
 

woodjin

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As some on the forum know, I am a rider (motorcycle). All the posts on this thread are well stated and it seems we are all of pretty much the same mind on this issue. It is a difficult situation to protect the rights and interests of responsible riders and restrict irresponsible riders. Kids will be kids but fortunitely, they tend to stick close to their houses when riding. The other problem is out of state/north Jersey riders who are often the ones with no concern for the environment and cause damage to the most sensitive areas. A generalization? Yeah I guess so, but it is frustrating for those of us who ride responsibly and have to sufer for those who don't. I think off road parks like the one in Chatsworth are a great idea for keeping non-locals out of the SF. California may not have been successful with that, but hey, this is not California. It is a whole different world out here.

Jeff
 

LARGO

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Like anything else related here, a large part of it boils
down to responsibility, safety, courtesy, etc.
There are many mediums by which to do damage.
Argue on both sides if you want.
Doesn't change the basics.
 

Trailhead00

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This is definitely a hot button with me. Mr. Campbell promised 2 ATV/Off-Road Parks by the year 2005 and not one has been built. I belonged to the park in Chatsworth but haven't renewed my membership. I know it cost $300 to belong to Chatsworth, which is fine, but I like the riding in PA better. There is a track at Atco Raceway, Englishtown and I know of another by Mays Landing but they are motocross tracks. The whole registering an ATV thing seems to confuse everyone. When I bought my ATV the dealership said it was up to me to register and insure it. I finally found someone who would insure it, then went to the DMV. They said they wanted a title and I informed them an ATV doesn't have a title. I had a bill of sale and all the other paperwork. After fighting with them they still would not let me register my ATV, even though it is a state law and I was doing everything by the book. I, like most NJ ATV riders, said forget it and walked out. When I thought about it there was no real reason to register my ATV anyway. In 2004 over 9,000 ATV's were sold in New Jersey, not including dirt bikes (Dirt Wheels Nov. 2005). That is quite a bit to me for such a small state. Where do they think people are riding them? Why even let people sell ATV's if there is no place to ride. The dealerships never inform you of the laws and regulations, they just sell them as fast as possible. Not even sure if any of this makes any sense b/c I'm rambling, but like most things in this state, this is another area where NJ is messed up. I sometimes really do think that if they want ATV's out of the state parks then ban the trucks and cars too. I can do a lot of damage with 44 inch Super Swampers powered by a 460 stroked to 514 cubic inches, but that is ok, its just a truck. One of the reasons they can't stop the ATV use in the state parks is for one reason they don't have the personnel or manpower and 2 they don't have the correct vehicles. I could, if I wanted to, out run every ranger around, simply b/c my ATV goes 75 MPH and was built to tear down dirt trails. They just can't catch them and if they do its because the rider stopped. If you have a vehicle where you feel like you can't be caught, you will chance it and ride where ever you want. Nearby in PA you can go to Rausch Creek, Paragon and Tower City. Anyone who wants info on something done right look up Hatfield and McCoy Trails in West Virginia, private and state land used for hundreds, if not thousands, of miles of trails. Something else is the Atlantic Grand Prix, which finally opened up cross country style racing to ATV's.
 

woodjin

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Lots of good points Trailhead! You are right, the dealerships don't tell anyone about the laws governing the use of the products they are selling. You are also right about the fact that there is no way the rangers or the DEP are going to catch anyone who doesn't want to be caught. There are exceptions: riders who are from out of town and have a truck or trailer near where they are riding, riders who do not know they are doing anything illegal (there are lots) and I have seen police block all exits in a pit and round up the herd.

Basically, those who stop on their own are the responsible ones and not the jerks they should be after anyway. I've stopped for rangers, police, and Fish and Game officers at least a half dozen times knowing full well they didn't have a snowballs chance in Hell of ever catching me. Some were cool and saw my plates and waved me on, others have given me a much harder time. I had a Fish and Game guy accuse me of switching plates and even searched my bike for the VIN #. Boy was he frustrated when he couldn't nail me on anything. He saw my Pinelands Preservation Alliance membership card in my wallet and said "what is that". He had never heard of it! Probably thought I made it up to get out of trouble.

Jeff