Bass River Fire Tower proposal

lj762

Explorer
Feb 18, 2017
257
138
43
Bass River State Forest
I just saw this on the Parks & Forests home page:
http://www.state.nj.us/dep/parksandforests/fire/docs/bassriver_01_22_2018_JAW.pdf
Proposal to Improve Visibility from Bass River Fire Tower

Quick summary:
  • Tower is 79 years old, 80' tall, with 80'+ tall trees around it.
  • Views N, S, and E are obstructed by trees, nowhere near 10 mile goal.
  • Raising the tower is not feasible because of its age.
  • Replacing with 120' tower would cost $483K (not going to happen)
  • Proposal is "obstruction removal" (guess what that means?)
 

Teegate

Administrator
Site Administrator
Sep 17, 2002
21,771
3,761
1,093
If we are all interested in preserving history, they must require that all property stones be protected while cutting. There are or were some important stones in those lots. One is a Tucker stone which I have not been able to find. It may still be there. Fortunately, the lot removed from the proposal to satisfy the stakeholders has saved at least one important historical stone.

They are really nice woods to walk in.
 

imkms

Explorer
Feb 18, 2008
449
80
28
SJ and SW FL
The article stated that the tower is already past its 70 year life expectancy, and did not provide the cost for the tree removal and replace option. Seems like replacing the tower might be a good choice.
 

1Jerseydevil

Explorer
Feb 14, 2009
362
101
43
Couple questions. As mentioned the tower is already past [9 years] it's working life expectancy, how many more years can it go before it is condemned? At that point it would have to be replaced, no?

With today's technology, why can't the towers be replaced by elevated cameras with the fire watch in a building on the ground?

Guy it would appear "your" stones are in danger. There is mention of drum cutting [?] and disc cultivation. Wouldn't the discs dislodge the stones?
 
  • Like
Reactions: bobpbx

Teegate

Administrator
Site Administrator
Sep 17, 2002
21,771
3,761
1,093
Couple questions. As mentioned the tower is already past [9 years] it's working life expectancy, how many more years can it go before it is condemned? At that point it would have to be replaced, no?

With today's technology, why can't the towers be replaced by elevated cameras with the fire watch in a building on the ground?

Guy it would appear "your" stones are in danger. There is mention of drum cutting [?] and disc cultivation. Wouldn't the discs dislodge the stones?
I would have to assume any cutting there could be a problem.
 

46er

Piney
Mar 24, 2004
8,464
1,915
1,093
Coastal NJ
With today's technology, why can't the towers be replaced by elevated cameras with the fire watch in a building on the ground?
Would probably be difficult determining location without the use of an Osborne. Camera's on a pole, especially one at that height, are pretty unstable.
 

Teegate

Administrator
Site Administrator
Sep 17, 2002
21,771
3,761
1,093
Now that I have had time to look it over more closely, I don't see them effecting any that I know about. However, I don't have all the info for that area.
 

Teegate

Administrator
Site Administrator
Sep 17, 2002
21,771
3,761
1,093
Lot number 8 held a Francis French stone but when I arrived the monument which is usually next to the stone looked like this.
IMG_0988a.jpg
 

Wildland937

New Member
Aug 24, 2016
18
5
3
New Germany
Would probably be difficult determining location without the use of an Osborne. Camera's on a pole, especially one at that height, are pretty unstable.
The use of cameras may be detrimental here in NJ. They do work in places out west where open land and uninhabited acreage is common. But here with our compact highly populated state, a fire could extensive damage to homes and forest before action could be taken by fire personnel. Nothing could replace a live person in a lookout tower. Pennsylvania are adding new fire towers in there state do to the understanding that they work.
 
Last edited:

dogg57

Piney
Jan 22, 2007
2,911
372
1,063
Southern NJ
southjerseyphotos.com
Time for new towers. As they build closer towards the pines. Also put newer weather station s with radar in them. Hell maybe the money will be there since the state helicopter is not flying to baseball game s with a certain large person
 
Last edited:
  • Like
Reactions: Jon Holcombe

Teegate

Administrator
Site Administrator
Sep 17, 2002
21,771
3,761
1,093
There are times we take little side trips on our way to the pines and today was one of those days. Sometimes a little distraction is good for the mind and body. Mundane or under appreciated history also interests me ... and with that in mind before we headed to the Bass River fire tower area we headed again to Lower Bank to have a few words with Yoos Sooy. Curiously, he would not speak with us so we had to settle for a photograph of him. With the early sun shining on his home there was nothing he could say to stop us.





If you have not read about Yoos get Becks Jersey Genesis and read about Becks visit there in the 1940s and the small confrontation he had there. Besides The Adventure if Aserdaten chapter, his description of that meeting is Beck at his second best.



Anyway, we again visited and explored the woods that are going to come down to clear the view for the fire tower. This tree is one that is on the chopping block.


 
Last edited:

lj762

Explorer
Feb 18, 2017
257
138
43
Bass River State Forest
I don't know if the tree clearing is a done deal or not. I hope not, but the proposal document makes me think it is.

Some good points raised above:

It's a curious thing to reject an option (new tower) due to cost, and recommend another option without stating the cost.

The tower is past its expected lifetime. Is it going to have to be replaced soon anyway?


Two more to add:

Their new tower quote is for a 120' tower. I checked a few other towers around and nothing is that big. Belleplain and Batsto are the tallest at 100'. Why did they get a quote for the tallest tower?

I copied their clearing areas onto a trails map. Area 6 is the worst. The Orange trail goes right through it, and those are some of the best trees. Also I imagine it would mean closing or re-routing the trail when the work is being done. Area 7 is just south of the trail, and that section of the trail would probably also have to be closed. (There are actually some old woods roads back there that could be used for reroute, if they were cleared of down trees.)

People are going to hate this. Think about the Harrisville Pond dam clearing - that kind of hate.
 
  • Like
Reactions: h2ochild and bobpbx

bobpbx

Piney
Staff member
Oct 25, 2002
11,295
1,997
1,093
Pines; Bamber area
When you think upon it, it's a weird location for a fire tower anyway...what is it, 20 feet above sea level there? A serious disadvantage from the start, and half of the view is towards the sea.
 

1Jerseydevil

Explorer
Feb 14, 2009
362
101
43
When you think upon it, it's a weird location for a fire tower anyway...what is it, 20 feet above sea level there? A serious disadvantage from the start, and half of the view is towards the sea.
I guess it has to do with over lapping coverage? Bear Swamp Hill is the best location for that area but we all know what will likely happen there again.
Cut down the trees they're trying to protect, yeah that makes sense. I hope at least they put some to good use such as lumber like the one Guy took a picture of instead of grinding into chips.
 

dragoncjo

Piney
Aug 12, 2005
1,353
94
1,028
38
camden county
That picture Guy sent the woods looks incedibly choked and shaded. Thinning forest in the pines is a good thing everyone, at least in my opinion. Not many of the rare species I know of enjoy a thick forest, open clearings and more open forest is what they desperately needed for their existence. With the lack of fires, forestry operations and similar clearings or thinings are critical in my opinion. I see this as a good thing.
 

46er

Piney
Mar 24, 2004
8,464
1,915
1,093
Coastal NJ
I hope at least they put some to good use such as lumber like the one Guy took a picture of instead of grinding into chips.
If the past is any indication it might look like the Sandy White Cedar recovery efforts at Double Trouble SP, although this was not a Forest Service project. The lines are all the stacked tree's from the cutting instead of being used to offset the cost of the project. Once a decision is made and the request for proposals runs its course, we'll see a truer picture of what will be done, and the cost.

 

lj762

Explorer
Feb 18, 2017
257
138
43
Bass River State Forest
When you think upon it, it's a weird location for a fire tower anyway...what is it, 20 feet above sea level there? A serious disadvantage from the start, and half of the view is towards the sea.
Per a list somewhere, Bass River Station Tower elevation is 47' and height is 80'. Compare to elevation of Batsto Station (70'), Apple Pie Station (179'), Lebanon Station (136'), yes it is the lowest.

Someone told me the tower used to be somewhere else and was moved. Not far, maybe used to be closer to the road (E. Greenbush). I don't know if that is true - I've never actually seen the old tower footings he claimed were there.
 

Teegate

Administrator
Site Administrator
Sep 17, 2002
21,771
3,761
1,093
Someone told me the tower used to be somewhere else and was moved. Not far, maybe used to be closer to the road (E. Greenbush). I don't know if that is true - I've never actually seen the old tower footings he claimed were there.

Could it have been right across the road on this???? If we are uncertain I know the person to ask.

IMG_1628a.JPG
 

bobpbx

Piney
Staff member
Oct 25, 2002
11,295
1,997
1,093
Pines; Bamber area
I would shudder on the way up a tower having that base Guy. It looks way too small and not built with the specifications required (nor the craftsmanship).