Bass River Fire Tower proposal

ecampbell

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Wow, invoking rust belt Pennsylvania, the paragon of 19th century thinking. Remote imaging has already happened and it is more than just looking for smoke. I hope that some educated people are involved in this decision before the citizens of New Jersey are locked into this ridiculous decision into the 22nd century.
 
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Boyd

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Found this 2014 article with a quick search, I'm sure there are many others....

http://www.oregonlive.com/today/index.ssf/2014/09/northwest_wildfires_cameras_in.html
_______

"Many states no longer have any staffed forest fire lookouts, according to the lookout association. Florida has the most — 130 — with Oregon in second place. Washington has 107 lookouts standing, but only 30 are staffed. California has 198 standing but only 50 are staffed, according to the association."
 

c1nj

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As far as remote sensing via satellite is concerned. The present satellite travels overhead approximately 4 times a day. That may work in Alaska but not in NJ.
 
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46er

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As far as remote sensing via satellite is concerned. The present satellite travels overhead approximately 4 times a day. That may work in Alaska but not in NJ.
They are also adversely affected by the size, weather and cloud cover. But just like most everyone on this site, no direct knowledge of the systems or wildfire detection/suppression. I'll leave the decisions to those that do. But it is interesting to read the varied opinions.
 
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Boyd

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But just like most everyone on this site, no direct knowledge of the systems or wildfire detection/suppression. I'll leave the decisions to those that do. But it is interesting to read the varied opinions.
I know nothing about systems of wildfire detection/suppression. But a quick Google search will find a number of articles similar to the one I posted, where states are replacing staffed towers with technology. These are reports about what has already been done elsewhere and not "opinions". But I realize how ignorant someone in Oregon might be about conditions that are specific to New Jersey. I mean... they probably even let people pump gasoline into their own cars in Oregon! :ninja:

Also interesting that, according to the article, California - a state of about 164,000 square miles - has 50 staffed fire towers. Yet we have 21 staffed towers to cover New Jersey's vast 7,400 square miles. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_New_Jersey_Forest_Fire_Service_fire_towers

My house is out in the woods bordering on thousands of acres of WMA, so I truly appreciate the work that the Fire Service does to protect me from fire. And if a guy in a tower is the best way to do that and some trees need to be cut down, then so be it. But there seem to be plenty of examples where other states are switching to more modern systems. I just hope someone is studying the feasibility of these systems and the advantages they might have. I also hope this isn't just an attempt to preserve a few unneccesary state jobs. People would still be needed to watch the video and maintain the system.

(edited to correct error in state sizes)
 
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bobpbx

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People would still be needed to watch the video and maintain the system.
In fact, that might even be a welcome step up for the employees in this situation. See and do something new. Be the vanguard test-bed for the state. And, if they decide it's not working out, then....
 

46er

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This thread got me curious up, so have been searching. This is how the satellite detection stuff works, still need humans :D

The products used by NOAA

http://www.ospo.noaa.gov/Products/land/fire.html

The Hazard Mapping System
Product shows the detected hot spots and smoke plumes indicating possible fire locations. This is a blended product using algorithms for the GOES Imager, the POES AVHRR and MODIS. A quality control procedure is performed by an analyst on the automated fire detections. Significant smoke plumes that are detected by the satellites are outlined by the analyst as well with an estimate of the smoke concentration provided. This product is created and updated as needed between 1 PM and 11 PM Eastern time. After 11 PM the analysis is fine-tuned as time permits. The graphical HMS product is finalized once daily.

http://www.ospo.noaa.gov/Products/land/hms.html

One of the algorithms used.

http://www.ssd.noaa.gov/PS/FIRE/Layers/ABBA/abba.html

Amazing that a guy or gal in a tower gets the same thing done, and probably quicker. ;)
 

Toothy Critter

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Just to expand on my comments you took issues with:

By "uninformed" I was referring to the fact many critics of the project merely see pretty trees and may not be aware that most are of a species not native to the area and were selected as a more valuable timber species than the native pines. They were planted with the intention of one day being harvested, and in far greater numbers than just the ones immediately surrounding the tower.

The "short-sighted" comment was addressing the fact that trees are a renewable resource, just as any agricultural crop is. The concern that it takes longer for trees to mature than a cornfield does just shows that many tend to worry more about such things from their own perspective on time than what occurs in the natural world. Virtually the entire pine barrens was cleared for timber, charcoal production and agriculture at various times in its history and much of that land is now "pretty" mature forest once again. I save the term "destruction" that many use for forest clearing for cases of commercial and residential development that are a far greater threat to the barrens.

As far as technology goes, towers may one day soon be obsolete, but we are not at that point yet. The staff who man them have intricate knowledge of the forest and roads around them and can often pinpoint the location of a fire in its earliest stages without even triangulating bearings from another tower. This all takes place very quickly, as time-proven methods often do, and brush trucks or aircraft can then be dispatched while the fire is in its earliest and most controllable stage. Smoke from a fire in its earliest stage is not as likely to be detected by satellite as it is from the vantage point of the tower attendant. For every larger fire that makes its way to the media, many more smaller ones are dealt with in this manner. Contrary to the opinion of some, those who do not do this work for a living do not better know how to do it than those who do.

As far as connecting this specific issue with illegals and business subsidies........well, that's where the "noise" comes in, even if I may agree with you on parts of it.


I highly doubt that 80 years ago, CCC planted these trees with the sole intention of them being cut down by a private lumberjack with no financial gain due. The window of opportunity to harvest the trees for $ has unfortunately passed. But to argue that this situation was the original intent is false and only now becomes a convenient argument for proponents of the tree cutting.

As far as the grove not being native to the Pines, is a cop out. Were coyotes populous here in the past? Or, were in fact all the people who live here now, who in fact the fire towers are meant to protect, so abundant as in the past. Almost all of the homes in the Pines are non-native. Would you suggest that they be sacrificed in order to save some money? Because lets face it, the control of fire is not needed to protect the forest, nature does a good job of taking care of her own.

But finally. You know, I have the same access to books, web site, articles, etc. that you have my friend. So to "assume" that a persons view is misinformed, or noise, because it is in opposition to yours, is insulting. So then, in the future, if you post any comments that I find not in my liking, can I then label them as "uneducated dribble?" Or maybe the term "ignorant banter." Or perhaps just....."plain ********"
No, I can't see how that would be helpful.
 
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Toothy Critter

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Please don't rant (and try to resist the urge to comment when someone else does). We adopted a "no politics" rule a few years before you joined because there was a time when things got ugly. Everyone has done a really good job of avoiding political discussions in spite of the polarization we've seen over the past couple years. Let's not spoil it now.

Sorry for the delay in this post I was away for the week:
I am truly sorry if I bring any hardship to this site with the expression of my personal opinions. I should remember the policy of this site, and respect those wishes, which in fact I did not do, and for this I am sorry. I imposed my own beliefs on this site and was wrong for doing so. I shall remember this as a lesson learned. Again....my apologies.
 
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Toothy Critter

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Although there are a couple of issues that I do in fact need to be informed on without going back on 4 pages of posts to see if it has been addressed. Who in fact would be responsible for paying for the construction of a new tower? And,,, as far as I know (which is not much) are not the groves in question located in the National Reserve? Wouldn't the Federal Government in fact be the ones to foot the bill,,, or at least be willing to help subsidize?
 

Toothy Critter

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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.

Property stones are not "native" but yes indeed, are historical... so why not apply the same logic to the trees? I find the fact that these groves were planted by CCC workers, at such a time in America, to be historical too. ;)

But now please allow me to shut up and prepare for this coming weeks fish/camp trip. Is a great time of the year to be a retired old grumpy fart
 
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46er

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1Jerseydevil

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Oh boy. I enjoy the woods as we all do. I've been in the grove of white pines and really like the change from the "pine barrens". No I do not spend a lot of time in the white pines, hardly at all. No matter the fact they may have been planted with the intention to harvest, times have changed. Since these small groves are a mere "island" in the barrens, recreational enjoyment has a value, no? The white pines are not harmful to the surrounding area and in fact must now have it's own ecosystem. These pines are renewable but not again in our lifetime. Let them be and treasure what they are. Technology is and will replace the manned towers and the trees will be gone when that happens. Either replace the tower with a higher one or use cameras. The State of course claims "no money" for this but can certainly find $$ for other frivolous projects can't it? Money can be found, believe it. Yes it's nice a lumber company will do the job for free and maybe even throw a couple hundred dollars in the pot. If say 10 acres of pine barren forest was to be cleared I for one would not object as there are thousands of surrounding same to take it's place.
Seems like everywhere we go nowadays we're surrounded by endangered species this, endangered species that. What about the human endangered species "forest recreationalist"?
 
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lj762

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Bass River State Forest
White Pines, taken this morning on the CCC (Orange) Trail at Bass River State Forest. Although this isn't far from the tower, these trees are NOT in one of the areas of the map to be cut. These will still be around for all to enjoy. Although you may notice that 4 or 5 in the middle are now just bare trunks - no branches or needles. I suppose that means they are dead.
bassriver_white_pines.jpg
 
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lj762

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Bass River State Forest

lj762

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Bass River State Forest
Update: The Pinelands Commission vote was delayed. From The SandPaper, July 18th: "Pinelands Commission Delays Action on Clear Cutting Forest Around Fire Tower". There was an appeal by a Bass River Twp resident, and because of the gas pipeline litigation, the commission now sends all appeals to the state AG office which didn't get to it in time for the July 13th meeting.

The article also has interesting information that was apparently never released before, including about a similar Forest Fire Service proposal in 1995.

https://thesandpaper.villagesoup.com/p/pinelands-commission-delays-action-on-clear-cutting-forest-around-fire-tower/1764316
 

lj762

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Bass River State Forest
Wow. That is quite a surprise to me. I knew the vote was Friday, but looking at the materials for the meeting it looked like it was a done deal and just waiting for them to sign it.

Question: The article you linked to said the next step is to go before a judge, "creating the possibility of a prolonged legal fight between the two environmental agencies." What are the two agencies? DEP and Pinelands Commission? Or Forest Fire Service and someone else?