Bass River Fire Tower proposal

bobpbx

Piney
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Oct 25, 2002
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Absolutely agree with German here. "letting nature take its course" is an easy out for those people (unlike most of us on this forum) who don't understand that our species has already meddled with most of the planetary ecosystems. The best ideas usually come from field experience/data, evaluated with some understanding of how an ecosystem works.

As for "natural": cholera is natural, so is death in childbirth and a limited human lifespan. We are the ultimate, meddlesome primate species, constantly invoking the law of unintended consequences!

"Trust in God; all others bring data"
Funny how you say letting nature take it's course is not good, but then slam humans for meddling with ecosystems. Such as controlled burns and mechanical thinning of the forest?
 
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bobpbx

Piney
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Adding a little diversity, even if in an unsightly straight line, isn't a bad thing in the bigger picture.
I'd suffer a 1/4 mile wide cleared cut around big fire-sheds if it meant larger, hotter fires every 7 years. I'm not talking everywhere, just enough to give a hint of what our ecosystem was in the past. Plus, the explosion of growth is quite a sight. I don't see that from controlled burns.
 
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old jersey girl

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Jul 26, 2017
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Funny how you say letting nature take it's course is not good, but then slam humans for meddling with ecosystems. Such as controlled burns and mechanical thinning of the forest?
To clarify: I'm not "slamming" our species for meddling with ecosystems, just noting it as the result of primate evolution, what happens when larger brains combine with opposable thumbs.

We therefore have the responsibility to use current, evolving knowlege to do what we can to mitigate damage, such as thinning forest and controlled burns. Our earlier best practices focused on fire suppression. I said knowlege evolves, we change policy as the science gets better. Making decisions and acting is better than doing nothing to prevent the disaster we know is likely.

Can we also control developement into these areas? Prevent naive humans from interactions with other predators? Give Darwin awards to idiots like the woman who climbed over a barrier to take a "selfie" with a big cat at the zoo?
 
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bobpbx

Piney
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Now, now, is the difference between thinning and clear-cutting really that hard to understand? ;) And you are right Bob, in that thinning or other types of harvesting isn't the answer on every stand, nor did I claim it was. I was recently privy to a management plan put together by a consulting forester for a large tract. The area was broken up into several blocks based on conditions of the stands. The recommendations ranged from prescribed burning, to thinning, to doing absolutely nothing at all. That type of plan is the result of months of intense field work rather than armchair suggestions made with little experience in forest management. Plans then have to be approved by the Pinelands Commisssion, rather than implemented with carte blanche. As I already said, mistakes can be made and lessons can be learned as science advances, but I'll take scientific management over the alternative every time. My experience has been that pleasing everyone when managing public land is impossible, and only seems simple to those who have never had that responsibility.
I would actually cheer if there were some analysis in the direction of what this fellow did. I could definitely get behind trying to restore some of the savanna and open lands that were here several hundred years ago.

https://www.segrasslands.org/blog/2019/3/9/five-sure-signs-a-southeastern-grassland-was-here?fbclid=IwAR0inktC3kjDa-tFI8xN1UD1NbDH-54TsB3NcIaS8UxwiFEa8LlGwi4oZtY
 

Wildland937

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Aug 24, 2016
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To clarify: I'm not "slamming" our species for meddling with ecosystems, just noting it as the result of primate evolution, what happens when larger brains combine with opposable thumbs.

We therefore have the responsibility to use current, evolving knowlege to do what we can to mitigate damage, such as thinning forest and controlled burns. Our earlier best practices focused on fire suppression. I said knowlege evolves, we change policy as the science gets better. Making decisions and acting is better than doing nothing to prevent the disaster we know is likely.

Can we also control developement into these areas? Prevent naive humans from interactions with other predators? Give Darwin awards to idiots like the woman who climbed over a barrier to take a "selfie" with a big cat at the zoo?
You made a good point in your statement...MITIGATE DAMAGE. That's exactly what this conversation is all about isnt it? Mitigating damage from forest fires! All that's trying to be done is clear trees from in front of the lookout towers so the observer can actually see the area to spot, report and aid in the control of a devastating wildfire that threatens forest and people homes and property. Imo...there are too many opinions with too much time spent on fixing the obvious....
 

Wildland937

New Member
Aug 24, 2016
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New Germany
Well.....guess there goes the ideas of we need to save this, need to save that and mitigate the effects of man....smh.
We now have thousands and thousands of acres destroyed all because of a few worthless and ugly white pines that should have been cut down years ago. Jmo..
 

46er

Piney
Mar 24, 2004
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Well.....guess there goes the ideas of we need to save this, need to save that and mitigate the effects of man....smh.
We now have thousands and thousands of acres destroyed all because of a few worthless and ugly white pines that should have been cut down years ago. Jmo..
I think Cedar Bridge had a much better view of this fire.
 
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Teegate

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Jessica said she saw that Apple Pie called it in.
 

lj762

Explorer
Feb 18, 2017
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Bass River State Forest
Back to the topic of tree clearing around the Bass River fire tower, the Pinelands Commission website has 2 documents up, if anyone is interested in 'original source' info. You can find them linked from:
https://www.state.nj.us/pinelands/home/meetings/index.shtml

1. "Bass River Fire Tower Public Development Application Report and Certificate of Appropriateness" is the recommendation to approve. (While there was also a recommendation to approve the first application, and it was not approved, I really doubt that will happen again.) This includes the responses to public comments. Recommended reading, even where it just dodges questions. Example: "Pubic comments regarding use of alternative technologies" - Staff Response: ... The CMP does not require the applicant to address alternative technologies... [but it does address them a bit anyway].

2. "Bass River Fire Tower Public Comments and Submissions" is 141 pages of scanned or emailed comments submitted. I couldn't make it very far through this.

Next date to watch is April 12 - next commission meeting - where I think it is very likely to be approved.
 

Teegate

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There is some very interesting info in that public comment file.
 

GermanG

Piney
Apr 2, 2005
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German, I agree with this statement by Bob Williams in the article. You know him I think. Is this a main focus of his business?

"We should be focusing on where are the sensitive areas where we can protect life and property,” Williams said."

https://nj1015.com/lawmakers-were-warned-a-huge-fire-could-hit-pinelands-then-one-did/
Consulting foresters do all types of work. I can't speak for what percentage of his business involves this type of project but I know he's been involved in several of this type, most notably on land owned by the Pine Island Cranberry Co. (Haines family). I've seen what was done there characterized as merely a quail reintrodution project but that is just a small part of their management goals. A section of their website is devoted to that project and is worth checking out.
 
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lj762

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Bass River State Forest

bobpbx

Piney
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Short quote: "I discretely choose to step back and accept the decision of the more qualified sorts..."
Though he is a good writer, and it's an interesting article, when pressed he also may have chosen to step back and accept massive sand road closures too, leaving it to the "more qualified sorts". Luckily, we know better than the more qualified sorts in that case.
 
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