Closed to Mortorized Vehicles

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devilstoy

Explorer
Nov 21, 2008
355
1
42
lindenwold
Maybe the forest fire service should review it's policies of creating some of these roads. If I'm not mistaken they are the ones that really opened the area to the public by creating the road after or during a fire.
that area was a problem before the fire or the road they made , it just opened it up a little easier for more people to realize whats back there , with or without the fire it people wouldve found out about it eventually and they wouldve made there own trails
 

manumuskin

Piney
Jul 20, 2003
8,294
2,121
57
millville nj
www.youtube.com
Why did they feel they had to stop the fire anyway? I was under the impression that fire is beneficial to the Barrens ecosystems???It wasn't anywhere near homes or property.I guess this is a whole nother discussion though:) I think we've had it before:)
Al
 

dragoncjo

Piney
Aug 12, 2005
1,401
119
40
camden county
After reading gipsie response I commend the group for taking action and helping to protect a very very sensitive area. I study two speices back there both endangered and am happy they will be a little safer. I also commend the superint. for working with you guys to come up some solution.
 

Trailhead00

Explorer
Mar 9, 2005
375
1
46
Haddonfield, NJ
Why did they feel they had to stop the fire anyway? I was under the impression that fire is beneficial to the Barrens ecosystems???It wasn't anywhere near homes or property.I guess this is a whole nother discussion though:) I think we've had it before:)
Al

100% in agreement with you. I always thought one of the reasons for the Pine Barrens were the forest fires? Like you said, another discussion.
 

gipsie

Explorer
Sep 14, 2008
527
32
53
atlantic county
Guys, this is in no way a perfect solution, but hopefully it will curtail some of the destruction, or at the very least give the park police a leg to stand on when trying to enforce the current laws.

I hope to see some of you at one of our next meetings!
 

ecampbell

Piney
Jan 2, 2003
2,642
695
that area was a problem before the fire or the road they made , it just opened it up a little easier for more people to realize whats back there , with or without the fire it people wouldve found out about it eventually and they wouldve made there own trails

They didn't just make it alittle easier, they buldozed the place up trying to stop a fire in 1999. If you don't believe me walk it and see the piles of sand and trees pushed off to the sides.
This started by tearing out the tracks at High Crossing and widening the road into the Scar and buldozing a semi-circular road around it. In the past most of the activity occoured on the road along the tracks.
Without remediation the Scar will not change significantly during any of our lifetimes as those that explore the pines have seen elsewhere. Without remediation it will most likely fill in with non native grasses, as evidenced at Martha, from the dropings of birds and horses.

The road through the wetlands in the center of the photo (red marker) was created by 4 wheelers. The road around it by the NJSFFS.

Current view.


!995 view
 

Trailhead00

Explorer
Mar 9, 2005
375
1
46
Haddonfield, NJ
So does anyone know of some good wheeling spots?

Triumph-the-Insult-Comic-Dog.jpg


I kid, I kid!

Just trying to break it up a bit.
 

MarkBNJ

Piney
Jun 17, 2007
1,875
70
Long Valley, NJ
www.markbetz.net
Thanks, devilstoy and gipsie for the patience and continued explanations. I get the point now.

If the case is that there were never supposed to be roads there to begin with then there can be no real objection to posting them as closed. If the closure does not remove access rights to any through-road with an established historical pattern of use as a travel route I have no complaints. I think they would have done better to block them off as they do up in the Stokes or Worthington, but I understand it is a lot harder to drive around barriers in those forests, and the Wharton probably doesn't have the money or manpower to do it anyway.
 

devilstoy

Explorer
Nov 21, 2008
355
1
42
lindenwold
Thanks, devilstoy and gipsie for the patience and continued explanations. I get the point now.

If the case is that there were never supposed to be roads there to begin with then there can be no real objection to posting them as closed. If the closure does not remove access rights to any through-road with an established historical pattern of use as a travel route I have no complaints. I think they would have done better to block them off as they do up in the Stokes or Worthington, but I understand it is a lot harder to drive around barriers in those forests, and the Wharton probably doesn't have the money or manpower to do it anyway.

Well the problem with blocking those trails is that people will just blaze a new path Wich no one wants and they will still continue to use the area anyway , atleast with just posting signs no new damage (hopefully) will occur and give the park police a good guideline of an area to enforce still
 

ecampbell

Piney
Jan 2, 2003
2,642
695
Thanks, devilstoy and gipsie for the patience and continued explanations. I get the point now.

If the case is that there were never supposed to be roads there to begin with then there can be no real objection to posting them as closed. If the closure does not remove access rights to any through-road with an established historical pattern of use as a travel route I have no complaints. I think they would have done better to block them off as they do up in the Stokes or Worthington, but I understand it is a lot harder to drive around barriers in those forests, and the Wharton probably doesn't have the money or manpower to do it anyway.

The only road that's not supposed to be there is the circular one the fire service put in there and the one down the center of the wetlands by the 4 wheelers. The ones that were posted predate the state's buyout of Wharton and can be seen on the oldest aerial photo's.
 

manumuskin

Piney
Jul 20, 2003
8,294
2,121
57
millville nj
www.youtube.com
I think if it comes down to road closures maybe the criteria should be just that.Use the aerials to establish which roads were already established before the 4by 4 craze hit in the late 60's early 70's.Is the road old?Does it have a purpose such as facilitating getting from point A to B? Does it take a lift kit,mud tires and a snorkel to traverse?To access the area without roads would it be an hour walk or a whole day?If it takes me a day to walk in and a day to walk out I will be backpacking and dropping camp wherever I may be when i wear out (Thats sooner now then it was ten years ago).
Do you realize that you can basically drive from Batsto to Beachwood and barely touch blacktop the whole way?I kind of like doing that at least once a year when I take the grandkids to the Popcorn Park zoo.I have my own route and the best part of the day for me is the ride there and back.I don't want to lose that.I like taking the occasional stranger to the pines and giving them the loopdy loop tour and leaving them totally bewildered as to where they are.Giving them a sense of the space that is left in this overpopulated state.People that definitely aren't going to walk any distance because of age or disinclination.I'm not lazy but many are or unable.Don't take the woods from them.I like the wilderness idea but it does do a lot of people out of the special places.in another 20 years or so me too.
Al
 

Ben Ruset

Administrator
Site Administrator
Oct 12, 2004
7,452
1,412
Monmouth County
www.benruset.com
There is no way that Wharton would ever be closed to motorized vehicles.

Firstly, there are paved roads that go through Wharton.
Secondly, there are dirt roads such as Quaker Bridge Rd. that are legitimate "roads" like any other out there. To block off access would mean that you'd have to declassify them as public thoroughfares, which takes more than just a ranger getting an idea that it'd be good to close a road.
Third, Wharton gets a lot of it's funding from fees paid by hunting permits. If you close Wharton down, nobody can hunt there, less permits get sold, and the DEP makes less money.

What I really want to know is, if the area has been off-limits for years, and signs have been put up and constantly taken down, who is crazy enough to think this is going to make any bit of difference? In fact, shame on them for wasting my tax dollars on signs that are just going to get destroyed.

Folks, we know where the people who are destroying the Pines are going. We have a pretty good idea of when they're going back there. A far more effective way of deterring this sort of activity would be to increase the number of rangers back there - at all hours of the day and night - and enforce the laws.

Don't take away access to the woods because you're unwilling or unable to do your job. If you're not funded properly enough, then get all of these concerned citizens focused on lobbying Trenton for more funding, find grant money, or whatever it takes. But don't think that nailing up a few signs and calling it a day is even going to remotely make a bit of difference.

Sorry, but shame on the Wharton State Forest Police for this one. If folks had been out enforcing the rules years ago, Quarter Mile would not be the mess that it is now. Everyone involved can pat themselves on their backs and say that they're accomplishing something. Well, since everyone (even folks in the NJTLC) agree that the signs are going to be destroyed, then you're just wasting your time and nothing really will happen.
 

RednekF350

Piney
Feb 20, 2004
4,718
2,551
Pestletown, N.J.
Folks, we know where the people who are destroying the Pines are going. We have a pretty good idea of when they're going back there. A far more effective way of deterring this sort of activity would be to increase the number of rangers back there - at all hours of the day and night - and enforce the laws.

Don't take away access to the woods because you're unwilling or unable to do your job. If you're not funded properly enough, then get all of these concerned citizens focused on lobbying Trenton for more funding, find grant money, or whatever it takes. But don't think that nailing up a few signs and calling it a day is even going to remotely make a bit of difference.

Sorry, but shame on the Wharton State Forest Police for this one. If folks had been out enforcing the rules years ago, Quarter Mile would not be the mess that it is now. Everyone involved can pat themselves on their backs and say that they're accomplishing something. Well, since everyone (even folks in the NJTLC) agree that the signs are going to be destroyed, then you're just wasting your time and nothing really will happen.

Ben,
You hit again on what I said in post 37.
The Park Police need to get out of their comfort zone and bust heads when and where the heads need to be busted.
If they need a lot of assistance to pull that off, so be it.

This is similar to the situation several years ago when Camden City's police department had to be assisted (bailed out) by bringing in the NJ State Police. The troopers actually started lumping people up, screwing with people who desparately needed to be screwed with and locking them up as required.
 

Boyd

Administrator
Site Administrator
Jul 31, 2004
8,287
1,881
Ben's Branch, Stephen Creek
I am really not so familiar with that area - I don't go anywhere that my VW Rabbit or feet can't carry me. And I don't question that something needs to be done to stop this kind of abuse.

But I do have a problem way with the way this was handled, and the way it is being justified by some of you. It just rubs me the wrong way that some civil servant can make this kind of decision without being accountable to the general public, and without even posting about it on a state website. And it bothers me even more when somebody says that I need to join some kind of club to find out what is happening on our public land. I thought agencies like the DEP were accountable to the public, not some special interest group? Silly me...

And of course, you guys are right on target with the need to just enforce the existing laws and punish those who abuse them.
 

Ben Ruset

Administrator
Site Administrator
Oct 12, 2004
7,452
1,412
Monmouth County
www.benruset.com
I thought agencies like the DEP were accountable to the public, not some special interest group? Silly me...

They are, as long as people expect them to be. Ennui is dangerous. The average New Jersey resident wouldn't give a crap about what goes on in Wharton, let alone be able to find Wharton on a map. Right now, the only people complaining are the few of us on this website. So why should anybody feel accountable when it's only a minority that want to hold someone accountable?
 

46er

Piney
Mar 24, 2004
8,837
2,128
Coastal NJ
What I really want to know is, if the area has been off-limits for years, and signs have been put up and constantly taken down, who is crazy enough to think this is going to make any bit of difference? In fact, shame on them for wasting my tax dollars on signs that are just going to get destroyed.

Folks, we know where the people who are destroying the Pines are going. We have a pretty good idea of when they're going back there. A far more effective way of deterring this sort of activity would be to increase the number of rangers back there - at all hours of the day and night - and enforce the laws.

I share the same thoughts. I did a quick check on the number of park police and CO's that work the parks, forests and WMA's in that area and the count is 30 on the payroll. I don't understand why a small group cannot be put together every now and then to hit that site on weekends, as has been done in Greenwood at least twice. It doesn't sound like something so impossible to do and the effect would be more than reposting signs just to have them removed again. I wonder if anyone has checked to see how many summons' have been issued back there for existing reg violations, if any. Since they are separate state units, perhaps Parks & Forests and the Park Police need to get together and work more effectively together.
 

Boyd

Administrator
Site Administrator
Jul 31, 2004
8,287
1,881
Ben's Branch, Stephen Creek
So why should anybody feel accountable when it's only a minority that want to hold someone accountable?

I think you're right. Suppose the Ocean County Highway Superintendent decided something needed to be done because people are constantly breaking the speed limit on certain roads and causing accidents. He could call for the formation of a "NJ Road Lovers Coalition" and tell them that he plans to close all the county routes. Then the Road Lovers could come back and prevail on him to only close certain roads instead of all of them.

That could never happen because of a public outcry. And the first thing that people would ask is "What gives you the right... and why don't you just enforce the speed limit?"
 

MarkBNJ

Piney
Jun 17, 2007
1,875
70
Long Valley, NJ
www.markbetz.net
The only road that's not supposed to be there is the circular one the fire service put in there and the one down the center of the wetlands by the 4 wheelers. The ones that were posted predate the state's buyout of Wharton and can be seen on the oldest aerial photo's.

I've been short of time and sort of going on what has been posted here, but now you have me intrigued, so I looked at a few sources. The oldest of these is the 1887 Cook topo, plate 12, and the newest is the current map data and satellite imagery. Based on the map devilstoy posted I'd say the only existing road they are blocking is Hay, and while Hay is on the map I don't know how drivable it is, and have never been all the way from QB to Hampton on it.

So, they shouldn't be blocking Hay, if it still exists, but I don't see anything else in that area south of the tracks that has a claim to being an existing road.
 
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