DEP Announces Virtual Public Meeting to Launch Wharton State Forest Visitor and Vehicle Use Survey

Teegate

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They need to get a life. Nothing was damaged at the dirt pile and the bigger question is why is it still there? If they used it or removed it we would not be having this conversation.
 
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bobpbx

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Oct 25, 2002
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According to them, the current DEP head "gave them free rein to turn Brendan Byrne into a dirt bike park."
He said Enduro riders make "secret trails" in the middle of the forest using chainsaws, and make new "single tracks" for every race.
Is there any truth to this? I know Enduro riders have used the Pine Barrens for decades, and were allowed to use it after the Preserve was made. I've seen dirt bikers here and there but I have never seen an Enduro race or any tracks like they are mentioning.
Is it the usual hyperbole or is there some truth?
Because the same guy was complaining that Jeeps drove over the gravel piles near Friendship. Sneering about it. "they say it's FUN!"
I really don't get people. This same person puts on waders to go through bogs for photos. He probably thinks that is fun.
I don't get why some people just can't say "to each their own." ...
Driving over a gravel pile may be goofy, but it's not killing any wildlife. I wonder if these people think actually think endangered salamanders live in the sand pits at Funtown? Or if they just think all offroaders are stereotypical rednecks and hate them for that.
I have a soft spot for Enduro riders. They really hurt nothing as long as they don't make trails through sensitive wetlands, which they don't. If you see that guy again, ask him what makes more trails and deeper trails; enduro Riders or fire breaks.
 
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Teegate

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Ask them what they think about thousands, yes thousands of cedar trees being cut legally by private property owners with permits from the DEP. All of this hidden from view unless you use aerial photos. I am not against it since they have permits, but what is worse, riding over dirt mounts, making an enduro trail or what I just mentioned?
 

TommyP

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I don't think reason enters into it. They have a visceral dislike for motorized vehicles. The fix our parks members were going after electric bikes on rail trails!
I'm not against Enduro bikers at all.
They are trying to call sand pits like Funtown "paleo dunes" now to generate outrage.
 
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1Jerseydevil

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It appears my question is answered that I posted in another thread "Property stones" regarding a picture Guy took of 2 machines laying on the ground
 
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I don't think reason enters into it. They have a visceral dislike for motorized vehicles. The fix our parks members were going after electric bikes on rail trails!
I'm not against Enduro bikers at all.
They are trying to call sand pits like Funtown "paleo dunes" now to generate outrage.
They once called a mud puddle (created by off-roading, ironically) a vernal pool for the same reason.

Where is Funtown?
 
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Spung-Man

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True paleodunes–parabolic and transverse—are limited in extant to small dune fields near wetlands and waterways. Their integrity is important to the sustained health of adjacent wetland habitat. Having grown up in the Pines I take middle ground on the off-roading issue. In youth I couldn't wait to get farm chores done to hike, horseback, bike, motorbike, and drive a vast network of nearby trails, many ancient. The trails wove together in a geographic tapestry of interactions between nature and society. Trails are an important part of our cultural inheritance demanding understanding and respect. Besides, my '68 Honda CL 450 scrambler was too heavy to get off trail, despite the advertising that said otherwise.
 
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Spung-Man

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They once called a mud puddle (created by off-roading, ironically) a vernal pool for the same reason.

Where is Funtown?
In 1970 hydrogeologist Rhodehamel estimated that about 2% of the Pine Barrens was then occupied by spungs, and their extant has decreased since then due to degradation. Given their ecological and cultural importance, and a limited footprint, are true spungs expendable?
 

Teegate

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In 1970 hydrogeologist Rhodehamel estimated that about 2% of the Pine Barrens was then occupied by spungs, and their extant has decreased since then due to degradation. Given their ecological and cultural importance, and a limited footprint, are true spungs expendable?

Nobody should be riding in spungs. But if a main road has gone through one for a hundred years then I say drive the road.

We have to get this all in perspective. It is never going to end until those who drive in them are caught and fined. Giving someone a permit isn't going to stop anything. It is just that simple.
 

Teegate

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Because the same guy was complaining that Jeeps drove over the gravel piles near Friendship. Sneering about it. "they say it's FUN!"
Jessica and I got a good laugh today. We turned in off of Jackson road to go to Goshen and a man was using his remote controlled vehicle to drive on the dirt mounds. Jessica looked at me and said we now know who it was at Friendship.

remote.jpg
 

Piney4life

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Oct 8, 2015
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I was talking to some birders and photographers at Friendship, who were angry about the DEP Teams meeting.
According to them, the current DEP head "gave them free rein to turn Brendan Byrne into a dirt bike park."
He said Enduro riders make "secret trails" in the middle of the forest using chainsaws, and make new "single tracks" for every race.
Is there any truth to this? I know Enduro riders have used the Pine Barrens for decades, and were allowed to use it after the Preserve was made. I've seen dirt bikers here and there but I have never seen an Enduro race or any tracks like they are mentioning.
Is it the usual hyperbole or is there some truth?
Because the same guy was complaining that Jeeps drove over the gravel piles near Friendship. Sneering about it. "they say it's FUN!"
I really don't get people. This same person puts on waders to go through bogs for photos. He probably thinks that is fun.
I don't get why some people just can't say "to each their own." ...
Driving over a gravel pile may be goofy, but it's not killing any wildlife. I wonder if these people think actually think endangered salamanders live in the sand pits at Funtown? Or if they just think all offroaders are stereotypical rednecks and hate them for that.
That's because Enduro club the ppa and njcf were in meetings with dep this is where this new plan came from.welcome to nj I give to get what I want...
 

Tom Jenkins

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Nov 30, 2016
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I was talking to some birders and photographers at Friendship, who were angry about the DEP Teams meeting.
According to them, the current DEP head "gave them free rein to turn Brendan Byrne into a dirt bike park."
He said Enduro riders make "secret trails" in the middle of the forest using chainsaws, and make new "single tracks" for every race.
Is there any truth to this? I know Enduro riders have used the Pine Barrens for decades, and were allowed to use it after the Preserve was made. I've seen dirt bikers here and there but I have never seen an Enduro race or any tracks like they are mentioning.
Is it the usual hyperbole or is there some truth?
Because the same guy was complaining that Jeeps drove over the gravel piles near Friendship. Sneering about it. "they say it's FUN!"
I really don't get people. This same person puts on waders to go through bogs for photos. He probably thinks that is fun.
I don't get why some people just can't say "to each their own." ...
Driving over a gravel pile may be goofy, but it's not killing any wildlife. I wonder if these people think actually think endangered salamanders live in the sand pits at Funtown? Or if they just think all offroaders are stereotypical rednecks and hate them for that.
I was in Brendan Byrne Sunday morning, and was hearing what sounded like bikes, loud and fairly near. I was parked at an intersection of two roads, and figured they'd be coming through, but they didn't - they just sounded like they were going back and forth in a small area. Looking on my gps where it sounded like they were, it appeared they were in the woods nowhere near an existing road. Of course, sound in the woods may not always come from where you think.

BTW, I've been a photographer and birder for many years, and have never put on waders to go through bogs, or anywhere else. I've known many others like myself over the years, and I can't think of any of them who weren't respectful of the environment they were in, or the wildlife. Like everything else, including offroaders, there are jerks who don't follow the rules. But I would hope I wouldn't be stereotyped any more than I would strereotype an offroader as a redneck.
 
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bobpbx

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People who put on knee highs or waders to trundle through wetlands are usually not doing something harmful to the environment. Put that thought to bed or somebody will want to ban that. Besides, the amount of people who do that is miniscule.
 

TommyP

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I meant that someone who wades in bogs for fun has no business criticizing someone who wants to drive their vehicle over a dirt pile, is all. If neither are damaging the environment, I no problem with them. I was just out at Funtown today. We saw a lot of ATVs and dirt bikes in Brendan, but all were on trails or in the sand pit.
 

1Jerseydevil

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Feb 14, 2009
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I meant that someone who wades in bogs for fun has no business criticizing someone who wants to drive their vehicle over a dirt pile, is all. If neither are damaging the environment, I no problem with them. I was just out at Funtown today. We saw a lot of ATVs and dirt bikes in Brendan, but all were on trails or in the sand pit.
Now that I have been told where Funtown is, it is not in Brendan. Not trying to be a smart-ass but where else would atv's and dirt bikes be if not in a sand pit or on the roads? BTW, there are no legal trails for motorized use in any State Park. You meant roads, correct?
 
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TommyP

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Mar 30, 2022
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Now that I have been told where Funtown is, it is not in Brendan. Not trying to be a smart-ass but where else would atv's and dirt bikes be if not in a sand pit or on the roads? BTW, there are no legal trails for motorized use in any State Park. You meant roads, correct?
Sorry, I incorrectly call the named sandy roads “trails” and I have been corrected.
 

Jon Holcombe

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Dec 1, 2015
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BTW, I've been a photographer and birder for many years, and have never put on waders to go through bogs, or anywhere else. I've known many others like myself over the years, and I can't think of any of them who weren't respectful of the environment they were in, or the wildlife. Like everything else, including offroaders, there are jerks who don't follow the rules. But I would hope I wouldn't be stereotyped any more than I would strereotype an offroader as a redneck
Hey Tom, I admire your photos a lot. You raise an issue I've thought about quite a bit in the past 8 years.

I have walked along, and in, many streams in the Pine Barrens in knee boots, hip boots and chest waders. Most of the best photos I've taken have been in environmentally sensitive areas. For the most part, I explore the same areas that hunters frequent. I know this because I see deer feeders and stands all the time.

If there were 100,000 people walking on sphagnum moss, or into the Tulpehocken, or into the Oswego or Batsto or Mullica or Wading Rivers, down the flooded Road at Deep Run, those areas would be destroyed. But there aren't that many people doing it. Am I acting illegally or unethically?

Hunters trap beaver, kill deer, coyote, turkey, etc. Are they destroying the environment?

If you or I are taking photos of heron or snowy owl and they fly away because they see us, we have disturbed them in their natural environment. Is it illegal? Is it ethical?

If someone drives a 4x4 into a spung, or a river, or goes muddding on legal roads and tears them up and makes the holes deeper, or makes doughnut tire ruts, is it legal or unethical?

If you or I drive down Railroad Ave and use an established go-around, is that illegal?

I know a lot of landscape photographers, and they all walk into savannah, leave roads and trails and walk into the woods, cross cedar swamps. Are we breaking the law? Are we acting unethically? Many use drones, (on this one issue I am clear because drones are 100% illegal in state parks).

It is a complicated issue.
 
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smoke_jumper

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Mar 5, 2012
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Hey Tom, I admire your photos a lot. You raise an issue I've thought about quite a bit in the past 8 years.

I have walked along, and in, many streams in the Pine Barrens in knee boots, hip boots and chest waders. Most of the best photos I've taken have been in environmentally sensitive areas. For the most part, I explore the same areas that hunters frequent. I know this because I see deer feeders and stands all the time.

If there were 100,000 people walking on sphagnum moss, or into the Tulpehocken, or into the Oswego or Batsto or Mullica or Wading Rivers, down the flooded Road at Deep Run, those areas would be destroyed. But there aren't that many people doing it. Am I acting illegally or unethically?

Hunters trap beaver, kill deer, coyote, turkey, etc. Are they destroying the environment?

If you or I are taking photos of heron or snowy owl and they fly away because they see us, we have disturbed them in their natural environment. Is it illegal? Is it ethical?

If someone drives a 4x4 into a spung, or a river, or goes muddding on legal roads and tears them up and makes the holes deeper, or makes doughnut tire ruts, is it legal or unethical?

If you or I drive down Railroad Ave and use an established go-around, is that illegal?

I know a lot of landscape photographers, and they all walk into savannah, leave roads and trails and walk into the woods, cross cedar swamps. Are we breaking the law? Are we acting unethically? Many use drones, (on this one issue I am clear because drones are 100% illegal in state parks).

It is a complicated issue.
All the points you brought up I have thought about as well. I even take it a step further and often think what is the “best” thing for the pines? The best tool I can think of to get some insight on what the pine were like almost 100 years ago is the 1930’s aerials. When I look at them I see vast areas of sand. I can see where the the term pine barrens came from. I can also see how European settlement has touched every inch of todays pines. What we think of as remote today was once probably logged out and possibly farmed.
Some of the clearings we come to love are actually areas that were actually stripped of all vegetation.
This is a location that most of us know.
1AED4D23-FBFC-4251-A5C9-41338D40F78D.jpeg

I often wonder why is it so clear? I can kind of imagine what it looked like if I stood in that same spot back then.
E24789CC-A1BD-47D4-B973-C9B8E9BDE9B3.jpeg

In the 2020 aerial it looks much different. That tiny little patch of sand left is first beach. We base our view of of the pines off of what we see and remember. Don’t get me wrong there should be no vehicles on first beach but the scar that’s left is much smaller then it was years ago.
I also look at Black Run in Evesham. Over the years it’s gotten much cleaner then it was prior. Dumping there used to be very common. Today it is much cleaner but much more crowded. It’s a network of trails and in some areas sensitive areas are getting trampled. Basically it’s getting loved to much.
All human interaction has some negative effect on the pines. Even exclusion of human interaction can have some negative on the pines as we know them. The key is have a balance where everyone can enjoy them responsibly.

I agree it is a very complicated issue.
 
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