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

smoke_jumper

Piney
Mar 5, 2012
1,527
1,058
Atco, NJ

Boyd

Administrator
Staff member
Site Administrator
Jul 31, 2004
9,526
2,787
Ben's Branch, Stephen Creek
Haven't seen this before...

"Other state lands such as Bass River State Forest in Ocean County already have taken this route and defined maps where drivers may legally take their vehicles"
 

NJPinesExplorer

New Member
Sep 14, 2016
12
31
Mount Laurel, NJ
I agree 100%, many of the roads on the map marked for closure are in great shape and not in need of repair. Many of them don't have puddles or go arounds to begin with which is why I travel them and are some of the most scenic roads in Wharton. The goal is to keep people confined to what they see as acceptable use to them, however it totally discounts the enjoyment I and many others get out of visiting Wharton. I have a Dual Sport motorcycle and a 80 mile motorcycle ride is the norm for me in summer doing a loop to get away. On many of the proposed roads to be closed I can tell you I very rarely even see another person or vehicle, and thats the appeal to me. That fact also reinforces that the majority of the closures on the MAP are not being damaged or over used. In addition the goal was to remove traffic from sensitive areas, mostly of which have nothing to do with the proposed closures. It makes zero sense to me, and by so drastically limiting the roads the amount of traffic forced onto the approved routes will also start to degrade them, and you know what that means. More "damage" pictures and more closures to what remains.

I live in SJ and have been enjoying Wharton with both a dual sport motorcycle and 4x4 for the past 15+ years. I have logged over 27,000 miles on my motorcycle almost exclusively in Wharton and I can tell you one thing. I travel the entire forest and nothing will change my mind, there is little to no abuse or degradation going on out there. There is no widespread abuse to the degree that the freedom we all have to enjoy the forest responsibly the way we want to experience it needs to be removed.

Those that think what is proposed is a good idea need to get out from behind their desks at the DEP and log as many miles as I and many of us have and see that a few overused and recycled pictures of abuse and damage is a very small part of the story. Also, the PPA has no tolerance for anyone that does not fit their vision of what Wharton should be and how it should be used. I dont care what other states do, or what the rules are there, the fact is what we have now is responsibly used by 99.9% of the people. We do not deserve to lose any privileges we are currently entitled to, especially pushed by a few who have the time and is part of their careers to get in the ear of the DEP about their views. We, the residents of NJ have a more important voice and are the majority.

And one last point, has anyone tried to call the famous 877-WARNDEP number to report anything illegal, such as someone dumping an old boat into the forest ? You know what I get, no answer, no voicemail, no response. Lets start there if this issue is so out of control, the MAP or VVUM is not the answer, sorry !

This is the not-so-quiet part the PPA and Jason Howell avoid outright saying, but is the real objective. They don't want you accessing the forest in a way that they don't like, regardless of how little environmental impact it has in reality.
 

enormiss

Explorer
Aug 18, 2015
579
373
Atco NJ
...They don't want you accessing the forest in a way that they don't like, regardless of how little environmental impact it has in reality.

Agree...

You would think this would be an easy question with a one word answer beginning with Y


FAQ Walking.jpg


Really???
 
  • Like
Reactions: TommyP

enormiss

Explorer
Aug 18, 2015
579
373
Atco NJ
Trails? We don't need no stinking trails.

But are they really trying to say you cannot walk the removed roads (or anywhere else except a handful of marked trails)? There is so much absurd and/or incorrect I don’t even know where to begin with a response to them :bang:
 

Teegate

Administrator
Site Administrator
Sep 17, 2002
25,620
8,222
I don't see how the hunters are going to stand for that. However, I did get an email from The New Jersey Outdoor Alliance yesterday and not a mention of the road closures. They were just anti Murphy.
 

bobpbx

Piney
Staff member
Oct 25, 2002
14,190
4,291
Pines; Bamber area
But are they really trying to say you cannot walk the removed roads (or anywhere else except a handful of marked trails)? There is so much absurd and/or incorrect I don’t even know where to begin with a response to them :bang:
No, they aren't. Notice in the words it's advice: "For your safety PLEASE stay on the trails....". I'm sure they don't have a regulation against going off trail.
 

smoke_jumper

Piney
Mar 5, 2012
1,527
1,058
Atco, NJ
But are they really trying to say you cannot walk the removed roads (or anywhere else except a handful of marked trails)? There is so much absurd and/or incorrect I don’t even know where to begin with a response to them :bang:
No they aren’t currently. But it’s been mentioned several times that there should be areas of Wharton that should be “preserved”. I fear closing off sections of sensitive areas is not to far in the distant future and walking off trail would be prohibited. Walking off trail was the main reason given to all the geocaches that were removed from state forests several years ago.
 
  • Like
Reactions: TommyP

bobpbx

Piney
Staff member
Oct 25, 2002
14,190
4,291
Pines; Bamber area
Disingenuous to the extreme. Does not mention at all the good people of the forest who have been driving the open roads for decades:

"Unfortunately, there is some opposition to these common-sense maps, such as small groups of off-road vehicle users and certain other interests that have been directed by anti-conservation corporate lobbyists."

https://pinelandsalliance.salsalabs.org/equitable_access_maps/index.html
 

bobpbx

Piney
Staff member
Oct 25, 2002
14,190
4,291
Pines; Bamber area
Push back and claw back. That is what should happen. I can't do it, as you know my position. But someone should lead a movement that will select at least 15 to 30 of the planned roads to be closed and promote them as roads that should remain open because they are wide enough to use, are actually being used, and are not going through sensitive wetands. Present them with at least one photo of the road along with GPS coordinates at the start and at the suggested end (if necessary, i.e., if they end at sensitive habitat). Then, get signatures in a petition and send it in before the deadline of 9 March.
 

smoke_jumper

Piney
Mar 5, 2012
1,527
1,058
Atco, NJ
Push back and claw back. That is what should happen. I can't do it, as you know my position. But someone should lead a movement that will select at least 15 to 30 of the planned roads to be closed and promote them as roads that should remain open because they are wide enough to use, are actually being used, and are not going through sensitive wetands. Present them with at least one photo of the road along with GPS coordinates at the start and at the suggested end (if necessary, i.e., if they end at sensitive habitat). Then, get signatures in a petition and send it in before the deadline of 9 March.
Not to mention which ones that are slated to be open that are either inaccessible or impassable.
 
Apr 6, 2004
3,612
555
Galloway
Disingenuous to the extreme. Does not mention at all the good people of the forest who have been driving the open roads for decades:

"Unfortunately, there is some opposition to these common-sense maps, such as small groups of off-road vehicle users and certain other interests that have been directed by anti-conservation corporate lobbyists."

https://pinelandsalliance.salsalabs.org/equitable_access_maps/index.html
I just threw my PPA hat in the trash. I wonder if Jason penned that bullshit?
 
Top