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

Jason Howell

Explorer
Nov 23, 2009
151
55
Please write me your suggestions on how to frame the opposition to the visitor map. Believe it or not (the certain other interests), was trying to acknowledge that there are other interests besides ORV use. The "directed by anti-conservation corporate lobbyists" is a stone cold fact, but I grant there is a lot of nuance here.
 

stiltzkin

Explorer
Feb 8, 2022
455
602
Medford
Please write me your suggestions on how to frame the opposition to the visitor map. Believe it or not (the certain other interests), was trying to acknowledge that there are other interests besides ORV use. The "directed by anti-conservation corporate lobbyists" is a stone cold fact, but I grant there is a lot of nuance here.

Jason, it sounds like you are already well aware that clearly not everybody opposed to this plan fits into those categories, so why would you characterize it that way? You grant that there is nuance, but I don't really see much nuance in your statement.

Surely it cannot be that difficult to comprehend that there are many people, just like you, who love the Pines and genuinely believe in conservation, but also do not believe that this is the right way to go about it.

Would it not be better for the cause and mission of the PPA to have a good faith dialogue with this group, who probably aligns with you on almost every other issue, rather than lumping them in with off-road abuse and shadowy corporate interests? It just seems so needlessly counterproductive to me. A little bit of respect and understanding on all sides goes a long way.
 

Ben Ruset

Administrator
Site Administrator
Oct 12, 2004
7,617
1,868
Monmouth County
www.benruset.com
Please write me your suggestions on how to frame the opposition to the visitor map. Believe it or not (the certain other interests), was trying to acknowledge that there are other interests besides ORV use. The "directed by anti-conservation corporate lobbyists" is a stone cold fact, but I grant there is a lot of nuance here.
There have been plenty of good faith attempts to have dialog with you/Russ/Rob/the PPA. You guys have, time and time again, looked down on anybody who doesn't agree with the plan to reduce access in the forest as extremists. Remember when OTNJ had an event to help erect a gate at Jemima Mount? The PPA was invited to that. Nobody from the org showed up. Seems like that was a wasted opportunity to do some outreach.

I wonder how many people who would otherwise be dues paying members of the PPA have been turned off by this kind of behavior?
 

Jason Howell

Explorer
Nov 23, 2009
151
55
Jason, it sounds like you are already well aware that clearly not everybody opposed to this plan fits into those categories, so why would you characterize it that way? You grant that there is nuance, but I don't really see much nuance in your statement.

Surely it cannot be that difficult to comprehend that there are many people, just like you, who love the Pines and genuinely believe in conservation, but also do not believe that this is the right way to go about it.

Would it not be better for the cause and mission of the PPA to have a good faith dialogue with this group, who probably aligns with you on almost every other issue, rather than lumping them in with off-road abuse and shadowy corporate interests? It just seems so needlessly counterproductive to me. A little bit of respect and understanding on all sides goes a long way.
I agree with you. That's why I am asking for suggestions on how to describe the opposition to the visitor map in a comprehensive fashion, but also not too long winded to be distracting to the overall message.
 

bobpbx

Piney
Staff member
Oct 25, 2002
14,193
4,292
Pines; Bamber area
I agree with you. That's why I am asking for suggestions on how to describe the opposition to the visitor map in a comprehensive fashion, but also not too long winded to be distracting to the overall message.
How's this:

There is some opposition to these maps, such as from people who live in the pines and have enjoyed these roads for decades with their friends and family. They use them to go to great spots in the forest for hunting, swimming, hiking, and communing with nature. They oppose the maps because their access to all those nice spots will be cut by over 50%. So please consider that before you sign the petition.
 

Piney4life

Explorer
Oct 8, 2015
381
128
51
Waterford
Question. If I want to put in on batsto fireline road side of locks bridge will I be able to park on side of that road to put in my kayak if the new map is implemented?
 

Jason Howell

Explorer
Nov 23, 2009
151
55
I should also mention that I am taking recommendations to potentially be included in the next round of comments to the Park Service, that include either subtractions or additions to the current draft. So if you have a specific area that you think should be included or excluded, and want to potentially have a larger group of people recommend that place specifically, pm me on here or send me an email. Most of the time I ask for specifics, not much comes back because of a lack of knowledge of the forest, but I know that isn't the case with the regulars here.
 

bobpbx

Piney
Staff member
Oct 25, 2002
14,193
4,292
Pines; Bamber area
Goodbye Tulpehocken, we hardly knew ye.

1706834261560.png
 

Piney4life

Explorer
Oct 8, 2015
381
128
51
Waterford
I should also mention that I am taking recommendations to potentially be included in the next round of comments to the Park Service, that include either subtractions or additions to the current draft. So if you have a specific area that you think should be included or excluded, and want to potentially have a larger group of people recommend that place specifically, pm me on here or send me an email. Most of the time I ask for specifics, not much comes back because of a lack of knowledge of the forest, but I know that isn't the case with the regulars here.
Do you work for parks?
 

Ben Ruset

Administrator
Site Administrator
Oct 12, 2004
7,617
1,868
Monmouth County
www.benruset.com
Mr. Ruset is fully informed on this I believe he can explain. You would probably trust it more coming from him, given I don't even know your real name.

Mr. Ruset is my dad. You can just call me Ben when you're done being passive aggressive.

Jason is referring to Bill Caruso, one of the members of OTNJ. On a recent Facebook post in the South Jersey Kayakers group he accused Bill of being an anti conservation corporate lobbyist who "infiltrated" the kayaking group (of which he has been a member of for years and frequently posts pics and vids of his kayak trips in South Jersey.)

Everyone here should be made aware that this group has been infiltrated by a corporate lobbyist who has represented major polluters as well as warehouse developers. You need to be informed that in my view, this group is being subject to propaganda in order to divide the conservation movement.

Hopefully that explains it well enough.
 
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Apr 6, 2004
3,613
556
Galloway
Mr. Ruset is my dad. You can just call me Ben when you're done being passive aggressive.

Jason is referring to Bill Caruso, one of the members of OTNJ. On a recent Facebook post in the South Jersey Kayakers group he accused Bill of being an anti conservation corporate lobbyist who "infiltrated" the kayaking group (of which he has been a member of year and frequently posts pics and vids of his kayak trips in South Jersey.)



Hopefully that explains it well enough.

"You need to be informed that in my view, this group is being subject to propaganda in order to divide the conservation movement."

Sounds like somebody is describing himself.
 

tsqurd

Explorer
Jul 29, 2015
180
137
South Jersey
Mr. Ruset is fully informed on this I believe he can explain. You would probably trust it more coming from him, given I don't even know your real name.
You can call me T - that's how people that know me refer to me!

I don't know Ben, that 'corporate lobbyist' seems like a bit of a stretch, but then, I am not informed. From my prospective, the only obvious corporate interest profiting here is the PPA through their fundraising from their propaganda campaign to close down much of Wharton. I would venture to guess that many of the PPA members/donors rarely, if ever, step foot on any of the sand roads in Wharton, where as most of the people I know live, love and recreate in the Pinelands regularly, one could say it's part their heritage to many of them. Having a healthy Pinelands is critical to everyone I know. So is keeping the roads open to responsible usage.
 
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bobpbx

Piney
Staff member
Oct 25, 2002
14,193
4,292
Pines; Bamber area
I should also mention that I am taking recommendations to potentially be included in the next round of comments to the Park Service, that include either subtractions or additions to the current draft. So if you have a specific area that you think should be included or excluded, and want to potentially have a larger group of people recommend that place specifically, pm me on here or send me an email. Most of the time I ask for specifics, not much comes back because of a lack of knowledge of the forest, but I know that isn't the case with the regulars here.
Jason, I don't know about the rest of the people on this forum, but reading this gives me a kind of out of body experience; like I can't figure you out or your game plan after all these years of you trying to convince us the 2015 map was good. Are you having second thoughts? Anyway, in my opinion it's too far along for me personally to have you take my recommendations and submit them via your filter. Surely you can understand that.
 

Ben Ruset

Administrator
Site Administrator
Oct 12, 2004
7,617
1,868
Monmouth County
www.benruset.com
Jason, I don't know about the rest of the people on this forum, but reading this gives me a kind of out of body experience; like I can't figure you out or your game plan after all these years of you trying to convince us the 2015 map was good. Are you having second thoughts? Anyway, in my opinion it's too far along for me personally to have you take my recommendations and submit them via your filter. Surely you can understand that.

"We asked for outreach and to collaborate on a solution and nobody was interested in working with us!" -- The PPA, probably.
 

Jason Howell

Explorer
Nov 23, 2009
151
55
Jason, I don't know about the rest of the people on this forum, but reading this gives me a kind of out of body experience; like I can't figure you out or your game plan after all these years of you trying to convince us the 2015 map was good. Are you having second thoughts? Anyway, in my opinion it's too far along for me personally to have you take my recommendations and submit them via your filter. Surely you can understand that.
I could probably fill you in atleast on some of those Tulp paths, if you are not fully aware of what’s going on out there.

But in any case, I understand not everyone here can follow these things as closely as I am able to. In 2017, I helped Pinelands advocates propose and pass a resolution to ADOPT the 1954-1959 usgs 24k map route data, map publications that ended in 1997, at the Pinelands Commission. We were opposed by the OTNJ group, lead by a corporate lobbyist (Ben neglected to share the elec lobbyist forms connecting this person to multiple fossil fuel interests, warehouse developers, water extraction corporations, etc.) despite that opposition, the measure passed unanimously at the Commission and it was adopted into the CMP(comprehensive management plan)

That resolution required that the NJDEP create a map of Wharton to conform with the CMP, in accordance with state and federal regulations. That resolution provides a maximum, not a minimum, amount of potential routes. Now we are here, and in so far as I can tell the organized opposition is again staying No Visitor Map, even though the DEP is legally required to create one. The reason I’m even posting here is because despite some trolling, there are respectable and knowledgeable people that post and read here.

That being said, there may be routes that the conservation organizations can support being added on to this visitor map in our comments to the Park Service, but you’ll have to speak up with specifics if you want them to be considered on this side of the isle.
 
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