Editorial: ORV Use in the Pine Barrens

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woodjin

Piney
Nov 8, 2004
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Nice editorial Ben. As expected from previous disscussions on the matter, you and I are on the same page here. I have been meaning to attend the meetings the PPA are having. I still plan to make the August 19th one. I am a member and i am dissappointed that they are putting so much energy in to this cause. I am curious if there has ever been a study/investigation into the true damage caused by ORV use. Some damage is obvious, but it has to be evaulated based on type of ORV (4X4, quad, motorcycle) and number of ORVs (30 bikes on a circular course do a lot more damage than on bike passing through an area once). Also, as far as motorcyles are concerned, two stroke vs four stroke engines...two stroke engines produce far more air pollutions and have more dramatic power bands causing more damage to the soil (tire spin).

Anyway, one paragraph was a little confusing. It was...let me finish this and then try to quote it.

Jeff
 

woodjin

Piney
Nov 8, 2004
4,274
244
Near Mt. Misery
Okay, I couldn't quote it so I wil just retype it.

"Its no lie that irresponsible ORV use has caused some damage to the PINe barrens, but in the years since the ORV Law was passed by the state, I see ledss and less ORV damaged areas and less and less ORV riders. Certainly those who respect the law-ride responsibly, register and insure their ORVs are not the ones out in the barrens anymore"

Your recommended solution of having a state mandate for ORV dealers to have customers register and insure is a good idea. I suppose the argument against this would be that since the ORVs being sold are illegal to use on state land anyway, what would be the point of registering and insuring. I believe that most ORvs (quads and competion dirt bikes) are sold under the assumption (legal assumption) that they will be used on private land, owned by the purchaser or friend of the purchaser.

However I agree with you. Maybe not so much the insurance but the registration anyway. Actually, the insurance couldn't hurt either.

One question I have is: Is the PPA effort primarily geared toward illegal ORV use or all ORV use? From the website they seem to support registration, and insurance of ORVs so that would indicate that they are not out to ban 4x4s and dual sport bikes.

I think it is cool that you did this editorial Ben, are you forwarding it to the PPA?, Gov.?

Jeff
 

Ben Ruset

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The insurance issue is important. Really important.

My attorney was handling a case for a kid who was injured in an ATV accident. His friend seriously injured this kid while he was on an uninsured ATV. The family had to sue the kid's family for medical expenses, which they easily got a judgement for. However, the other family declared bankruptcy, and wiped out that judgement. The family with the hurt kid was left to pay for medical coverage. If the ATV had been insured, that insurance would have paid for the medical care.

Also, say an ATV drives across Bob's yard, tearing up his plants, and knocking over his beers. Now, Bob is going to be pissed. Fortunately he gets the licence plate number of the ATV, files a police report, and gets the person's insurance information. Now, he can have his damages paid by the liability part of the ATV's insurance.

From my take on the PPA article, it looks like they want to ban ORV's entirely. In their article they clearly state that they oppose the building of new parks until laws are enacted forcing people to register. Well, I don't expect to see those laws drawn up any time soon - and they know it - so it just means that they want to fine the hell out of people on ORV's without offering them the opportunity to ride in designated areas.

Also, they're pushing to ban ORV use on private property. Now, they're not too clear about that. Does that mean that if I own a ORV, I can't use it on my own property? Or does that mean that I can't ride on someone else's land without permission? It seems kind of odd that they would go after the latter, since there are already plenty of laws against that.

I haven't forwarded the article to anybody. Sending it to Corzine is a waste of time. I'm pretty sure the PPA could care less about my opinion so I didn't send it to them either.
 

Teegate

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bruset said:
Also, say an ATV drives across Bob's yard, tearing up his plants, and knocking over his beers. Now, Bob is going to be pissed.


:jeffd:
 

bobpbx

Piney
Staff member
Oct 25, 2002
12,381
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Pines; Bamber area
A fairly balance editorial Ben. I would not agree, and I don't think you are proposing such, that just because we can insure and register them, that they can have access to State Land. "Designated" State Land; maybe.
 

woodjin

Piney
Nov 8, 2004
4,274
244
Near Mt. Misery
bruset said:
The insurance issue is important. Really important.

My attorney was handling a case for a kid who was injured in an ATV accident. His friend seriously injured this kid while he was on an uninsured ATV. The family had to sue the kid's family for medical expenses, which they easily got a judgement for. However, the other family declared bankruptcy, and wiped out that judgement. The family with the hurt kid was left to pay for medical coverage. If the ATV had been insured, that insurance would have paid for the medical care.
\
I remembered you mentioning this some time ago which is why I went back and said "insurance couldn't hurt either."
 

woodjin

Piney
Nov 8, 2004
4,274
244
Near Mt. Misery
bruset said:
Also, they're pushing to ban ORV use on private property. Now, they're not too clear about that. Does that mean that if I own a ORV, I can't use it on my own property? Or does that mean that I can't ride on someone else's land without permission? It seems kind of odd that they would go after the latter, since there are already plenty of laws against that.

Yeah, that is odd. I took that in reference to areas in the Forked River Mountains that are private and are frequented by ORVs. It does seem redundant, there are laws in place.

Jeff
 

woodjin

Piney
Nov 8, 2004
4,274
244
Near Mt. Misery
bruset said:
I haven't forwarded the article to anybody. Sending it to Corzine is a waste of time. I'm pretty sure the PPA could care less about my opinion so I didn't send it to them either.


I don't agree with you here. I would forward it to the PPA. I will be speaking with them as well at the meeting and perhaps in person before that.

Jeff
 

woodjin

Piney
Nov 8, 2004
4,274
244
Near Mt. Misery
bobpbx said:
A fairly balance editorial Ben. I would not agree, and I don't think you are proposing such, that just because we can insure and register them, that they can have access to State Land. "Designated" State Land; maybe.

Are you referring to class II OrVs here Bob? (competition dirt bikes, quads) I think you would stand behind access for dual sport bikes and 4x4s to most state land (except for particularly sensitive areas). Is that correct?

Jeff
 

bobpbx

Piney
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Oct 25, 2002
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woodjin said:
Are you referring to class II OrVs here Bob? (competition dirt bikes, quads) I think you would stand behind access for dual sport bikes and 4x4s to most state land (except for particularly sensitive areas). Is that correct? Jeff

Yes, I am referring to those you cannot legally hop on and drive down route 70. And in regards to class, in my mind, there is no such thing as Class 1. How anyone could come up with that classification scheme puzzles me. It is too broad and meaningless. If you are legal, then, in my mind, you are legal. End of story.
 

Ben Ruset

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bobpbx said:
A fairly balance editorial Ben. I would not agree, and I don't think you are proposing such, that just because we can insure and register them, that they can have access to State Land. "Designated" State Land; maybe.

No. Although I would like to see a relaxation on the rules for Class I ORV's. Because, as I see it, any road that they don't want you going down (and I mean road, not necessarily Jeep trail) can get you fined.
 

Ben Ruset

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woodjin said:
I don't agree with you here. I would forward it to the PPA. I will be speaking with them as well at the meeting and perhaps in person before that.

Jeff

Maybe I will go to one of the meetings. Which one are you going to? We can both be heckled and stoned, as I forsee that happening. Defending ORV's is a highly unpopular thing to do. Especially when you have people who compare them to nuclear weapons... :)
 

amf

Explorer
May 20, 2006
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Swedesboro
driving the sand roads

So from my reading of all this, I can no longer drive my car down a sand road unless it is posted that I can? Its been a while since I have been down there, but what about driving from Atsion to Batso? Or back to Martha?

I realize this may be "old news", but its the first I have become aware of it.

amf
 

Ben Ruset

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amf said:
So from my reading of all this, I can no longer drive my car down a sand road unless it is posted that I can? Its been a while since I have been down there, but what about driving from Atsion to Batso? Or back to Martha?

I realize this may be "old news", but its the first I have become aware of it.

amf

From the policy:

There are certain limited exceptions to this general policy. On public lands, Class I ORVs shall only be operated on highways and roads, and only if in addition, the ORV is operated in accordance with Title 39* and the highway or road is designed and marked by the State for such operation.

* Registered and insured, not speeding, etc.

Now, here's the question:

1. What is defined as a highway or road? Obviously paved roads crossing through State Forests are. But what about dirt roads?

Like, for example, what about Muddy Road in Lebanon State Forest? It's a road - it has a name, but it's full of giant suck you in mud holes. Is that a road open to Class I use? What about Nash's Cabin Road in Wharton? It's got a name, but it's really narrow in some spots, and leads you out to an area that is pretty ecologically sensitive?

How does the state designate a road as being usable by Class I ORV's? I have never seen a sign that says "OK to drive down here!"

Way back in the day I spoke to a ranger who said that anything that shows up on a topo is fair game. But, topo maps sometimes show roads that don't exist anymore, or don't show some major roads. So that's not a perfect example.
 

LARGO

Piney
Sep 7, 2005
1,541
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51
Pestletown
Having walked, biked, driven, off roaded, canoed, and yes...Quadded,
(Is that a word?) the Pine Barrens for many years, I find your thoughts admirable Ben. I do think with some pessemism that there will be losses in the battle and no matter how much lobbying is done, there will be severe restrictions at some time. Being somewhat concerned about the litter and dumping issue, I'm not even sure that I would be a little the hipocrite by trashing the concept of ORV "sensorship".
I go back to the same thing over & over. Responsibility and Accountability make for a better experience. No matter what your medium. When I ride my little S-10 out there I am fine, and while being stopped once or twice, I've never had a problem. Take my Quad out ( I am most surely a Class II guy by choice ) and I'm automatically deemed up to no good. My first Quad I insured as Best I could through the guidelines my insurer would cover and registered it as defined, and was laughed at by a couple rangers. I believe "useless" was the term used.
Now I just ride afoul of the law. I may zip up an open trail but when I ride tight I excercise every effort not to do damage. Sanctioned rides tear up my woods like a battallion of tanks drove through. Go figure.
Sorry, I'll stop. Again, good article Ben.

On a seperate note, I took a nice couple hour ride this Saturday and in the course of my ride found something very disturbing out by a swamp trail I check out now & again. When I got home, I took a ride over to the Chief of Police's house locally (He lives very nearby) & and explained what I found so that he could follow up, which he did and called me from the site. So the example here is, again, no matter your medium, take interest in that which you presume to enjoy and help protect it. Everyone who travels the Pines by legal methods isn't exactly innocent and everyone who travels by not so legal means isn't exactly a criminal. Just my 2 pence.

G.
 

LARGO

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Way back in the day I spoke to a ranger who said that anything that shows up on a topo is fair game. But, topo maps sometimes show roads that don't exist anymore, or don't show some major roads. So that's not a perfect example.[/quote]

I've found that some of the "jeep trails" on Topo wouldn't classify as a dog path by some standards. I guess some of that is the Barrens "reclaiming" what is theirs to begin with. Most are on target though.
 

Ben Ruset

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To be honest, I would rather take a nice 4WD ATV around the Pines than my Jeep. Driven responsibly, it would do less damage, have less of an impact on the environment, and would be a lot more fun.
 

LARGO

Piney
Sep 7, 2005
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I have repeatedly cited the example That big trucks, cars, etc. conduct way more disturbance than an ATV driven in a civil fashion.
 
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