Editorial: ORV Use in the Pine Barrens

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woodjin

Piney
Nov 8, 2004
4,274
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Near Mt. Misery
LARGO said:
A little dry humor.
I am totally in agreement. There is a lot of damage that needs some
addressing. I love my woods too.
It would be great if we really were all on the same team.

Seems like on the forum we pretty much are! I support the PPA and I think they have done some good things as a Pinelands Commission watchdog of sorts. I just think they are chasing the wrong devil here.

Jeff
 

Ben Ruset

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woodjin said:
Seems like on the forum we pretty much are! I support the PPA and I think they have done some good things as a Pinelands Commission watchdog of sorts. I just think they are chasing the wrong devil here.

Jeff

I invited them to comment here. We'll see if they do.
 

Boyd

Administrator
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Jul 31, 2004
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woodjin said:
Seems like on the forum we pretty much are!

Well I'm just gonna stay out this because politics isn't my thing. However, by my count there are only about 8 people "on the same page" in this thread out of 327 members at the site.

Hey, I respect your opinion, just pointing out that to me it looks more like a small group of people who have a lot to say on the topic and not a consensus.
 

LARGO

Piney
Sep 7, 2005
1,541
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Boyd said:
Hey, I respect your opinion, just pointing out that to me it looks more like a small group of people who have a lot to say on the topic and not a consensus.

I don't think you'll ever have a consensus on this in a group of people so large and diverse. A shared agreement is tough in any concern. Notice, no real Herper input here. And if it is relevant I respect their concerns. Their love of the pines is most considered due to the impact of Flora and Fauna. Just my observation, not trying to grandstand. Just that this handful of people have really opened my eyes as to what's out there and influenced my awareness of environmental impact, even mine. In my case, I find development and discard more hazardous than some trail riding. Maybe the many members that view the site might have their awareness peaked by a thread where 8 or 10 people converse. Good observation & opinion though.

Again, G.
 

Ben Ruset

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Boyd said:
Well I'm just gonna stay out this because politics isn't my thing. However, by my count there are only about 8 people "on the same page" in this thread out of 327 members at the site.

Hey, I respect your opinion, just pointing out that to me it looks more like a small group of people who have a lot to say on the topic and not a consensus.

I wish I had 387 people posting on a daily basis about their love for the Pine Barrens. A good chunk of the people who do use the site on a daily basis have posted in here.
 

woodjin

Piney
Nov 8, 2004
4,274
244
Near Mt. Misery
bruset said:
I wish I had 387 people posting on a daily basis about their love for the Pine Barrens. A good chunk of the people who do use the site on a daily basis have posted in here.

Yeah, I had no idea there were over 300 members. I just based that comment off of familar member names comming up.

Jeff
 

daved

Scout
Jan 9, 2006
95
0
burlington county
i tend to agree with you guys that if you are riding a quad or a dirtbike in a responsible manner that you will do less visible damage than a truck would. and if you remember the thread about the rangers they will fine you for going off the side of the road. well if this is the case and you cant run over some grass or weeds on the side of the road then they should close all the hiking trails cause somebody might step on something of importance. also people ride horses in the pines and the horses shit all over the roads and if towns have laws for curbing your dog in an area that is not protected than they should have laws concerning the horse shit in the protected area of the pine barrens. another problem is on the wading river when i go camping at wading pines i tube on the wading and you will see all sorts of trash on the sides of the river and this trash comes from the many people who rent canoes from an outfit like micks. well if they are that concerned about protecting the pines they should just close it down and if anybody is caught in there they will be arrested. well i think its just a few bad eggs that ruin it for everybody else.
 

daved

Scout
Jan 9, 2006
95
0
burlington county
also about the off road park closing down. you have two types of people the ones that are law abiding and the ones that are not. the people that ride at the park are law abiding and when it closes they will probably find another legal spot to ride at. sure go out in the pines now and im sure somewhere you will find somebody riding illegal eventhough there is a place you can ride legally. it doesnt really matter if there is a park for people to ride at or not the people that ride illegally will. there is alot of illegal riding in greenwood so they should patrol that area.
 

Ben Ruset

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I just spent an hour on the phone with Russ Juleg, outreach director for the PPA. We had a very good, frank, discussion about the problem. We by no means see eye to eye on all points, however it seems like the PPA really is interested in finding a solution.

He's going to be supplying me with some information, and we have some ideas to perhaps get the environmental and ORV community working together to help find a solution.

He has an account here now, and may post his views. He's sending me some information that I will be posting shortly.
 

Ben Ruset

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From the PPA:

PPA Addresses Misconceptions

MISCONCEPTION
PPA is opposed to all ORV activity.

CORRECTION
• PPA is opposed to all illegal ORV activity.
• PPA is philosophically opposed to any ecologically harmful ORV activity, whether or not it may be legal, but PPA has not proposed any new laws to limit ORV riding on one’s own property.

MISCONCEPTION

PPA is opposed to the establishment of ORV parks.

CORRECTION
• PPA drafted a letter that was sent to then-commissioner Brad Campbell specifically recommending the establishment of legal ORV parks, together with passage of legislation and rules for the registration of all ORVs, stepped up enforcement against illegal ORV use, and education of ORV riders on legal and environmental impacts.
• PPA continues to support the establishment of legal ORV parks that meet strict environmental criteria, if registration laws are also adopted at the same time.

MISCONCEPTION
PPA is not trying to be part of the solution.

CORRECTION
• PPA has been directly engaged in this controversy since 1999. We have led and attended regular meetings and participated in numerous discussions that included ORV riders. We helped promote the idea of a statewide policy for ORV recreation that includes state registration of the vehicles, with the registration fees calculated to cover the costs of stepping up enforcement and the establishment of parks.

MISCONCEPTION
PPA is trying to prohibit the use of ORV’s by a rider on his or her own private property.

CORRECTION
• PPA has never given any such indication. Possibly this mistaken notion springs from PPA’s published statements about “private property,” the context being ORV riders on someone else’s private property without permission.
• PPA would be opposed to ORV use, even by the landowner, on individually specified private properties, if the use were causing clear environmental degradation – but PPA has not proposed any new laws limiting ORV use on one’s own property.

MISCONCEPTION

ORV riders need a place to ride.

CORRECTION
• ORV recreation is a choice, not a need. ORV recreation is clearly an expensive and problematic sport. Riders choose both the costs and the problems when they choose the sport, but they choose the sport knowing their legal opportunities are restricted.

MISCONCEPTION

Since the state is not providing sufficient places for ORV recreation, it is forcing law-abiding citizens to become criminals.

CORRECTION
• Buying an ORV is an individual choice.
• Riding an ORV in an illegal manner is an individual choice : no one is forcing people to ride illegally.

MISCONCEPTION
ORV’s are so popular, you will never stop all the illegal traffic.

CORRECTION
• We don’t expect to stop all illegal traffic, but we have a responsibility to try to stop as much of it as we can.

MISCONCEPTION

If everyone, including PPA, would help the ORV community to set up legal parks, that would take the pressure off the state natural lands and would reduce the trespassing.

CORRECTION
• It’s unlikely the state could ever hold enough ORV parks to satisfy the ORV recreation community.
• Even if there were sufficient access to ORV parks, there will always be renegade riders.
• PPA is an environmental activist nonprofit organization dedicated to protecting the Pine Barrens of New Jersey. It does not normally fall within our mission to invest our resources in promoting any particular forms of recreation, unless those forms of recreation specifically lead toward better protection of the Pinelands. Even so, we participated in the analysis of several proposed sites for ORV parks, and will continue to assist in this manner. We do not have the power, the authority, the resources, or the mandate to directly engage in the establishment of new ORV parks.

MISCONCEPTION
ORV riders have a right to go on state-owned lands, just like any other tax-paying citizen of the state.

CORRECTION
• We all have a right to go on state lands, but we don’t have a right to do whatever we want to do there. However, if you want to create specifically designated state lands where ORV riding is legal, the appropriate strategy is organize, strategize, and follow legal channels.

MISCONCEPTION

ORV riding is not really destructive to the environment.

CORRECTION
• Even ordinary road traffic through natural areas has significant negative impacts on natural communities, such as air, water, and noise pollution, direct mortality to animals, and disturbances that affect their reproductive success, and damage to stream banks and wetlands. Biologists have documented all this. Off road traffic compounds these problems and adds to them the direct destruction of vegetation and habitats.
 

Trailhead00

Explorer
Mar 9, 2005
375
1
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Haddonfield, NJ
Looking forward to having a PPA member chime in on this subject.
Misconception:
I will like what this PPA member has to say.
Correction:
This person will probaby aggravate me to no end and give me one more reason to get out of this state.
 

woodjin

Piney
Nov 8, 2004
4,274
244
Near Mt. Misery
Hold on now. The PPA is a well intended, and influential organization which is activly involved in so many worthy causes that serve our interest as pinebarrens enthusiasts. We are just banging heads on this issue so I think it is cool that we hear them out.

That being said, there are inconsistancies in that post which are troubling. Here is the first I caught:

"Misconception
PPA is opposed to all ORV activity."

Okay, good.

"the PPA is opposed to all illegal ORV activity"

Okay, It is illegal, that is understanable,

"the PPA is opposed to all ORV activity that is ecologically harmful, whether or not it may be legal"

So, okay, the PPA is opposed to legal ORVs also, not just illegal ORVs Then furhter down in the text it states;

"Even ordinary road traffic through natural areas has significant negative impact on natural communities."

Now, that is regular road traffic, it goes on to state that off road is far more destructive to the environment. so lets consider that with the earlier comment that the "PPA opposes all ORV activity that is ecologically harmful." So that tells me that, in fact, THE PPA DOES OPPOSE ALL ORV ACTIVITY. Or maybe I am off base here. but that is how I am reading it. the PPA rep is saying, we only oppose ORV activity that is harmful to the environment. And then goes on to say that all ORV activity is harmful to the environment. Am I understanding those statments correctly?

I agree that ORV use can be harmful to the environment. In fact anything can be, the environment itself can be harmful to the environment. The question is, where is the line drawn as to what is tolerable and what is not. It is clearly stated that some legal ORV use is not tolerated. So where is the line drawn? Or is the PPA in fact opposed to all ORVs?

Thanks for your input. It is appreciated.

Jeff
 

bobpbx

Piney
Staff member
Oct 25, 2002
12,381
2,599
Pines; Bamber area
woodjin said:
"Even ordinary road traffic through natural areas has significant negative impact on natural communities."

Now, that is regular road traffic, it goes on to state that off road is far more destructive to the environment. so lets consider that with the earlier comment that the "PPA opposes all ORV activity that is ecologically harmful." So that tells me that, in fact, THE PPA DOES OPPOSE ALL ORV ACTIVITY. Or maybe I am off base here. but that is how I am reading it. the PPA rep is saying, we only oppose ORV activity that is harmful to the environment. And then goes on to say that all ORV activity is harmful to the environment. Am I understanding those statments correctly?

Jeff, my interpretation is that you have to take the statements in separate context. Look at the last one:

MISCONCEPTION
ORV riding is not really destructive to the environment.

CORRECTION
Even ordinary road traffic through natural areas has significant negative impacts on natural communities, such as air, water, and noise pollution, direct mortality to animals, and disturbances that affect their reproductive success, and damage to stream banks and wetlands. Biologists have documented all this. Off road traffic compounds these problems and adds to them the direct destruction of vegetation and habitats.

I believe you can only tie the "correction" here to the "misconception" directly above it. The author is magnifying the fact that any ordinary road trafffic has an effect on natural communities (so don't say ORV riding is not really destructive). If I were the authour I would have left out the antagonistic words "significant negative".

Ever since they (PPA) started this recent campaign, I can see what the trouble is. The person managing it is overzealous. She is well-meaning, but inexperienced and has jumped on the one side too quickly and has come down too hard on the ORV riders. She needs a more balanced approach. I imagine she is now getting that message - Big time.
 
woodjin said:
Now, that is regular road traffic, it goes on to state that off road is far more destructive to the environment. so lets consider that with the earlier comment that the "PPA opposes all ORV activity that is ecologically harmful." So that tells me that, in fact, THE PPA DOES OPPOSE ALL ORV ACTIVITY. Or maybe I am off base here. but that is how I am reading it. the PPA rep is saying, we only oppose ORV activity that is harmful to the environment. And then goes on to say that all ORV activity is harmful to the environment. Am I understanding those statments correctly?



Jeff

That's the way I read it too and was ready to point it out. Thanks Jeff, for beating me to it.
"...and damage to stream banks and wetlands."
Kayaks and canoes are next.

Steve
 
BEHR655 said:
Quote:
Originally Posted by woodjin

Now, that is regular road traffic, it goes on to state that off road is far more destructive to the environment. so lets consider that with the earlier comment that the "PPA opposes all ORV activity that is ecologically harmful." So that tells me that, in fact, THE PPA DOES OPPOSE ALL ORV ACTIVITY. Or maybe I am off base here. but that is how I am reading it. the PPA rep is saying, we only oppose ORV activity that is harmful to the environment. And then goes on to say that all ORV activity is harmful to the environment. Am I understanding those statments correctly?



Jeff

That's the way I read it too and was ready to point it out. Thanks Jeff, for beating me to it.
"...and damage to stream banks and wetlands."
Kayaks and canoes are next.

Steve

I'm glad I'm not the only one who thought that.
 

russell juelg

Explorer
Jul 31, 2006
158
0
woodjin said:
I agree that ORV use can be harmful to the environment. In fact anything can be, the environment itself can be harmful to the environment. The question is, where is the line drawn as to what is tolerable and what is not. It is clearly stated that some legal ORV use is not tolerated. So where is the line drawn? Or is the PPA in fact opposed to all ORVs?

Thanks for your input. It is appreciated.

Jeff

I'll try to clarify. I agree, we all do things that are harmful to the environment, and the issue is where do you draw the line? In this case PPA's emphasis is on opposition to illegal ORV activity. But PPA is also opposed to ORV activity that, though legal, may have an obvious negative affect on significant natural resources. For example, if someone were on his own property, riding through habitats of threatened and endangered species. The wildlife belongs to all of us for generations to come. It doesn't belong only to the person who happens to be the current owner of the land. That being said, again, PPA's emphasis is on illegal activity. If you have a piece of land that doesn't have significant natural resources to worry about, PPA would not object to ORV recreation in that place.
 

bobpbx

Piney
Staff member
Oct 25, 2002
12,381
2,599
Pines; Bamber area
russell juelg said:
If you have a piece of land that doesn't have significant natural resources to worry about, PPA would not object to ORV recreation in that place.

Whoops. Better clarify that for me Russ. By "you", are you saying "you who own" a piece of land that doesn't have significant natural resource? The reason I ask is, I don't consider a leatherleaf bog (especially a semi-dry one) a significant natural resource. But if its on state property, I don't like to see some yahoo tearing it up. I might want to gaze at it some day. Its all of ours to enjoy.
 

LongIslandPiney

Explorer
Jan 11, 2006
484
0
bruset said:
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... :)

You certainly cannot group ORV's all together, but that's what alot of environmentalists do. The ATV's IMO cause the most damage. They often drive through with reckless abandon, and in one case tried to run me off the trail.
Jeeps and 4x4's do not cause as much damage, and I certainly see no problem with allowing them on the longer woods roads. Especially when you're 10 or more miles in, hiking that and back is impossible for most, so you've got to drive there.
Here on LI vehicles (cars,4x4s,etc) are allowed on the longer "main" dirt roads that are in most of the DEC preserves. Often it is the only way for hunters to access the area.
In the end it really all depends on the driver. Even an ATV driven right won't cause damage or be a disruption.
So certain there should be some trails for ATV's as well. Illegal ATV riding is a problem because there is NO WHERE to ride them legally.
 
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