Enduro Club Use of the Pines

Broke Jeep Joe

Explorer
Mar 8, 2006
665
351
Waterford Twp
Really?? Interesting statement from the PPA. I couldn't imagine one group secretly meeting and not including all stakeholder groups in a decision to open or close trails, who would do such a thing?

The DEP’s map showing non-sensitive areas in the Brendan T. Byrne forest was obtained through a request under the Open Public Records Act by the Pinelands Preservation Alliance, an environmental nonprofit that accuses the DEP of excluding some stakeholders from the discussion over trail access.
 
Feb 1, 2016
273
133
51
Camden County, NJ
Outside of the enduro races........I always thought that dual sport bikes were legally allowed at anytime on single track and firecuts....is that correct? Or has the use of single track and firecuts been allowed but not necessarily legal? Anyone know for certain? Reading the State Forest regs it is unclear. It would appear that dual sport bikes are allowed on sand roads and trails (like any other licensed, insured, registered vehicle) but not off road (including single track and firecuts). Thoughts?
 

Teegate

Administrator
Site Administrator
Sep 17, 2002
23,598
5,515
There is much more to worry about out there than enduro races. We need to worry about people who think we will forget.
 
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Feb 1, 2016
273
133
51
Camden County, NJ
There is much more to worry about out there than enduro races. We need to worry about people who think we will forget.
Fair enough but I was more interested in non enduro racing dual sport activities in the Pines and whether it was/is legal to drive off road on single track and firecuts. The enduro racing folks seem to have their stuff together and run a tight ship but independent riders outside of events...what is their legal status off road(s)?
 

bobpbx

Piney
Staff member
Oct 25, 2002
12,381
2,599
Pines; Bamber area
Fair enough but I was more interested in non enduro racing dual sport activities in the Pines and whether it was/is legal to drive off road on single track and firecuts. The enduro racing folks seem to have their stuff together and run a tight ship but independent riders outside of events...what is their legal status off road(s)?

I think for those people, that would violate forest regulations.

I don't have a problem with Enduros at all. They are part of the Pine Barren tradition. But with that said, it would be great if:
--They were planned to avoid sensitive areas.
--They were all mapped.
--After a certain amount (like a quantity of 30-40 throughout the designated Pinelands), no more could be constructed. Use the old ones, and let them lie fallow for a few years between events.
 

imkms

Explorer
Feb 18, 2008
511
131
SJ and SW FL
Outside of the enduro races........I always thought that dual sport bikes were legally allowed at anytime on single track and firecuts....is that correct? Or has the use of single track and firecuts been allowed but not necessarily legal? Anyone know for certain? Reading the State Forest regs it is unclear. It would appear that dual sport bikes are allowed on sand roads and trails (like any other licensed, insured, registered vehicle) but not off road (including single track and firecuts). Thoughts?

I did find the following in the article.
"Opening up some single track would mean a change in the DEP’s existing policy which states that: “The creation or use of single-track trails for motorized use is prohibited.”
 

smoke_jumper

Piney
Mar 5, 2012
1,135
585
Atco, NJ
I believe riding in fire cuts was not permitted but it's be impossible to enforce. It's also important to note most plowlines go through upland pines and are only used for control burns. Lowlands and swamps rarely have plow lines if at all.
 

bobpbx

Piney
Staff member
Oct 25, 2002
12,381
2,599
Pines; Bamber area
I believe riding in fire cuts was not permitted but it's be impossible to enforce. It's also important to note most plowlines go through upland pines and are only used for control burns. Lowlands and swamps rarely have plow lines if at all.

You'd be surprised John, how often firecuts do go through small pockets of lowlands at times while traversing uplands. These are not often shown on the maps, and are very small (say, 10 yards diameter) but they are out there and are definitely violated by the plow. Also, even those that go strictly through uplands (by chance and not simply by plan) are a threat to pine snake dens. Not that I have evidence, but still...
 
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smoke_jumper

Piney
Mar 5, 2012
1,135
585
Atco, NJ
Bob I agree some do go through small patches of lowlands. It's impossible to completely avoid them. I can think of a couple around me but there aren't that many. I just wanted to point out that by design they usually avoid lowlands. I might add that ones that weren't planned out and made during a fire usually are the ones that violate the wetlands the most. Any time a plow goes through the pines highland or low land it is disturbing nature or possibly even history.
 

bobpbx

Piney
Staff member
Oct 25, 2002
12,381
2,599
Pines; Bamber area
Bob I agree some do go through small patches of lowlands. It's impossible to completely avoid them. I can think of a couple around me but there aren't that many. I just wanted to point out that by design they usually avoid lowlands. I might add that ones that weren't planned out and made during a fire usually are the ones that violate the wetlands the most. Any time a plow goes through the pines highland or low land it is disturbing nature or possibly even history.

True words you spoke there Smoke.

Saturday, I was doing some exploring on Webb's Mill Branch back by Carusoville. They had recently burned there next to the lake. A good thing yes, but they dozed that road open again; needlessly in my opinion. But at least they created a sand mound to close it off. I parked where I was going in, and here comes a couple guys on KTM dual sports on that freshly-dozed road. They went over that mound and rooster-tailed the sand in a big spray. That mound won't last.

BTW: they looked like nice bikes, maybe 450's. I wonder if I'm too old to get back into it.
 

enormiss

Explorer
Aug 18, 2015
324
150
Atco NJ
I don't have a problem with Enduros at all. They are part of the Pine Barren tradition. But with that said, it would be great if:
--They were planned to avoid sensitive areas.
--They were all mapped.
--After a certain amount (like a quantity of 30-40 throughout the designated Pinelands), no more could be constructed. Use the old ones, and let them lie fallow for a few years between events.

I believe that is the current process
The clubs need to select from a "menu" of established roads for an event.
No new trail can be constructed, no firecuts (event or otherwise)
They lie fallow some as the clubs change up route from year to year so its not monotonous
 

Tony

Scout
Jul 30, 2015
45
22
69
Folsom
Motorcycles are not causing anymore damage to the forest than A control burn does. I been riding the pines for
Over 50 years and it has not changed that much. Riding in the fire cuts helps keep them open. That idiot Al Horner
Wants to close the forest off to everyone. He has no consideration for anyone else.
 

WaretownMike

Explorer
Jul 16, 2013
189
93
50
Waretown
I ride enduro events throughout the Northeast and belong to an Enduro club in NJ. All of the chosen paths are highly scrutinized by DEP and must be approved in writing by them as well. Of all the NJ events (I've ridden them all), there was only one event in which there was a wet area however there had been a torrential downpour at the time.

I've posted a response to Al's "alternative facts" on his blog before, and although well-intentioned, he usually creates a narrative that fits his mold rather than rely on the truth.

In Pennsylvania, there are many enduro events, and one of the most successful events works with the state/county/town to alternate the course every year. They have 3 courses to choose from, and each year the rotate the course among the three. This gives each course a 3 year respite.
 

GermanG

Piney
Apr 2, 2005
1,068
370
Little Egg Harbor
I remember an instance back in the '90's when the FFS asked me to ride my motorcycle in the firebreaks to help keep them clear. I would really like to hear a good argument as to why motorcycles should not be allowed in the cuts. I know there is a concern for wild life that might be utilizing the cut (snakes especially) but I had never come close to hitting one in a fire cut, or had seen a dead one in a cut. Same goes for turtles. I know there was a recent incident where a snake was killed in a cut but I suspect that this sort of thing was a freak accident and not common place, or even occasional.

Minimizing risk to wildlife is an important concern, but a maintained (clear) cut might be more advantageous to preserving wildlife in the event of a fire than the rare fatality as a result of a motorcycle. Specifically for turtles which have the hardest time in a fire.

Now, if the argument is that motorcycles are not a natural risk to fauna, and fire is, you have to consider the origin of the fire...human carelessness is not a natural occurrence either if that is the cause of the fire. I think that argument is a dead end anyway when you consider fire suppression etc .

I think it would be interesting to conduct a study of fauna fatality risk in the firebreaks.

Jeff

If by firebreaks, which could mean almost any path or road in the woods, you are referring to what are more commonly called plow lines by the FFS, riding bikes on them would do virtually nothing as far as the the needs of the FFS go. They are not intended to be wildfire breaks and are far too narrow to have that effect. They are starting lines for prescribed burns and are re-plowed each and every time the tract is burned. In order to keep the torched line of fire from crossing the plow line, burning with the wind and potentially moving up into the canopy and escaping control, there has to be virtually no twigs, leaves or needles in the line, hence the need to plow it prior to the burn. Motorcycles would be useless in that role. I'm not addressing any negative effects blamed on bikes or quads but this defense is a bit of a reach. I think allowing vehicles (not mudders) on historic woods roads for that reason is more defensible on the other hand. These roads can and will grow in over time without vehicles using them and the FFS has a stake in keeping them open as well as the rest of us.
 
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smoke_jumper

Piney
Mar 5, 2012
1,135
585
Atco, NJ
If by firebreaks, which could mean almost any path or road in the roods, you are referring to what are more commonly called plow lines by the FFS, riding bikes on them would do virtually nothing as far as the the needs of the FFS go. They are not intended to wildfire breaks and are far too narrow to have that effect. They are starting lines for prescribed burns and are re-plowed each and every time the tract is burned. In order to keep the torched line of fire from crossing the plow line, burning with the wind and potentially moving up into the canopy and escaping control, there has to be virtually no twigs, leaves or needles in the line, hence the need to plow it prior to the burn. Motorcycles would be useless in that role. I'm not addressing any negative effects blamed on bikes or quads but this defense is a bit of a reach. I think allowing vehicles (not mudders) on historic woods roads for that reason is more defensible on the other hand. These roads can and will grow in over time without vehicles using them and the FFS has a stake in keeping them open as well as the rest of us.
Very well said. I couldn't agree more.
 

woodjin

Piney
Nov 8, 2004
4,274
244
Near Mt. Misery
If by firebreaks, which could mean almost any path or road in the woods, you are referring to what are more commonly called plow lines by the FFS, riding bikes on them would do virtually nothing as far as the the needs of the FFS go. They are not intended to be wildfire breaks and are far too narrow to have that effect. They are starting lines for prescribed burns and are re-plowed each and every time the tract is burned. In order to keep the torched line of fire from crossing the plow line, burning with the wind and potentially moving up into the canopy and escaping control, there has to be virtually no twigs, leaves or needles in the line, hence the need to plow it prior to the burn. Motorcycles would be useless in that role. I'm not addressing any negative effects blamed on bikes or quads but this defense is a bit of a reach. I think allowing vehicles (not mudders) on historic woods roads for that reason is more defensible on the other hand. These roads can and will grow in over time without vehicles using them and the FFS has a stake in keeping them open as well as the rest of us.

I think there was a misunderstanding. I was not implying that fire cuts (plow lines) were a means to reduce the spread of wildfire directly, I was recognizing them as a way of reducing wildfire through their usefulness in controlled burns (which reduce the spread of wildfire). I can see that I didn't make that clear. If the plow lines are actually re-plowed at each burn, then motorcycles would not be a factor as you stated. I was not sure if they were actually re-plowed each time or cleared by more conventional methods before a prescribed burn. If the later was true, then motorcycles would be advantageous in reducing the effort needed to clear the existing plow line manually. After an endure those fire cuts are very clear. But, if as you stated the cuts are always re-plowed then I guess it wouldn't matter.
 

smoke_jumper

Piney
Mar 5, 2012
1,135
585
Atco, NJ
Yes they are always replowed before a prescribed burn. They need to be down to mineral soil. Keeping them open really does not help any but no additional harm either. Keeping roads open is much more important.
 
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