Fix Our Parks

TommyP

Scout
Mar 30, 2022
56
59
Clementon
thomaspluck.substack.com
The Pinelands Preservation Alliance and the NJ TRail Conference among others have banded together for a “Fix Our Parks” campaign to urge the state to address the parks project backlog, to promote eco and historical tourism, and to properly staff the departments.
I’m a writer and I offered to write an op-ed that could be used to promote this, but I don‘t want to feed into the locked gates, seasonal and permanent closures, and banning access to responsible people.
I’ve read some of the PPA threads in the past where they tried to impose a road map that declared many roads off-limits, and I don’t want that.

So I’m asking the people who I know love the Pinelands and want it to remain open for responsible use. You all. I have to mention illegal off-roading because it is an issue, but what are the issues and solutions you think need to be addressed, so this doesn’t become a gateway to locking down the Pines to responsible use?
 

Boyd

Administrator
Site Administrator
Jul 31, 2004
8,453
2,025
Ben's Branch, Stephen Creek
Probably a noble cause, but it doesn't do much for me. I just don't see much that needs "fixing" down South where I hang out, but I hardly ever go to Wharton. One of their top 3 priorities is giving more power to the superintendents.... that might be a can of worms. :worms:

 

ecampbell

Piney
Jan 2, 2003
2,673
743
Probably a noble cause, but it doesn't do much for me. I just don't see much that needs "fixing" down South where I hang out, but I hardly ever go to Wharton. One of their top 3 priorities is giving more power to the superintendents.... that might be a can of worms. :worms:

Probably a noble cause, but it doesn't do much for me. I just don't see much that needs "fixing" down South where I hang out, but I hardly ever go to Wharton. One of their top 3 priorities is giving more power to the superintendents.... that might be a can of worms. :worms:

more power to the superintendents.

That would create a dictator. The current Super of Wharton doesn't want anyone in the forest.
 

Jon Holcombe

Explorer
Dec 1, 2015
890
1,777
Medford
The Pinelands National Reserve is fairly unique because the poplulation within a few hours drive is probably 35 million people. I had some back and forth on the Fix Our Parks page. Russ Juelg is a fair minded, experienced administrator who has a pretty good handle on the political and practical realities.

Apparently the superintendents take a back seat to the DEP and the Pinelands Commission,. so the politics are going to rule the day.

Every moron with an ATV, the fleets of jeeps who look for challenging driving down legal and illegal roads, with giant tires, winches and snorkels, in state and out of state, have ruined it for the sensible 4 x4 drivers.

It is a shame because the new MAP is coming.
 

Ben Ruset

Administrator
Site Administrator
Oct 12, 2004
7,542
1,597
Monmouth County
www.benruset.com
The Pinelands Preservation Alliance and the NJ TRail Conference among others have banded together for a “Fix Our Parks” campaign to urge the state to address the parks project backlog, to promote eco and historical tourism, and to properly staff the departments.
I’m a writer and I offered to write an op-ed that could be used to promote this, but I don‘t want to feed into the locked gates, seasonal and permanent closures, and banning access to responsible people.
I’ve read some of the PPA threads in the past where they tried to impose a road map that declared many roads off-limits, and I don’t want that.

So I’m asking the people who I know love the Pinelands and want it to remain open for responsible use. You all. I have to mention illegal off-roading because it is an issue, but what are the issues and solutions you think need to be addressed, so this doesn’t become a gateway to locking down the Pines to responsible use?
If you want to whip up something for the front page of this site (www.njpinebarrens.com) I'm happy to publish it. The last thing I wrote was in 2017!
 
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Teegate

Administrator
Site Administrator
Sep 17, 2002
24,186
6,323
It appears they are not mentioning the closing of roads. What their ultimate goal is and will it change from what they say on that website is unknown. What they are saying on that website if pretty much the truth.
 
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TommyP

Scout
Mar 30, 2022
56
59
Clementon
thomaspluck.substack.com
This is what I got from them:
”For NJCF's and Pinelands Alliance, as well as the organized enduro(ECEA) and other established vehicle groups, our position is shared that the USGS maps (ranging from 1955-1997 in publication) should be the official road maps of the pine barrens.”
 
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Jon Holcombe

Explorer
Dec 1, 2015
890
1,777
Medford
TommyP, if you want to see the strategy, join the "Pine Barrens Land Defense" Facebook group (formerly "Fix Our Parks").

The two admins are Jason Howell and Russ Juelg. They are presenting the issues and their solutions. I believe Jason Howell is prominent in Pinelands Preservation Alliance and Russ Juelg is the administrator to Franklin Parker Preserve. Russ is a very smart and experienced steward for the New Jersey Conservation Foundation.
 
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Boyd

Administrator
Site Administrator
Jul 31, 2004
8,453
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Ben's Branch, Stephen Creek
At best, that's a lazy approach to the issue. As they correctly indicate, those topo maps range from about 25 years to 70 years old and no longer reflect reality on the ground. Have posted about this before, and I'm sure we could find many other examples, but here is one.

Bulldozed Road is on the USGS National Map

https://boydsmaps.com/#16.00/39.733387/-74.654245/usgsTopo/0.00/0.00

OpenStreetMap

https://boydsmaps.com/#16.00/39.732826/-74.653665/mbxtopo/0.00/0.00

Clearly visible on aerial imagery

https://boydsmaps.com/#18.12/39.732854/-74.653489/njgin2020/0.00/0.00

But not on the old 24k topo, so I guess it would be closed

https://boydsmaps.com/#16.00/39.733387/-74.654245/pines1999/0.00/0.00
 

bobpbx

Piney
Staff member
Oct 25, 2002
12,708
2,976
Pines; Bamber area
At best, that's a lazy approach to the issue. As they correctly indicate, those topo maps range from about 25 years to 70 years old and no longer reflect reality on the ground. Have posted about this before, and I'm sure we could find many other examples, but here is one.

Bulldozed Road is on the USGS National Map

https://boydsmaps.com/#16.00/39.733387/-74.654245/usgsTopo/0.00/0.00

OpenStreetMap

https://boydsmaps.com/#16.00/39.732826/-74.653665/mbxtopo/0.00/0.00

Clearly visible on aerial imagery

https://boydsmaps.com/#18.12/39.732854/-74.653489/njgin2020/0.00/0.00

But not on the old 24k topo, so I guess it would be closed

https://boydsmaps.com/#16.00/39.733387/-74.654245/pines1999/0.00/0.00
That's a nice catch Boyd. But really, we all supported Ben's open letter back in 2016 (snippet below). To me, it's important the members of the forum support that letter and the contents, even if it sacrifices roads under the radar such as that one.

NJPineBarrens.com and Open Trails NJ are taking the position that:
  • We support using a USGS Topographical map to establish a baseline of roads, however the 1997 map must be used as it is last complete map of roads in Wharton State Forest.
 

Ben Ruset

Administrator
Site Administrator
Oct 12, 2004
7,542
1,597
Monmouth County
www.benruset.com
Yeah. I'm starting a new job where I'll have weekends free and more money, so I'm going to work on a setup where I can use your maps more. I was at Carranza memorial for the tribute and had no T-Mobile/Sprint, and only 3G/1x on Verizon... do y'all use AT&T or what?
I have AT&T and I had mostly no service out in Rockwood yesterday. Every now and then my phone (iPhone 11) would register one bar and I'd get a notification of something but essentially it was a brick.
 
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Teegate

Administrator
Site Administrator
Sep 17, 2002
24,186
6,323
I believe that both Jason and Russ are truly interested in closing roads. I am certain I am in agreement with both of them concerning 95 percent of the issues, however, I can’t support closing roads unless there is a serious need to close them for public safety and not for plants or creature concerns.
 

Ben Ruset

Administrator
Site Administrator
Oct 12, 2004
7,542
1,597
Monmouth County
www.benruset.com
I believe that both Jason and Russ are truly interested in closing roads. I am certain I am in agreement with both of them concerning 95 percent of the issues, however, I can’t support closing roads unless there is a serious need to close them for public safety and not for plants or creature concerns.
Trying to save the forest from harm is a great thing. I've met Russ and I think he's a good person. I'm sure Jason is too. The problem is the way that they go about doing it and their absolute steadfast unwillingness to find a compromise where everyone gets a little of something that they want.
 
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