Fix Our Parks

NJCoastal

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Oct 19, 2021
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Mount Laurel, NJ
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.
IMHO, public land is for ALL to enjoy. Areas designated for specific outdoor activities (see list) will need to be clearly delineated and the usage guidance totally unambiguous. Yes, public land areas should be set aside to include Off Highway Vehicle usage and "sand road" touring/recreation site access routes.

Outdoor Activities.png
 
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enormiss

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Aug 18, 2015
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Atco NJ
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.

I thought that was proposed way back and shot down by the "MAP" pushers.
What changed & didn't they already close roads on the 97 topo?
 
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Ben Ruset

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I thought that was proposed way back and shot down by the "MAP" pushers.
What changed & didn't they already close roads on the 97 topo?
The MAP pushers settled for nothing less than the MAP as designed by the PPA for Rob.

I believe (and I could be wrong) the state said that whatever official map that gets made would take the 97 USGS maps as a starting point.
 
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Boyd

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I believe (and I could be wrong) the state said that whatever official map that gets made would take the 97 USGS maps as a starting point.

I agree that those topo maps are a good "starting point" (or "baseline" as per Bob's quote). But that is completely different from the statement that @NJCoastal passed along from "Fix Our Parks"

"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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NJCoastal

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Oct 19, 2021
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I’m open to sensible plans that won’t exclude the common types of outdoor recreational activities within all of the Pinelands National Reserve, not limited to any specific parcels within the PNR. Surely, we have enough acreage for all outdoor recreational activities enthusiasts to enjoy.

“The PNR is approximately 1.1 million acres and spans portions of seven counties and all or part of 56 municipalities.” (The Pinelands National Reserve)

I agree and essential for proper planning: "our position is shared that the USGS maps (ranging from 1955-1997 in publication) should be the official road maps of the pine barrens."

NJ Pinelands National Reserve.jpeg
 
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Boyd

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I agree and essential for proper planning: "our position is shared that the USGS maps (ranging from 1955-1997 in publication) should be the official road maps of the pine barrens."

Well I disagree with that. What sense is there in having an "official map" that is at least 25 years old (many are much older) and no longer accurate? I love these old maps and have spent considerable time studying them and working with them. They're great, don't get me wrong. They could be a good starting point, but not "official road maps of the pine barrens".

Making my own version of the USGS Topo maps, I researched and found the newest version of each quadrangle. It's a patchwork crazy quilt of maps from many different years.

Note 9/6/22: this old map of the pines has been replaced by a new regional topo covering 10 states in the Mid Atlantic region
 
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NJCoastal

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Oct 19, 2021
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Mount Laurel, NJ
Interesting. USGS maps 2011 vs 2019 of Chatsworth NJ. Where did the roads go? Actually don’t exist or maybe exist but omitted from the maps? Does anyone from Chatsworth know the facts to be able to say: Yay or Nay?

Chatsworth NJ 2011 vs 2019.jpg
 

Teegate

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The USGS maps have been pretty much been put on the back burner. Money is most likely the reason. I was a volunteer for them about 15 years ago and after 9-11 all they wanted me to do is locate cell towers, churches, power stations etc. I had one year to do each quad and I could choose whatever one I wanted. I did many of the pines quads until I tired of it. They did not want any info concerning dwellings, roads, fire towers etc.
 

Boyd

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Interesting. USGS maps 2011 vs 2019 of Chatsworth NJ. Where did the roads go?

The maps in your screenshot are digital products and not the same "USGS Topo Maps" we have been discussing. We are talking about the legacy USGS 7.5 minute 1:24000 topo maps (sometimes called 24k topos) that were drawn and updated by hand. Not sure where those 2011 and 2019 dates are coming from, what app are you using?

This is the current version of "US Topo" directly from the USGS National Map servers, which (I think) matches your 2019 example.

https://boydsmaps.com/#15.00/39.803217/-74.579353/usgsTopo/0.00/0.00

Anyway, unless I am very mistaken any discussion of USGS topo maps for roads in the pine barrens is referencing the legacy maps (which USGS actually calls "Historical Topographic Maps" today).

https://boydsmaps.com/#15.00/39.803217/-74.579353/pines1999/0.00/0.00

The USGS has a FAQ about the differences between the historical and digital versions of the topo maps - here are a couple significant parts

"Historically, USGS topographic maps were made using data from primary sources including direct field observations. Those maps were compiled, drawn, and edited by hand. By today's standards, those traditional methods are very expensive and time-consuming, and the USGS no longer has funding to make maps that way."

"One of the main differences is that the historical USGS 7.5-minute topographic map series (produced 1945-1992) included feature classes that are not yet shown on US Topo maps (though more are added each year). Examples include recreational trails, pipelines, power lines, survey markers, many types of boundaries, and many types of buildings."


The USGS maps have been pretty much been put on the back burner.

As they say, they can't afford to make maps that way anymore and they don't show the type of features you used to gather. They do say they are adding more, and that is true, they are showing buildings and forest shading now for example. But I think this is all done by processing imagery on a large scale, not sending out a guy with a gps or having somebody sit at a computer to update individual quads.
 

Boyd

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Happy to hear that you still enjoy it! In the Pines, the roads on that map are basically the same as my 2017 Topo. My 2020 topo is a major upgrade, as summarized below. But I no longer offer Garmin maps - their format is not capable of supporting maps with the amount of detail that I now use.

* Almost 1.8 million buildings from Microsofts US Building Footprint dataset, providing complete coverage throughout the region
* More than 1.4 million New Jersey tax parcel boundaries from 2020 data
* Over 4,400 historical building locations, hand-traced from vintage aerial imagery and topographic maps
* Almost 2,500 miles of HD unpaved roads, hand-traced from aerial imagery and USGS 24k topo maps
* Unique new landcover includes graphic representations of forests, crops, marshes, bogs, beaches, gravel pits and more
* New contour lines with 5-foot intervals, created from 2020 USGS 3DEP 1/3 arc-second (10-meter) DEM
* More historical towns and points of interest from vintage topographic maps
* Extended coverage North to Interstate 195, adding about 370 square miles to the map
* New map-making workflow with less image compression provides enhanced clarity and less distortion

New features from 2020 NJDEP data:

* Greatly expanded openspace
* Over 300 miles of hiking trails
* Parking areas, boat launches, picnic areas, campsites and restrooms
* NJ Natural Heritage Priority Sites
* Solar power facilities
* Earthquake epicenters
* Landfill locations
 
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ecampbell

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Jan 2, 2003
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Happy to hear that you still enjoy it! In the Pines, the roads on that map are basically the same as my 2017 Topo. My 2020 topo is a major upgrade, as summarized below. But I no longer offer Garmin maps - their format is not capable of supporting maps with the amount of detail that I now use.

* Almost 1.8 million buildings from Microsofts US Building Footprint dataset, providing complete coverage throughout the region
* More than 1.4 million New Jersey tax parcel boundaries from 2020 data
* Over 4,400 historical building locations, hand-traced from vintage aerial imagery and topographic maps
* Almost 2,500 miles of HD unpaved roads, hand-traced from aerial imagery and USGS 24k topo maps
* Unique new landcover includes graphic representations of forests, crops, marshes, bogs, beaches, gravel pits and more
* New contour lines with 5-foot intervals, created from 2020 USGS 3DEP 1/3 arc-second (10-meter) DEM
* More historical towns and points of interest from vintage topographic maps
* Extended coverage North to Interstate 195, adding about 370 square miles to the map
* New map-making workflow with less image compression provides enhanced clarity and less distortion


New features from 2020 NJDEP data:

* Greatly expanded openspace
* Over 300 miles of hiking trails
* Parking areas, boat launches, picnic areas, campsites and restrooms
* NJ Natural Heritage Priority Sites
* Solar power facilities
* Earthquake epicenters
* Landfill locations
From a road viewpoint your 2020 topo is very good. It has the trails as I see them when I hike.
 
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Boyd

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My version is also 1995, but printed in 2001.

https://boydsmaps.com/#16.00/40.169076/-74.147834/pines1999/0.00/0.00

I had a lot of the paper USGS topo maps in a few mailing tubes. When I moved here from a larger home in 2006, I put a bunch of my stuff in storage. Unfortunately all those paper maps were ruined with water damage. But that's fine, I prefer digital now. :)

I have processed my topo's at 2x higher resolution than most other sites/apps. Later this year I hope to introduce a new version of these old topo's that covers a larger geographic area - initially it will be the same as my Mid Atlantic LIDAR map. I love these old maps and want to offer high resolution versions across multiple states. I don't know of any other source for that... or at least not any other free source.
 

G. Russell Juelg

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Jul 31, 2006
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Sorry, I haven't been posting here in quite a while. Good to be back. I do have direct connections to the Fix Our Parks campaign, and I think a lot of people here will support it. If you go to the site, you can read Mike VanClef's report, so you can get the main information right from the horse's mouth. That's a much better approach than getting second hand info that may be flawed by vague innuendo and negative insinuations. The big, long term goal is to establish a foundation that will support initiatives to improve the parks ("parks" being used a broad sense, to include all state lands). Everything from maintenance of roads and structures to providing more resources for staff. Meanwhile, there are also intermediate and short term goals. There are things the state could be and should be doing right now, such as more effective enforcement of regulations against dumping, poaching, and illegal ORV activity. The mapping of legitimate lanes of travel for motorized vehicles is an open question. The DEP and the Pinelands Commission both consider the Pinelands Commission map created in 2017 for WSF as the "baseline" for an official map. There's obviously considerable expertise among folks on this forum, and from what I have heard, DEP is going to provide a process for public input before adopting such a map (if, indeed, it ever really does). In the meantime, hopefully, rational minds will agree that it's just simply unacceptable for people to create roads and dirt bike trails, without official permission, where they didn't formerly exist.
 

Ben Ruset

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In the meantime, hopefully, rational minds will agree that it's just simply unacceptable for people to create roads and dirt bike trails, without official permission, where they didn't formerly exist.
Welcome back!

I don't think that there's a single person here who would argue against your statement.
 
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