I'm right with you. There IS a problem with people taking ORVs and destroying wetlands, crashing through streams, digging ruts, etc. It would be immensely helpful to have a map (lower case) of the pines showing where and where you can't drive. Not only just for that but navigating in general.I was referring to the 501c comment. The "drum" is not perceived, it is real. I am with Horner about the idiots who make a fetish of riding through the pines, make videos crashing through streams, spungs, and winching themselves out. The work the PPA does to protect the pines is real, and not just the ORV issue. Al is just, as you said, supercilious about everything. It's too bad because his message gets lost.
It would have been great to see the PPA lead the effort and be inclusive of other groups. Sure, they might disagree, but there's always going to be en element of compromise needed to make the most amount of people happy. There will always be people who won't like it, and that's a shame.
Al, and several other PPA people, seem to have a very black and white "if you're not FOR me you're AGAINST me" attitude. The problem is that you're going to alienate a lot of people, and when your response to that is "Fuck them, they'll get over it in time" it just shows how extreme the leadership has got. I don't doubt that Al believes the things that he's saying and that he has a genuine love for the Pine Barrens. But his attitude is so bad that he can't help but repel people who at least agree in principal. And, like it or not, Al is the face of the PPA when he comes online and tries to bully his agenda through.
In1998, when I first started getting involved with exploring the Pine Barrens, I was actually really happy that there was a group dedicating to preserving and protecting such a special place. I even owned a PPA shirt and wore it with pride. To see an organization that has the capability of doing so much good alienate everybody with their terrible PR... it's just sad. They lost a lot of credibility with the way they went about the MAP, and now who is going to take them seriously on any issue? Why is it that an organization like the PPA can't realize that you catch more flies with honey than vinegar?
One thing that Al said yesterday that stuck out was that the MAP was actually led by people in Trenton. As far as I remember there were no emails between Rob and people from Trenton discussing the planning of it, logistics, sending off GIS data, talking about what roads to mark as being closed, etc. - all the things you'd expect to hear from a superintendent reporting back to the powers that be in Trenton. I remember that the DEP officials that I spoke to were genuinely surprised about this, and that they were not happy with what they saw was an overreach on Rob's part. What we did see was a lot of emails with a lot of back patting between Rob and the PPA over this. Volunteers from the PPA helped to design the MAP. The PPA had a lot of input on deciding what roads to close on the MAP.
Like I said, there should be a map. A bunch of people from all of the various user groups should get in a room and collaborate to come up with something reasonable. Is it a lot of work? Yes. Is it a lot of HARD work? Yes. Will people agree on everything? No. Will it be ugly at times? Maybe. But at the end of the day nobody, not even the ORV crowd I think, wants to see the Pine Barrens be destroyed. We're all on the same team here. Too bad the PPA won't acknowledge that.