Guest Opinion: Devise a user-friendly vision for the Pinelands (Albert Horner)

bobpbx

Piney
Staff member
Oct 25, 2002
11,852
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Pines; Bamber area
Please, allow me to comment.

"Everyone needs a map, but none exist. The DEP refuses to issue a map for Wharton, although two have been developed. GPS does not work in the Pinelands. Maps can tell people where they can travel safely. "

We don't need another map. There are plenty of maps developed by government agencies and private organizations that are available.

"There should be maintenance of all roads that remain accessible to vehicles. Many roads in the Pinelands are single-lane sand roads and can be problematic if not maintained. Off-roading has destroyed most of the interior sand roads."

Agree but not with last sentence. That is hyperbole.

"Signs should be posted on all sand, gravel and paved roads, and hiking and biking trails. People are afraid to go in the Pinelands for fear of getting lost."

No we don't need signs. That is part of the fun, not having signs. If you are afraid, learn to read maps and aerials or stay away. This is not a tourist attraction. Facebook already has Pineland communities that help guide others.

"Restroom facilities in the form of portable potties should be placed in remote areas."

Absolutely not in the pines in remote areas. That is a dumb idea Al. Put them at strategic places on well-traveled hard roads only.

"More hiking, biking and horse trails should be added. There are far too few. "

Says who? There are plenty. Most people don't mind the trails we have now.

"There should be trails to natural areas like gravel hills that were created at the ice age recession, intermittent ponds, vernal pools, paleo dunes and cedar forests, along with weather-protected explainers informing visitors about the importance of these areas."

Okay, but I've never seen a sign that did not deteriorate quickly. Do it, but do it right.

"Ban the practice of sanctioning off-road-vehicle events. They are disturbingly noisy, dirty, and environmentally destructive to the Pinelands. They displace people and wildlife from the surrounding areas. "

No, Al. It's not just your forest. People have been holding enduro events for the last 75 years. Let them continue.
 

Broke Jeep Joe

Explorer
Mar 8, 2006
607
301
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Waterford Twp
Great points on all counts Bob. I have to agree with Guy also. As we have all discussed in the past if they (PPA) could lose the spewage hyperbolic rhetoric and come together with the other groups the PPA could be so much more to the public than what it is today, mostly viewed as Preventing Public Access. I'd like to cover a couple points myself:

Add more trails? why? isn't there current support from the PPA to close trails and roads? Besides, hikers, bikers, horses and vehicles all share the same trails not to mention the aforementioned 3 have their own circuit that eliminates MV traffic.

I agree mostly with the road maintenance as well, however, we all need to remember these are unimproved roads, meaning not meant for travel by "standard automobiles" produced today, most models are just not built without pavement in mind. Full access can be had by all, some of us drive, ride motorcycles or horses and walk. There is full access without a standard or any other automobile, not sure where he was going with this statement.

Adding signs to roads i disagree with, I go to the pines to get away from all that (sign, sign, everywhere a sign) maybe we should do toll booths and exits too? then we could put in rest stops and Al can have his bathrooms in remote areas. The bathroom thing is ridiculous in my opinion, it invites trouble.

If fear is stopping the public from going to the pines, then I agree with Bob also, the person that fears getting lost or cant navigate without signs should not go.

Lastly, my GPS works fine in the pines.
 
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Teegate

Administrator
Site Administrator
Sep 17, 2002
22,508
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I also have never had my GPS not work in the pines. It may not be super accurate when in a cedar swamp of dense woods, but it always works and gets me to where I want to go.
 

Pinesbucks

Explorer
Apr 15, 2013
256
69
28
I disagree with quite a bit of this. There are plenty of maps that show most roads in the pines. I have two topos that are always in my truck that encompass the core of the pines. We do not need a MAP. We do need to fix some of the roads and keep them maintained. We do not need any more trails. We have plenty between fire cuts etc. this is not central park. We need signs? It's about being in the woods not in a city. If you need a sign on a road you are likely missing the point of being there and should visit atlantic city they have plenty.

Also we do not need to put in porta John's or rest rooms. That will just take away from the feel of wilderness. These will also be destroyed or damaged by the people in society who cannot help themselves.

Oh and about the GPS. My compass and GPS always work in the pines.
 
T

Toothy Critter

Guest
I for one like the Pines just the way it is for the most part. I actually don"t want more visitors. I don't want more bicycles. I don't want more horses. I love the solitude. I don\t want more signs. I don't want more maps to allow more people access. I don't want bigger roads. I don't want the pines turned into a "park". Along with more access comes more people. Along with more people comes more cars, and the need for more parking. Next comes bigger and noisier camping facilities Next comes the concession stands. Then the lines of traffic like at Yellowstone. Can't we please just have a quiet, remote place for a few souls that like to escape the modern world. Why do we have to "tame" the Pines. I say...just stay the hell out unless you have a sense of adventure. But that's just me
 

Broke Jeep Joe

Explorer
Mar 8, 2006
607
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Waterford Twp
I for one like the Pines just the way it is for the most part. I actually don"t want more visitors. I don't want more bicycles. I don't want more horses. I love the solitude. I don\t want more signs. I don't want more maps to allow more people access. I don't want bigger roads. I don't want the pines turned into a "park". Along with more access comes more people. Along with more people comes more cars, and the need for more parking. Next comes bigger and noisier camping facilities Next comes the concession stands. Then the lines of traffic like at Yellowstone. Can't we please just have a quiet, remote place for a few souls that like to escape the modern world. Why do we have to "tame" the Pines. I say...just stay the hell out unless you have a sense of adventure. But that's just me
This could not have been said any better, I applaud you sir!
 

bicycle tim

Scout
Jun 9, 2018
45
52
18
tabernacle, nj
Went for a ride on Bailey Rd. in F. Parker Preserve off of Chatsworth-Barnegat Rd. Saw at least a dozen deer, a bald eagle, too many squirrels to count, and I think a small pack of coyotes that ran away before I could ID them. In three hours over 17+ miles I didn't encounter one fellow human being. A perfect afternoon in my opinion. Signs, toilets, graded trails, etc. would have only detracted from a most enjoyable day. Also, when the sun went behind a cloud the compass and GPS on my cell phone told me everything I needed to know.
 

46er

BANNED
Mar 24, 2004
8,838
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Coastal NJ
Someone with the burning desire should form a 501c(3) to provide a voice to confront those wanting change, such as what Mr Horner and company want. I know of none that has a stated objective of maintaining what exists. Unorganization doesn't level mountains. The last go 'round brought about a delay and shows what can be done, but it has to be a continuing effort. Just sayin'.
 
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SuperChooch

Explorer
Aug 26, 2011
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Someone with the burning desire should form a 501c(3) to provide a voice to confront those wanting change, such as what Mr Horner and company want. I know of none that has a stated objective of maintaining what exists. Unorganization doesn't level mountains. The last go 'round brought about a delay and shows what can be done, but it has to be a continuing effort. Just sayin'.
This is exactly what Open Trails NJ exists for:


"To create a non-profit organization dedicated to restoring and maintaining access to Wharton and other state parks in New Jersey."

Granted, we have less visible externally, because there hasn't been any real developments of late, but we are still active, still meet regularly, still maintain contact with the State, etc. That being said, we are all unpaid volunteers with jobs and families and such and so we are always looking for help. If anyone has any ideas for us or would like to help out, please feel free to @mention me here or contact me on my OTNJ email address: john.druding@opentrailsnj.org
 

46er

BANNED
Mar 24, 2004
8,838
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Coastal NJ
This is exactly what Open Trails NJ exists for
I remember that group, but have heard nothing anywhere about it over the last year or so. The last time I checked, there had not been any activity on its forum for over a year. Thought it was disbanded. The fire has to be stoked to keep it burning. Just my experience being involved with non-profits; it's too easy to be forgotten, and yes, it takes a lot of commitment, time and work.
 

Broke Jeep Joe

Explorer
Mar 8, 2006
607
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Waterford Twp
This is exactly what Open Trails NJ exists for:


"To create a non-profit organization dedicated to restoring and maintaining access to Wharton and other state parks in New Jersey."

Granted, we have less visible externally, because there hasn't been any real developments of late, but we are still active, still meet regularly, still maintain contact with the State, etc. That being said, we are all unpaid volunteers with jobs and families and such and so we are always looking for help. If anyone has any ideas for us or would like to help out, please feel free to @mention me here or contact me on my OTNJ email address: john.druding@opentrailsnj.org
:rolleyes:
real developments? wow.
 

Boyd

Super Moderator
Staff member
Moderator
Jul 31, 2004
7,477
1,471
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Ben's Branch, Stephen Creek
This is exactly what Open Trails NJ exists for:
@SuperChooch - there seems to be a problem with the Open Trails site. When I click your link, I get this:

"There has been a critical error on your website.
Learn more about debugging in WordPress."


[edit] Actually, if I keep reloading the page, sometimes it works, other times it's blank, and other times I get the message above. Something's weird there.... here are the errors I'm getting

Screen Shot 2020-02-24 at 6.23.12 PM.png
 
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SuperChooch

Explorer
Aug 26, 2011
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:rolleyes:
real developments? wow.
I'm not entirely sure what the implication is here, but I'll explain what I mean. 46er actually hit the nail on the head: the fire has to be stoked to keep it burning and to further his analogy, I'll add that the the fire also needs fuel to burn. What I mean is that to publically rally large numbers of people to action, they need something to rally around. Aside from the handful of issues we have seen over the last couple years and the rants of a few extremists, there has not been any significant adversities on this front. As a result, it is difficult to rally for public action and not risk being dismissed as the boy who cried wolf. As I said before, we are still very active, currently in a less publicly visible form. (current website issues are unrelated, which I'll look into next :)) . That being said, I'm just offering my humble and fallible opinion and we are open to help and suggestions. If you are willing to help and have some ideas, reach out and let me know!
 

SuperChooch

Explorer
Aug 26, 2011
316
315
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44
@SuperChooch - there seems to be a problem with the Open Trails site. When I click your link, I get this:

"There has been a critical error on your website.
Learn more about debugging in WordPress."


[edit] Actually, if I keep reloading the page, sometimes it works, other times it's blank, and other times I get the message above. Something's weird there.... here are the errors I'm getting

View attachment 13080
Not sure what happened, but it looks like it is back up now.