I logged in here to post/discuss exactly this. Small areas being closed (blue holes, etc.) I can understand but closing an entire WMA (Menantico)?
Since this is done in the interest of public safety, is it really unreasonable to expect that they can arrest/charge the offenders if they're in high enough density to warrant closing the place entirely?
That really seems severe. It must have something to do with them knowing they do not have enough park police to patrol. In the summer the priorities are the shore area's that the state runs. It is just easier for them to close it. If I lived there and frequented it I would be pissed.
Something that always confuses me in these "closure" statements, but I think I know the answer. Taking Menantico as one example, obviously the roads within are closed and the whole area is basically no access. My question is about Greenwood and areas similar, they call out 2 areas within the WMA and their bordering roads like Bryant, Jones, Lauries and a few others that are not relegated within the closure area of the WMA, are these roads closed to public access also, or open as a pass through? My guess is open as 539 is one of the "border" roads. Also on the matter of patrolling for my safety, I understand LEO is LEO, however isn't conservation responsible to patrol WMA's? I get there are less of them than SPP and more traffic in these areas for the summer than during hunting season, but as we have said here in the past, one mass showing, many tickets and impounds and the state adhering to their agreement of rec areas for riders would slow the draw to these areas.
Lastly, I frequent some of these areas during certain seasons, like to visit them in others because I can (or used to be able to), some I've never been to, however any closure pisses me off no matter where it is.
I'm just going to leave this email I sent a couple weeks ago to friends right here. Yeah, I know, we need more enforcement, but consider that the area from Whiting down south to route 532 and west to 539 and east to the parkway & Lacey Road has many different land owners, complicating chase and secure tactics. The future could be enforcement agreements between the landowners and a fee and/or yearly registration to drive through the woods. I'm not kidding, it's really bad out there now. A slow ride through the woods on a weekend here is no longer enjoyable.
"I’ve been in Greenwood Forest and the Ashmun Preserve area several times over the past week, and the quantity of dirt bikers and ATV’s is outrageous. Entire families and groups of friends are congregating together for picnic/riding parties on the weekends. There were 5 trucks on that little 1 acre lot FRM Coalition owns alone. It has the feeling of hopelessness to it. And this after living in this area since 1982, it shocked even me. When riding through, they catch up to you, and after passing recklessly, they love doing wheelies in front of you to show off."
Great point on the land ownership Bob, however I thought LEO can enforce on private property when public roads were involved, not that I want to debate law and etc. just a question is all. We have discussed the permit thing here before and I for one would like to stay far away from it, but it appears to be imminent.
Joe, what does LEO stand for? I assume something about land ownership? I don't know the answer about whether they can enforce on roads running through private lands, but if they are all breaking for lunch on said private land, I suppose all they can do is warn. That's quite a patchwork of roads in there, hard to untangle ownership. I recall NJ Conservation had an agreement with JPCL to police the power lines, but that's undoable. The poor NJCF land steward only has a private truck, is alone, and.....well, you get it.
LEO = Law Enforcement Officer. Agreed, it is quite a hodgepodge in there, and I get it about the NJCF guy. For kicks I asked a friend of mine who is a police officer and this was his take on the private property and enforcement question:
If the violation occurred on a public road they sure can. Private property doesn't suddenly become a magic “base” where you are immune like when you played tag or jailbreak as a kid
Ugh. One of my favorite little getaways was that WMA in Winslow. I can see why they closed it, jerks have left a bunch of trash near the water and rusted grills, and two folding chairs.
As usual these rules will only affect the people who aren't litter bugs
I am confused, the description for Greenwood WMA starts with a place referred to as "Parkers Pit" being between 539 and Jones Road. This is called 539 pit and was closed last year too. Parkers 1st pit on Lacey Rd. was also closed last year. The gate is still closed although people still drive back there.
I tried to get into Menantico yesterday.Did not know it was closed.I had to go around and park near my daughters and walk in from there.Took the grandyoungun walkin the crik. This is a major fishing area for the state and you now have to pay a launch fee.Anyone who has paid a launch fee should be demanding their fee back.I like having the place to myself but really it's BS.Those woods belong to the people of the state not some Ahole in Trenton
Article on the Patch claiming there's plans to cut NJDEP's budget by almost 35% and what effect it will have on state parks, forests and other natural areas.
It also talks about how much it's already been cut.
They don't have enough money to patrol the wma's but they have enough money to pay to officers in two different vehicles to set out in front of the Menantico gate and BS for who knows how long.Yes I"ve seen it.
Gerry sent me some info on that Milleville situation.
Tonight the Millville City Commission took a strong stand against the state's closure of the Menantico Ponds WMA (full disclosure I wrote to the commission back in early May about this). The resolution against the closure passed 5-0 and the commission will now be pushing the Cumberland Co. commissioners to get on board and also urge the state legislators to address this issue. I am thinking this issue might now have some political legs and last year's "emergency" closures that have now morphed into "seasonal" closures might finally face some serious opposition. The link to the meeting is below, as well as a summary of when the Menantico matter was discussed. Four of the five city commissioners commented strongly against the closure, one calling the policy "ass backwards." Good for Millville.
Pre-resolution comment of citizen in support of the closure: 9:36—11:30.
Resolution introduction, discussion and action by commission: 1:11:44—1:17:15.
Post resolution comment by citizen (Rev. Kenyon) in opposition of closure (“It’s our land!”): 1:24:07—1:27:04.