Many agree on need to thin pinelands, but disagree on whether to use fire or ax

mudboy dave

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Oct 15, 2008
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alright heres my view it may be harsh but BURN IT or let it be. If it werent for us, humans, "the invaders". the forest would take its NATURAL course and burn down once in a while. Axes don't come natural with the forest. I also understand that controlled burns arent natural either . but at leats fire is more of a natural course than "controlled cutting
 

MartGBC

Scout
Sep 10, 2008
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I am for controled cutting and planting. This method can provide jobs and resources. Trees are a renewable resource unlike oil. I do not mind the woods burning but that is something that has a possiblity of getting out of control by accident. You can be selective on what to cut by logging.
 

bobpbx

Piney
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Oct 25, 2002
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I am for controled cutting and planting. This method can provide jobs and resources. Trees are a renewable resource unlike oil. I do not mind the woods burning but that is something that has a possiblity of getting out of control by accident. You can be selective on what to cut by logging.
Mart, I love the pines just the way they are thank you. The article is pure bullcrap, promoted by somebody with an agenda. He has no right to suggest anything, it is our land too, and we like it wild, just the way it is.
 

usafvet

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Sep 15, 2008
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Remember we live in the wonderful state of New Jersey where someone is always looking to cash in, and cash in on a quick dime. Yes logging has occurred in the pines but look how many decades is has taken and will continue to take to replenish the Atlantic White Cedars. The cedars will NEVER be in the numbers they once were. Anyway I agree with Bobpbx there is an agenda here and it only looks like a money maker....my opinion.
 

freerider

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Jan 3, 2008
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Seems to me the real caretakers of the Pine Barrens are those of us on this sight and others who spend our time among this wonderful treasure.

Sure there are official sources paid to do some things. But it is our voice, labor and love for the pines that can secure this wonderful land for our present and future generations.

Some of the land will need to burn. Some of it will need to be thinned.

Perhaps we could develop an official volunteer Pine Barrens Caretaker force. Which could monitor and be a care taker for various sections and keep it green and clean.

I'll start by taking on the East Plains - Warren Grove area.

Perhaps others will buy a few pieces of land and preserve it permanently too.
 

mudboy dave

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Oct 15, 2008
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Seems to me the real caretakers of the Pine Barrens are those of us on this sight and others who spend our time among this wonderful treasure.

Sure there are official sources paid to do some things. But it is our voice, labor and love for the pines that can secure this wonderful land for our present and future generations.

Some of the land will need to burn. Some of it will need to be thinned.

Perhaps we could develop an official volunteer Pine Barrens Caretaker force. Which could monitor and be a care taker for various sections and keep it green and clean.

I'll start by taking on the East Plains - Warren Grove area.

Perhaps others will buy a few pieces of land and preserve it permanently too.
I like it!!!!! i'd have no problem taking care of the "Burnt Mill" area of Wharton. I was out there last night and unfortunately noone from the cleanup hity that area. I would love to take care of that section. A little help would be nice though:)
 

Ben Ruset

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I used to be very pro controlled burns, thinning underbrush, etc. After spending a lot more time in the woods, seeing several fires, and many conversations with folks who know a LOT more than I do about the woods, I'm right there with Bob.

Obviously when there is a large fire you want to try to put it out. But trying to do anything more than small controlled burns is not right for the forest.

I don't feel sorry for anybody who bought a house in the woods and had it burn down. (The folks in Barnegat who got hit by the Warren Grove fire especially.) Clear enough of a buffer around your house, buy houses made of fire resistant material, and keep your fire insurance policies paid up.
 

Boyd

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Mart, I love the pines just the way they are thank you. The article is pure bullcrap,
Amen to that, I couldn't agree more.

I don't feel sorry for anybody who bought a house in the woods and had it burn down.
I live in the woods myself, my house isn't "fireproof" (maybe I should get some bunker plans from Tom? :) ) and I have virtually no buffer. But my insurance is paid up. I guess one out of three ain't bad?

Seriously, I know there's a risk involved with living here and it's one which I accept. There are plenty of bad things which might happen in your development as well. And if they did, I would probably feel sorry for you.
 

GermanG

Piney
Apr 2, 2005
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I agree with Bob in that the independent forester quoted in the article definitely has his own self serving agenda regarding thinning or logging the forests, and any recommendations he makes have to be scrutinized with that bias in mind. But that fact does not rule out potential value of selective cutting as a management tool in some cases. The NJ Forest Resource Education Center in Jackson has an excellent example of an upland pine barrens savannah that was recreated by a combination of thinning and prescribed burning. And while fire is the primary “natural” creator of the disturbed sites that many of the rarest and most interesting plants in the barrens can be found, I know of just as many sites that were logging or borrow pit sites. His comment regarding pine snakes in nonsense because most endangered species don’t need protection. Their habitat does. Fire does not destroy pine snake habitat as he claims, while the building he mentions does.

As for protection from forest fires, it really doesn’t matter how the fuel is reduced, be it mechanical removal or fire. It just happens that fire is the most cost effective method by far to reduce fuel in large tracts of land. Trying to decide what is the most natural course of action is difficult, because while fire is natural in the pines, prescribed burns nowhere near duplicate the effects of a wildfire. And we can’t simply “let it burn” as has been suggested. I’m all for doing that where it is safe to do so, but NJ has far too many developed areas in close proximity to forested areas to allow wildfires to go unchecked for environmental reasons, and the Forest Fire Service is charged as much with protecting human life and property as it is protecting the forests.

I also take issue with some of the statements by the woodcock hunter. While habitat diversity is a good thing, and younger forests do tend to have more plant and animal species inhabiting them, saying that nothing lives in mature forest in nonsense. Younger forests favor certain species and mature forests favor others. A woodcock hunter will do better in a young, open forest while a turkey hunter might seek out more mature forests. Just like the logger, the hunter’s views were based on his own bias. Forest management isn’t as much about the impossible task of finding the “right” thing to do, as it is the complex juggling of all the agendas, bias and demands of all the various user groups.
 

MartGBC

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Sep 10, 2008
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The fact is everybody has an agenda. The forester can say the same thing about the people against him as what they say about him. I know the forester in the article personally and I find it funny how people are so against any forester suggesting any type of management plan. I have not heard anybody having a problem with the millions of trees he has planted over the years. I also find it funny how people are so against forest management but have no problem enjoying that wooden desk or table thier computer is sitting on. The fact is everybody has to compromise and meet in the middle.
 

Ben Ruset

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Seriously, I know there's a risk involved with living here and it's one which I accept. There are plenty of bad things which might happen in your development as well. And if they did, I would probably feel sorry for you.
Ah, but there's the rub. Many people choose to live in the woods and not accept the risk. Look at how many people want to close down Warren Grove after the fire.

I live less than 500 feet from tidal water. I choose to live here, and if a flood happens I'm not going to get mad at the water for doing it.

It's all about choices, and taking responsibility for the outcome of those choices. Whether or not you buy a house in Barnegat, live near the water, or buy a condo next to a pig farm - there's choices and consequences.

After the fire happened, the APP was awash of stories of people who lost everything in the fire, and full of comments of people who wanted nothing more than to close down the range and knock down all of the trees. Those are the sorts of people who I wouldn't feel sorry for if their houses burnt down.
 

woodjin

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Nov 8, 2004
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I don't feel sorry for anybody who bought a house in the woods and had it burn down. (The folks in Barnegat who got hit by the Warren Grove fire especially.) Clear enough of a buffer around your house, buy houses made of fire resistant material, and keep your fire insurance policies paid up.
I don't know, this can be devestating to people. Sometimes buffers and fire resistant material won't protect you and fire insurance can't cover the setimental value of many household items. My last house and the house i'm in now are both within dangerous areas in the case of a forest fire. I would certainly praise the forest fire service very much if they could protect me.

Jeff