NJ Pinelands Comprehensive Management Plan

G. Russell Juelg

Explorer
Jul 31, 2006
284
51
Burlington County
I think the point of discussing anything (especially in a "forum") is try to reach better understanding of the topic. There's a lot of angles to this topic, and a lot of misunderstanding, much of it generated by a lack of knowledge, such as the knowledge I am trying to acquire specific to the responsibilities and authority of the Pinelands Commission with regard to the issues. I'm a little clearer on it now than I was before. Your post is long and covers a lot of ground. I agree with some of it and disagree with some other parts of it. We could have a cordial debate, and ignore the folks who post here in the spirit of grandstanding and trolling. I mean, the various points you raise illustrate the complexity of the topic, don't they?
For example, the Pinelands Commission doesn't have any "new powers to close roads." It merely has, and has had, from the beginning, the regulatory authority to, shall we say, legally restrict motorized activities in the Pinelands. But, as discussed above, the Commission was never granted effective authority by the NJ State Legislature. The legislature never gave the Pinelands Commission an effective way to generally enforce its regulations. It doesn't have the power to cite offenders and assess penalties. It can only say, "This is the way things should be, with respect to motorized traffic within the Pinelands." Then it defers to the NJDEP when it comes to enforcement.

The problem is that the NJDEP (historically, and most decidedly since the Christie administration) has been shirking its responsibility to enforce even the most common sense regulations designed to rein in bad motorized behaviors. The result, quite predictably, has been that bad actors are emboldened to continue their violations. Essentially, the NJDEP has systematically and consistently cultivated an atmosphere of lawlessness. By depriving law enforcement officials of resources. By failing to address habitat damage and destruction. By failing to require law enforcement officers to stop the complicity, sympathy, and leniency toward the offenders. Yes, the New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection has been failing the citizens of New Jersey. Regularly and systematically.

This could change...
 

bobpbx

Piney
Staff member
Oct 25, 2002
14,419
4,541
Pines; Bamber area
By the way Russ, I was one of the few people to see that infamous post of yours about a month ago wherein you were attacked by the opposite side of us who want you to back off in your quest to close roads. They attacked you for going too slow and steady by showing some respect of DEP leaders while also trying to win hearts and minds to your side. They were downright nasty to you. How do you put up with this battering from both sides? Why not get into something about the pines that is fun and interesting instead of all this grief you suffer?
 
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Gibby

Piney
Apr 4, 2011
1,641
442
Trenton
I heard a public announcement on the radio several times in the last few days that was a surprise. The attorney general was stating that off road vehicles can only be ridden on private property. The message was quite clear that if any rider was caught on a public road, state property, park or forest that their vehicle will be confiscated and the driver/rider would receive the appropriate tickets. I wonder if there will be an increase in patrols this coming holiday weekend at the hot spots?
 

Piney4life

Explorer
Oct 8, 2015
381
128
52
Waterford
I heard a public announcement on the radio several times in the last few days that was a surprise. The attorney general was stating that off road vehicles can only be ridden on private property. The message was quite clear that if any rider was caught on a public road, state property, park or forest that their vehicle will be confiscated and the driver/rider would receive the appropriate tickets. I wonder if there will be an increase in patrols this coming holiday weekend at the hot spots?
What if the atv is registered and insured under nj title 39 mvc code ?
 

G. Russell Juelg

Explorer
Jul 31, 2006
284
51
Burlington County
By the way Russ, I was one of the few people to see that infamous post of yours about a month ago wherein you were attacked by the opposite side of us who want you to back off in your quest to close roads. They attacked you for going too slow and steady by showing some respect of DEP leaders while also trying to win hearts and minds to your side. They were downright nasty to you. How do you put up with this battering from both sides? Why not get into something about the pines that is fun and interesting instead of all this grief you suffer?
When I was a little kid, growing up in San Antonio, I had illusions of possibly finding buried treasure. My brother and I concocted all kinds of reasons to think that this or that spot might be a good place to dig. We had shovels, a pickax, a post hole digger and whatever else, and really put in some time at various spots, mostly in the backyard.

Also, I was very much in love with Tom Sawyer, Huckleberry Finn, Robin Hood, The Lone Ranger, The Rifleman, Zoro, King Arthur and his Knights, and, of course, Jim Hawkins of Treasure Island. I can remember for a long time wishing my life could be adventurous, like the lives of those characters. All I was doing was going to school, doing my chores, playing football, baseball, fishing, swimming, riding bicycles and the like.

Well, later on, I did have some good adventures, before settling down as a husband and a dad.

But one of the things I began to realize is that I’m still looking for treasure; it’s just a different kind of treasure. I discovered some of it while I was in college, mostly because I had some very good professors, and also, I finally got around to reading Plato. That treasure is truth. It can be found by a different kind of digging, which involves humility, patience, study, reason, logic, and rational discourse.

When my brother and I were digging, we got dirty, we got blisters on our hands, sometimes cuts, scratches, and bruises. Sometimes we found unusual rocks, or we discovered we had to chop out a tree root before we could make any more progress. Sometimes it would rain, and our hole would fill up with mud.

So now, when I’m searching for truth, I think of it as sometimes being similar to those days. There are obstacles, sometimes people who are like those tree roots. Rational discourse is one of the hardest things to do, and very few people really want to do it or even know what it is. Sometimes they actually get mad at you for trying to get them to do it. We all have our prejudices that we try to keep and guard.

But, anyway, sorry for the long story, but maybe that gives you an idea why I put up with battering. I don’t feel any grief because I’m too caught up in the treasure hunt.
 
Last edited:

bobpbx

Piney
Staff member
Oct 25, 2002
14,419
4,541
Pines; Bamber area
You have to look at the context. Bob was inaccurately and vaguely claiming I had a beef with "lawmakers." The CMP is not a law. It's a set of regulations.
Hey, hold on there pal. You were complaining that the PC has no powers. You said "the Commission was never granted effective authority by the NJ State Legislature. The legislature never gave the Pinelands Commission an effective way to generally enforce its regulations."

That is why I said you had a beef with lawmakers. Only they can give the PC those powers.
 

G. Russell Juelg

Explorer
Jul 31, 2006
284
51
Burlington County
Hey, hold on there pal. You were complaining that the PC has no powers. You said "the Commission was never granted effective authority by the NJ State Legislature. The legislature never gave the Pinelands Commission an effective way to generally enforce its regulations."

That is why I said you had a beef with lawmakers. Only they can give the PC those powers.
Sorry, it wasn't clear to me that was your meaning. I can think of three possible ways that the CMP could be enforced, in the context of illegal riding.

One would be for the state legislature to grant the Commission power to cite offenders and collect fines. The likelihood of that happening anytime soon is probably zero. And even if the Commission did have those powers, the Commission doesn't have a police force, so how would it catch offenders?

The second way the CMP could be enforced would be for the Commission to file suit against the offenders. In this case, there are two sets of offenders. One set is the actual miscreants who flagrantly and deliberately degrade wildlife habitats by wrecking streams, ponds, etc. But, again, the Commission has no police force. The other offenders are the township officials, the law enforcement officers, and the DEP Commissioners who have left this problem unaddressed for decades. I don't have any reason to believe the Commission would file a suit against any of those entities. And even if it did, it's not clear what the remedy might be. I guess a judge could direct all those entities to start taking effective action to rein in the illegal behaviors.

The third way the CMP could be enforced would be for the three entities, above, to just start doing it. That would require everybody to stop the complicity, leniency, and permissiveness and start investing more time and effort. My township doesn't have a police force, but it could help educate, put up signage, and construct barriers and cameras. Police officers could write citations when the opportunity is present and do more special operations. The DEP Commissioner could stop sending the message that illegal riders are "stakeholders," and he could direct more resources to state park police.

Ultimately, there needs to be a comprehensive plan supported by the governor, the state legislature, law enforcement, and the DEP. And, yes, it requires the DEP to create maps showing the legitimate road systems on state lands. And those official maps have to be created in conformity with official regulations, such as the CMP.

And, by the way, the newspapers could help, too, especially if they stop characterizing this as a debate between birdwatchers and riders. It's a debate between, on the one side, law-abiding citizens and conservationists, and, on the other side, lawbreakers.
 
Last edited:
Apr 6, 2004
3,619
564
Galloway
When I was a little kid, growing up in San Antonio, I had illusions of possibly finding buried treasure. My brother and I concocted all kinds of reasons to think that this or that spot might be a good place to dig. We had shovels, a pickax, a post hole digger and whatever else, and really put in some time at various spots, mostly in the backyard.

Also, I was very much in love with Tom Sawyer, Huckleberry Finn, Robin Hood, The Lone Ranger, The Rifleman, Zoro, King Arthur and his Knights, and, of course, Jim Hawkins of Treasure Island. I can remember for a long time wishing my life could be adventurous, like the lives of those characters. All I was doing was going to school, doing my chores, playing football, baseball, fishing, swimming, riding bicycles and the like.

Well, later on, I did have some good adventures, before settling down as a husband and a dad.

But one of the things I began to realize is that I’m still looking for treasure; it’s just a different kind of treasure. I discovered some of it while I was in college, mostly because I had some very good professors, and also, I finally got around to reading Plato. That treasure is truth. It can be found by a different kind of digging, which involves humility, patience, study, reason, logic, and rational discourse.

When my brother and I were digging, we got dirty, we got blisters on our hands, sometimes cuts, scratches, and bruises. Sometimes we found unusual rocks, or we discovered we had to chop out a tree root before we could make any more progress. Sometimes it would rain, and our hole would fill up with mud.

So now, when I’m searching for truth, I think of it as sometimes being similar to those days. There are obstacles, sometimes people who are like those tree roots. Rational discourse is one of the hardest things to do, and very few people really want to do it or even know what it is. Sometimes they actually get mad at you for trying to get them to do it. We all have our prejudices that we try to keep and guard.

But, anyway, sorry for the long story, but maybe that gives you an idea why I put up with battering. I don’t feel any grief because I’m too caught up in the treasure hunt.
Beautifully-worded. I feel the same way.
 

enormiss

Explorer
Aug 18, 2015
592
385
Atco NJ

G. Russell Juelg

Explorer
Jul 31, 2006
284
51
Burlington County
I was really just curious, general question. Think I found a recent document/answer (sounds like NO to me)


Vehicular pursuit policy is almost at the end/bottom.
It's definitely "No." And, I hope we all agree that makes sense, because chasing increases the chances of somebody having an accident. An unintended consequence of that policy, though, is that it cultivates lawlessness. If illegal riders flee from police because they know that police won't chase them, they have not only embraced the illegal activity, they have also embraced evading law enforcement officers. How many of us would believe that these miscreants are not generally scofflaws? Is it logical to think that they are general good, law-abiding citizens, but they reserve the right to act unlawfully only in this specific situation?
 
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