NJ Pinelands Comprehensive Management Plan

bobpbx

Piney
Staff member
Oct 25, 2002
14,419
4,541
Pines; Bamber area
When my son was growing up, I bought him a Kawasaki 100 and showed him how to ride it on the trails behind Bamber. Then, I bought him a used 125 and he ran that around a bit, even in the sand plant next door. I'd do it again. He was not out testing spungs or wetlands. How many people on this board have done the same?
 
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G. Russell Juelg

Explorer
Jul 31, 2006
284
51
Burlington County
I wouldn't say everyone on an ATV is a bad person. I feel they deserve somewhere to recreate.
I see no point in having laws without intent to apprehend violators.
Said it many times, all you do is penalize the good
I also wouldn't say that everyone on an ATV is a bad person. But if they ride that ATV illegally, and flee from police, they are violators of multiple regulations. That's just a fact. And a lot of them are doing a lot of ecological damage. We can all feel whatever we feel about whether or not ATV riders "deserve" someplace to recreate. The state of New Jersey certainly doesn't take the position that they do. I also see no point in having laws without the intent to apprehend violators. That's why I continue to lobby for effective enforcement. The only people who need to be penalized are the violators.
 

G. Russell Juelg

Explorer
Jul 31, 2006
284
51
Burlington County
When my son was growing up, I bought him Kawasaki 100 and showed him how to ride it on the trails behind Bamber. Then, I bought him a used 125 and he ran that around a bit, even in the sand plant next door. I'd do it again. He was not out testing spungs or wetlands. How many people on this board have done the same?
If your son wasn't violating any laws or regulations, then fine. If he was, shame on you for enabling him.
 

Scroggy

Scout
Jul 5, 2022
80
112
Delaware
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?
Hm. I wouldn't say I fully disagree, but while I'd say there is a gradient in personalities from people who are compulsive rule-followers to the oppositionally defiant, I think in practice a lot of people manage to compartmentalize breaking a particular set of laws without being generally lawless. e.g., buying marijuana without a tax stamp, taking pay in cash under the table, downloading copyrighted material without paying for it, and so on. On the other hand, I wouldn't expect the riders in your example to be wearing proper PPE or have the proper registration, permits, and so on, so I think we can say they're "generally scofflaws" if we restrict ourselves to laws involving ORVs.

I'd put it a slightly different way, although maybe we're both going after the same point here: if riders don't feel that they have any obligation to respect public land or the law, it's pointless to argue about ORV parks or carveouts to take off the "pressure" because they don't feel any pressure; they're going to ride in the woods, regardless, when they feel like it until caught and punished.
 

bobpbx

Piney
Staff member
Oct 25, 2002
14,419
4,541
Pines; Bamber area
I'd put it a slightly different way, although maybe we're both going after the same point here: if riders don't feel that they have any obligation to respect public land or the law, it's pointless to argue about ORV parks or carveouts to take off the "pressure" because they don't feel any pressure; they're going to ride in the woods, regardless, when they feel like it until caught and punished.
Parks are not just for those who will never feel any obligation to respect public land. Parks are also needed for rule-abiding families who want to ride without feeling the pressure to be fined.
 

G. Russell Juelg

Explorer
Jul 31, 2006
284
51
Burlington County
Hm. I wouldn't say I fully disagree, but while I'd say there is a gradient in personalities from people who are compulsive rule-followers to the oppositionally defiant, I think in practice a lot of people manage to compartmentalize breaking a particular set of laws without being generally lawless. e.g., buying marijuana without a tax stamp, taking pay in cash under the table, downloading copyrighted material without paying for it, and so on. On the other hand, I wouldn't expect the riders in your example to be wearing proper PPE or have the proper registration, permits, and so on, so I think we can say they're "generally scofflaws" if we restrict ourselves to laws involving ORVs.

I'd put it a slightly different way, although maybe we're both going after the same point here: if riders don't feel that they have any obligation to respect public land or the law, it's pointless to argue about ORV parks or carveouts to take off the "pressure" because they don't feel any pressure; they're going to ride in the woods, regardless, when they feel like it until caught and punished.
I agree that some illegal riders may be generally law-abiding citizens, and that they may restrict their lawlessness to this particular arena. I think it's also important to acknowledge that there's a wide spectrum within the lawless rider group. On the relatively innocent side, you may have ATV riders who stay on what appear to be legitimate lanes of travel. They just like riding ATVs. On the other end of the spectrum, you have the blatantly defiant riders of "monster trucks," ATVs, and dirt bike riders. They make playgrounds out of wildlife habitats, and they just don't care or just don't understand that when they go "mudding" or making playgrounds out of old fields, they are degrading wildlife habitats. In this category also are the dirt bike riders who are continually expanding illegally-created tracks through the understory of the forests.

But, yes, this theory that, by creating ORV parks (to the extent that may even be possible), we will help to resolve the problem, is, at the very least, extremely doubtful, given the fact that for decades, state authorities have essentially cultivated lawlessness via complicity and leniency.
 

smoke_jumper

Piney
Mar 5, 2012
1,554
1,082
Atco, NJ
I think it’s important to note that this entire thread is mostly about illegal activity and the lack of enforcement. I can’t speak for everyone but I would think that most here are in agreement on that point. Where the opinions really seem to really differ is the need for more restrictive policies that affect things that are currently legal. I don’t view large closure of roads or a permit system a “fix” to our parks but more of a “change”. All the stakeholder meetings were created because of the attempted change. If the DEP posted signs and stepped up enforcement on the current rules there would have been very little push back and would have been no need for stakeholder meeting at all. Most people that use our parks are already very aware of the current rules and I don’t see the need to add any until those are enforced.
 

G. Russell Juelg

Explorer
Jul 31, 2006
284
51
Burlington County
I think it’s important to note that this entire thread is mostly about illegal activity and the lack of enforcement. I can’t speak for everyone but I would think that most here are in agreement on that point. Where the opinions really seem to really differ is the need for more restrictive policies that affect things that are currently legal. I don’t view large closure of roads or a permit system a “fix” to our parks but more of a “change”. All the stakeholder meetings were created because of the attempted change. If the DEP posted signs and stepped up enforcement on the current rules there would have been very little push back and would have been no need for stakeholder meeting at all. Most people that use our parks are already very aware of the current rules and I don’t see the need to add any until those are enforced.
Let's assume, for the sake of the argument, that you're right about most of us knowing what the rules are, and most of us agreeing that we should follow the rules. The two key issues, as you indicate, are "road closures" and enforcement. What I would propose is switching the language from "road closures" to "closing illegal and inappropriate lanes of travel." The reason is because there are lanes of travel that have been created illegally and lanes of travel that were created for purposes other than public thoroughfares. I would be very interested to hear any arguments for why any of those lanes of travel should remain open.

To give a few examples, there are lanes of travel suitable for full-size vehicles, all over certain old fields, and similar lanes adjacent to and interweaving with roads shown on maps, as well as lanes created for fighting some specific fire. There are ATV trails all over the place. There is an ever-expanding network of illegally-created dirt bike trails. To the extent any of those are being used for general travel, I would call all of them "illegal lanes of travel." (Never mind the "inappropriate" category for the time being.)

Before we talk about how they might be closed, are there any arguments to support the idea that they should remain open?
 

bobpbx

Piney
Staff member
Oct 25, 2002
14,419
4,541
Pines; Bamber area
But, yes, this theory that, by creating ORV parks (to the extent that may even be possible), we will help to resolve the problem, is, at the very least, extremely doubtful, given the fact that for decades, state authorities have essentially cultivated lawlessness via complicity and leniency.
Of note, and quietly overlooked by your side of the argument, is that more off road ATV use in Wharton, and the subsequent rabid zeal to close roads, happened after the Chatsworth ORV park closed.
 
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bobpbx

Piney
Staff member
Oct 25, 2002
14,419
4,541
Pines; Bamber area
Let's assume, for the sake of the argument, that you're right about most of us knowing what the rules are, and most of us agreeing that we should follow the rules. The two key issues, as you indicate, are "road closures" and enforcement. What I would propose is switching the language from "road closures" to "closing illegal and inappropriate lanes of travel." The reason is because there are lanes of travel that have been created illegally and lanes of travel that were created for purposes other than public thoroughfares. I would be very interested to hear any arguments for why any of those lanes of travel should remain open.

To give a few examples, there are lanes of travel suitable for full-size vehicles, all over certain old fields, and similar lanes adjacent to and interweaving with roads shown on maps, as well as lanes created for fighting some specific fire. There are ATV trails all over the place. There is an ever-expanding network of illegally-created dirt bike trails. To the extent any of those are being used for general travel, I would call all of them "illegal lanes of travel." (Never mind the "inappropriate" category for the time being.)

Before we talk about how they might be closed, are there any arguments to support the idea that they should remain open?
You and your cohorts are already closing them without any input from us, so no one here gets your point of trying to join you in making up a list. I'm not sure why you continue to bring it up. I'm not joining in any group that starts circling aerial photos to hand over to the authorities with the plea to close them.
 

smoke_jumper

Piney
Mar 5, 2012
1,554
1,082
Atco, NJ
Before we talk about how they might be closed, are there any arguments to support the idea that they should remain open?
This is the basic philosophy where we differ. If a road has been around for decades but was illegally formed and shows little signs of abuse, should it be closed? I don’t agree with going over a map of Wharton and circling roads that should remain open by how or even when they were created and all others closed. If there is a problem area it should be addressed. If people are blazing new illegal trails that should be addressed.
Like I said before. Our idea of “reasonable access” differ. You want a reason to keep a road open. I want a reason to close it.
 
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Teegate

Administrator
Site Administrator
Sep 17, 2002
25,783
8,427
They are closing roads all over the place. We spent the morning walking some of them. This one shows up as early as 1995. However, it is not really a good road and I would not even call it that. Why it was blocked now is a mystery.

IMG_7971a.jpg



This one is on Friendship Speedwell road. This shows up in 1931 so it is over 90 years old. It may have been used for logging, hunting or fishing and it a great place to walk. The road in goes through a wet area and someone years ago placed large stones and cinderblocks in the path of the road for traction. It may have been a logging road.

IMG_7972a.jpg



It is dry out there everyone. The pond at the turning mill site is almost dry and it is only May.

IMG_7975a.jpg
 

G. Russell Juelg

Explorer
Jul 31, 2006
284
51
Burlington County
Of note, and quietly overlooked by your side of the argument, is that more off road ATV use in Wharton, and the subsequent rabid zeal to close roads, happened after the Chatsworth ORV park closed.
First, there's no logical connection between the closing of the Chatsworth park and any perceived increase in illegal riding. You're making a post hoc, ergo propter hoc (after this, therefore because of this) argument, which a classic logical fallacy. And, in any case, there was a legal imperative to close the park. The legal agreement to establish it had a sunset provision. Second, there's no such thing as "rabid zeal to close roads." I do not, and, as far as I know, none of my colleagues are advocating for anything except what is stipulated in existing regulations, including the CMP. See my post #71. Maybe you can explain why you call it "rabid zeal" when people are only asking authorities to do what they are legally supposed to have already done.
 

G. Russell Juelg

Explorer
Jul 31, 2006
284
51
Burlington County
You and your cohorts are already closing them without any input from us, so no one here gets your point of trying to join you in making up a list. I'm not sure why you continue to bring it up. I'm not joining in any group that starts circling aerial photos to hand over to the authorities with the plea to close them.
You seem to have missed a key point I have been trying to get you to notice, the precise point referenced in the title of this particular discussion. Please read what the CMP says about motorized traffic in the Pinelands. When you oppose restricted motorized access to certain places in the Pinelands, you are opposed not to me and my "cohorts," you're opposed to the CMP, and evidently, to the regulations governing state lands. You are arguing that people should join you in opposing legally mandated management of motorized traffic on state lands, and oppose me and my "cohorts" in trying to implement the existing regulations. That's fine. That's your right to free speech. You don't want the regulations enforced. I get it. You made your point.
 

G. Russell Juelg

Explorer
Jul 31, 2006
284
51
Burlington County
This is the basic philosophy where we differ. If a road has been around for decades but was illegally formed and shows little signs of abuse, should it be closed? I don’t agree with going over a map of Wharton and circling roads that should remain open by how or even when they were created and all others closed. If there is a problem area it should be addressed. If people are blazing new illegal trails that should be addressed.
Like I said before. Our idea of “reasonable access” differ. You want a reason to keep a road open. I want a reason to close it.
But what is your argument for why any illegally-created road should remain open?
 

bobpbx

Piney
Staff member
Oct 25, 2002
14,419
4,541
Pines; Bamber area
You seem to have missed a key point I have been trying to get you to notice, the precise point referenced in the title of this particular discussion. Please read what the CMP says about motorized traffic in the Pinelands. When you oppose restricted motorized access to certain places in the Pinelands, you are opposed not to me and my "cohorts," you're opposed to the CMP, and evidently, to the regulations governing state lands. You are arguing that people should join you in opposing legally mandated management of motorized traffic on state lands, and oppose me and my "cohorts" in trying to implement the existing regulations. That's fine. That's your right to free speech. You don't want the regulations enforced. I get it. You made your point.
Those regulations were written to cover every conceivable reason to close a road just to give them leeway in the future to close roads. It's like the second amendment, no one can figure out the true meaning, everyone has their own take. It means nothing anyway since it's not enforceable by the writers, and certainly not your call to determine what they mean.
 
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G. Russell Juelg

Explorer
Jul 31, 2006
284
51
Burlington County
Those regulations were written to cover every conceivable reason to close a road just to give them leeway in the future to close roads. It's like the second amendment, no one can figure out the true meaning, everyone has their own take. It means nothing anyway since it's not enforceable by the writers, and certainly not your call to determine what they mean.
Bob, do you really expect us to believe that you were there when those regulations were written, and you were privy to the discussions of those who wrote those regulations, and you can testify that they "were written to cover every conceivable reason to close a road just to give them leeway in the future to close roads"?
 

bobpbx

Piney
Staff member
Oct 25, 2002
14,419
4,541
Pines; Bamber area
Bob, do you really expect us to believe that you were there when those regulations were written, and you were privy to the discussions of those who wrote those regulations, and you can testify that they "were written to cover every conceivable reason to close a road just to give them leeway in the future to close roads"?
I know your shtick Russ. I've known you for 20 years. You love playing with words and seeing how others react to them, or perceive them, or how they interpret them, or defend their meaning. You want us to say "okay, yeah, I can see that designation being useful, or this one, and maybe parts of that one". You only want more allies to have a strong backing to close the roads you and your science buddies want closed, but you are barking up the wrong tree. I'll never give in. But maybe you'll find one person on here to join your cause. Go for it.
 
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