No more fun in the Pines

Windsor

Scout
Aug 11, 2005
66
0
6
45
Somerdale
Does anyone know approximately how many rangers are scouring Wharton at any given moment?

I am new to the pines and haven't met a ranger in any way, shape or form. However, I do drive a lifted Jeep now and am hoping that I will not be stereotyped as being a destructive wheeler. I really don't do anything other than drive the trails and explore. Heck, I've got years of payments left and I'm not going to do anything to break my Jeep! ;)

I was going to register my vehicle with the state as a volunteer based 4x4 for use in emergencies to get doctors to hospitals, etc. in snowstorms, etc... However, if they are going to stereotype us, then I'll have to rethink that...
 

Trailhead00

Explorer
Mar 9, 2005
375
1
18
43
Haddonfield, NJ
I believe there are 4 rangers at a time patrolling the 120,000 acres of the Wharton State Forest. Not sure anymore but they used to be on duty from 6:00 AM until 12:00 AM. I won't comment much on the rangers since I did in the past, but lets just say I'm not their biggest fan. If you want to go 4 wheeling go to PA! I have been going out in the pines for about 14 years now and I never really see them too often. I guess that is a lot of space to cover. Just be careful when you do run across them, they don't fool around. I think it is rediculous how they act at times and I have heard too many similar stories from other people. I'll go off on a tangent if I don't stop soon. Just be careful.
 

Trailhead00

Explorer
Mar 9, 2005
375
1
18
43
Haddonfield, NJ
Oh yea Windsor, you might want to fuzz out your license plate on the pic of your Jeep. I can't really make out the numbers, but on other websites the rangers have allegedly looked through the pics for illegal activities and look at the license plates to see who is driving the vehicle. Maybe I'm just paranoid? Talk about needing something to do! I don't let it stop me though, I'm like you, I just like to cruise around the pines and explore. If you ever want to go out exploring let me know. I just bought a new truck myself.
 

Teegate

Administrator
Site Administrator
Sep 17, 2002
21,618
3,601
1,093
The problem is that there have been complains here that just innocently pulling on to the side of a road to explore on foot, has caused them to allegedly ticket someone for where they parked. If you park on vegetation, you must be concerned.

I have never had a problem with them, but know those who have, and it irritates me they had to pay.

Guy
 

Trailhead00

Explorer
Mar 9, 2005
375
1
18
43
Haddonfield, NJ
The one time that bugged me was when a ranger stopped me for going down what he called a "small side trail I wasn't supposed to drive on." The road wasn't that small and it wasn't like I was creating my own trail. I don't even drive down the tight trails b/c I don't want to scratch my truck. So I asked him which roads were legal since there weren't any signs that said so. The ranger stated that the fire roads were legal, such as Hampton Gate Road, but the small trails that come off it are off limits. Thanks buddy for the help. Then he gave me a ticket. Nothing like appearing before Judge Bozarth either! Now I have had ok experiences with rangers, so not all of them are bad or a pain in the rear, but boy they sure can be when they want to. The funny thing was when he turned around he simply backed into the woods and took off, yea he really cares about saving the forest! Hey if you don't want anybody back there and you want to save all of the land, great! Just put a big fence around the Wharton State Forest and say everything is off limits. Oh yea, then Mr. Ranger wouldn't have a job would he? Carmela, who I think is the new head ranger is absolutely crazy, she can make you have a bad day. I'll say one thing, I can't wait to go camping next weekend in Pennsylvania, then ATV riding in PA the following weekend, then we're planning a trip to ride ATV's in West Virginia and camping again in Maryland and Colorado, and Canada if we have time. Notice the words New Jersey were missing from that sentence. This state drives me crazy!! lol, just venting. I need a beer!
 

Stu

Explorer
Feb 19, 2004
467
0
16
37
White Haven, PA
www.stuofdoom.com
I've been thinking about putting a camping trip together for my site but now don't know where to go. Lebanon's the closest thing to me, but I'm not going there if they're gonna be jumping out at us all night.
 

woodjin

Piney
Nov 8, 2004
4,283
243
1,043
Near Mt. Misery
I'm hesitant to reply on the subject since I know I've already put in more than my 2 cents in previous posts regarding this matter. Windsor, don't let the rangers stop you from going out and enoying yourself in the woods. Some of the rangers are decent and have a realalistic perspective on things, some are just plain evil. 90% of the time they are hanging around the campsites and areas that attract alot of people. Which is where they should be anyway.

If you get a ticket for doing nothing wrong, well, that sucks. But if you let them keep you from doing something you really enjoy, that is far worse.

Jeff
 

Teegate

Administrator
Site Administrator
Sep 17, 2002
21,618
3,601
1,093
BEHR655 said:
It is possible that the rangers do a little profiling.

Steve
Yea.....remember how he looked at us when we saw one towards the end of the 3 River Crossing hike. He did a quick look and saw a bunch of middle aged men, ( Sorry Jeff ) :) waved, and kept going.

Guy
 

Windsor

Scout
Aug 11, 2005
66
0
6
45
Somerdale
Trailhead00, thanks for the tip on the license plate. However, I have already blurred it out using Photoshop as I don't want anyone knowing exactly what it is. :) I will continue exploring, although being so new, I still have lots of areas to get familiar with. In my opinion, I am well spoken and can remain calm if I ever encounter a ranger. In my newbieness, I'd probably try and probe them for some nice areas to explore.

Are there decals available for this site or perhaps even membership cards? The only reason that I ask is that it could potentially help influence a ranger's opinion of any of us that are exploring the Pines. Perhaps they'd be able to see that we are enthusiasts and not the kind of folk to go trashing up the place. I know no one here is into destroying the Pines, but preserving them. Whenever I am there, I still collect trash where realistic and carry it away at the end of the day. I think if our presense was known to the rangers that they would be less apt to administer punishment to us and perhaps some more praise.
 

Ben Ruset

Administrator
Site Administrator
Oct 12, 2004
7,330
1,097
1,093
41
Asbury Park, NJ
Windsor said:
Are there decals available for this site or perhaps even membership cards? The only reason that I ask is that it could potentially help influence a ranger's opinion of any of us that are exploring the Pines. Perhaps they'd be able to see that we are enthusiasts and not the kind of folk to go trashing up the place. I know no one here is into destroying the Pines, but preserving them. Whenever I am there, I still collect trash where realistic and carry it away at the end of the day. I think if our presense was known to the rangers that they would be less apt to administer punishment to us and perhaps some more praise.
I did have vinyl stickers for sale a while ago. There was a thread in the announcements forum. I think I still have one left at home if you want it.
 

Windsor

Scout
Aug 11, 2005
66
0
6
45
Somerdale
bruset said:
I did have vinyl stickers for sale a while ago. There was a thread in the announcements forum. I think I still have one left at home if you want it.
Hey, thanks bud. I'd appreciate that. I'll PM you my address and for your payment info. :)
 

Teegate

Administrator
Site Administrator
Sep 17, 2002
21,618
3,601
1,093
If you can't find it Ben I still have one.

Guy
 

LARGO

Piney
Sep 7, 2005
1,520
57
1,028
48
Pestletown
I have been in many of the situations described here and faired well,
even against a certain hostile female ranger.
Picture a sort of "pines fun & traveling for dummies"
Get their input, their endorsement even.. it's in their best interest
Hey just rambling, my bad.
 

uuglypher

Explorer
Jun 8, 2005
342
0
16
Estelline, SD
kingofthepines said:
set up cowbells on a fishing line ringing the perimeter.
Howzbout run that fishline around the perimeter and tie it to a stack of empty beercans you found there?

I think there'd be an object lesson there somewhere for the overzealous gendarmarie.

Dave
 

LARGO

Piney
Sep 7, 2005
1,520
57
1,028
48
Pestletown
Ooh, hey..that last one might have been misunderstood. I am not talking
about some fun book with maps & sites & events. There's already enough
of that stuff, leave it to the nature guys & tour guides.
I meant something relevant to this issue. something to put everybody
on a friendly & neutral page on how to be out there & just get along.
The courtesy stuff should be a given one would hope.
 

Ben Ruset

Administrator
Site Administrator
Oct 12, 2004
7,330
1,097
1,093
41
Asbury Park, NJ
LARGO said:
Would it be helpful for any parties really concerned whether campers,
hikers,fishermen, 4-wheelers, etc. etc. to really approach the divisions
of state that regulate these issues,contact the people in the position,
and really document the lines in the sand ( no pun intended ).
Helpful - yes.

Will it ever happen? No. The powers that be that make the regs (the DEP) really don't care about people who want to enjoy the Pinelands. They enact laws to make special interest folk happy, and anybody else can lump it. Commissioner Campbell banned ATV's from State Land, promising ATV parks where riders could legally ride. Well, that was supposed to happen in 2005 - and nothing has been done. Campbell usurped the Fish & Game commission and banned last year's bear hunt. What happened this year? The bear population got bigger and started causing problems for residents in North Jersey.

Campbell - and the DEP - is a joke. Unfortunately Campbell's law is what the rangers have to go by. Some of them have common sense and know that not all people in Jeeps are there to tear up the pines. Others don't. Unfortunately the few people in Jeeps or ATVs that drive around and cause problems ruin it for the rest of us.

Ah, anyway that's my soapbox talk for the evening. I have no problem with laws designed to protect the environment - I just want to see fair use of State Land for everybody - not just a select few who make political contributions or lobby well.