ORV Management In Sensitive Areas Of Wharton

MarkBNJ

Piney
Jun 17, 2007
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Long Valley, NJ
www.markbetz.net
All,

The ORV management of vehicle traffic has begun. I was riding down Carranza Road today and ran into the Superintendent of Wharton and three volunteers and decided to stop. The volunteers were placing "road closed to motor vehicles" signs in the middle of various roads. I was able to view the master map of ORV management and was told quite a bit of information concerning it. I will attempt to tell you somewhat what I have learned and hopefully get it correct.

The basic boundary they worked on today was along Moores Meadow Road, Carranza Road and beyond. He showed me exactly on the map but I was trying to take it all in and can't tell you the exact boundary they worked on. They will continue to move from area to area placing signs. All road that are considered non essential or roads that go to dead ends will be off limits to motor vehicles and if you are caught driving on them you will be fined. For example, this dirt road by the Skit Branch is now closed to motor vehicles.

http://maps.njpinebarrens.com/#lat=39.785302700107835&lng=-74.65680990021707&z=20&type=hybrid&gpx=



As well as the next one along Carranza and so forth


http://maps.njpinebarrens.com/#lat=39.78354246318945&lng=-74.65114540658955&z=17&type=hybrid&gpx=


There is going to be a meeting of specific groups concerning this in the future at the auditorium in Batsto. I believe they already have the groups picked out because he told me they did not have a surveyor type group included. :bang: :D


As for the repairs that are going on such as at High Crossing, the state was able to get a grant from the federal government which allowed them to hire the FFS to repair quite a few roads that we have discussed previously. With these repairs there is hope that other roads can be opened. He also mentioned that because of the repairs of Tuckerton Road which even cars can now travel down, roads such as parallel roads by Jemima Mount most likely will not be repaired.



http://maps.njpinebarrens.com/#lat=39.711722023792035&lng=-74.61059007447244&z=15&type=topo&gpx=


There were other things we discussed and when Jessica and I can remember it all I will pass it along.

Guy
I always figured this was inevitable, what with the boggers and people dumping trash and littering. As was said above, only the law abiding and respectful will be hurt by this. And of course the staff of the DEP and park service, forest service, what-not, all the scientifically approved and qualified special people, will continue to enjoy unfettered access for them and their families.
 
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smoke_jumper

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Mar 5, 2012
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So this sudden series of closures has effectively ended enduros in Wharton?
Maybe registered enduros. At least there are tags that can be traced. Unregistered quads and dirt bikes will be unaffected. There is no ranger in a Cherokee that can catch them if they don't want to be caught. Besides the liability if someone was seriously hurt during a chase for simply riding on state land would open the door for lawsuits. Just like many police can't persue a car if they run unless they are deemed a hazard to the public.
 

SuperChooch

Explorer
Aug 26, 2011
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I replied to Mr. Auermuller asking him about when he thought the public meetings would be and how the public will find out. I also shared the concerns discussed here about limited access and the fact that this is not where the damage is being done and is preventing access to folks who care about the pines while doing nothing to stop those who are doing the damage. I also asked his opinion on some of the ideas that folks had here such as cameras, targeted enforcement and permitting. We'll see what he comes back with.

Incidentally, I went and took a look at these "signs" myself and I'm wondering if they really believe this is a permanent solution. I've attached a picture. That is not a metal pole set in concrete, it is literally a 1/2 inch think piece of plastic stuck in the ground. That is going to last all of about 3 weeks. I'm wondering if this perhaps is being done to placate some other interest for some period of time until it dies down.....

(BTW- I am NOT implying in any way that anyone should touch those signs, please, please don't. We don't need that)
 

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46er

Piney
Mar 24, 2004
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I replied to Mr. Auermuller asking him about when he thought the public meetings would be and how the public will find out. I also shared the concerns discussed here about limited access and the fact that this is not where the damage is being done and is preventing access to folks who care about the pines while doing nothing to stop those who are doing the damage. I also asked his opinion on some of the ideas that folks had here such as cameras, targeted enforcement and permitting. We'll see what he comes back with.
Thanks for asking. Did you happen to ask where the idea originated; did Wharton birth the idea or did it come from Trenton?
 

Teegate

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I may be way off base but I doubt many here (the rest of us) would volunteer to close roads that are used by law abiding citizens for legal activities.
Lets not say anything negative about the volunteers. In fact, let not talk about them at all here. They have nothing to do with this.
 

RednekF350

Piney
Feb 20, 2004
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Lets not say anything negative about the volunteers. In fact, let not talk about them at all here. They have nothing to do with this.
I very strongly disagree Guy.
If no one volunteered to perform such a total boning of the general public the State would have been forced to utilize their own staff to do the dirty work. At least it would have taken a lot longer to accomplish the same nefarious goal.

As some may know, I am not a total backwoods moron. I have a Bachelor of Science from Rutgers in Natural Resource Management. I am backwoods but not a moron.
I am most certainly not a tree hugger and would have never volunteered to assist with something like this.

The volunteers have quite a bit to do with this in my mind.
 

Ben Ruset

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So far I have not seen a mention of this on any other website. There's no press releases by the DEP, no mention on Wharton SF's page, not a peep on Al Horner's site, and not a thing on the PPA's site either. I just checked the two 4x4 web forums I remember looking at back in the day and not a mention there.

Has anybody seen anything about this on any other site besides here?
 

dragoncjo

Piney
Aug 12, 2005
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camden county
I never really thought the orv use was that big a deal. This seems like a knee jerk reaction. It takes a lot of the freedom, lawlessness of the barrens away from it. I haven't been out to explore all season, but would love to see everything that was blocked off. One of my favorite things in the world is to drive sand roads in summer. Can't say this surprise me, everyone here has bitched about orv use for centuries. The lack of burning is the real issue not orv use.
 

46er

Piney
Mar 24, 2004
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Lets not say anything negative about the volunteers. In fact, let not talk about them at all here. They have nothing to do with this.
Those volunteers were probably part of the Volunteers in Park program. Having been one, probably still am, individuals are not coerced or ordered to do something they prefer not doing. My guess is they were part of an organization that is part of the VIP program that agree with the sign posting.

http://www.state.nj.us/dep/parksandforests/parks/volunteers.html
 

ecampbell

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Jan 2, 2003
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I very strongly disagree Guy.
If no one volunteered to perform such a total boning of the general public the State would have been forced to utilize their own staff to do the dirty work. At least it would have taken a lot longer to accomplish the same nefarious goal.

As some may know, I am not a total backwoods moron. I have a Bachelor of Science from Rutgers in Natural Resource Management. I am backwoods but not a moron.
I am most certainly not a tree hugger and would have never volunteered to assist with something like this.

The volunteers have quite a bit to do with this in my mind.
I agree Scott!
 

Teegate

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Picking on a volunteer is the same as not liking cops and picking on the person washing or repairing their car. There are bigger issues to worry about here.
 

smoke_jumper

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Mar 5, 2012
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Scott you beat me to it. All volunteers do it because they want to. Volunteers at soup kitchens do it so help the hungry. Volunteer firefighters do it to help the community. These volunteers do it because they don't want vehicles where they've posted. If any volunteer is asked to do something they didn't believe in they wouldn't do it. That doesn't make them bad people just people whose idea of how the pines should be is Very different then mine.
 
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Teegate

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And this is why they don't take us seriously.
 
T

TabernacleNative

Guest
I for one am happy to finally see this first step, I've been waiting for years for this. I use the Forest for hiking and kayaking, using the launch points and trailheads provided to us by the State Park Service and cared for by volunteers, which by the way, give the most convenient access. For too long I've had to look at the garbage thrown along the side of the roads and trails - wawa wrappers, McDonalds bags, cans of redbull, beer cans, beer bottles, cigarette packs, empty tobacco cans, misc pieces of Jeeps jarred loose while tromping through mud puddles, televisions dropped off APH. Huge mud puddles dug into the roads, making them impassable. The torn up forest from the other vehicles that had to maneuver around the stuck mudders to try and rip and yank them out in a glorious froth of mud. Does anyone remember the old commercial of the indian on the horse looking over his former land that is now beaten and trashed? The same is happening here. No one pointed a finger directly at YOU and said you did it, but as often happens the actions of the few spoil things for others. But, maybe for too long everyone else turned a blind eye while proudly posting on forums that "I wouldn't do that." Think of a happy family, much like yours, out for one of your pleasant explorations in the Pines on a crisp day in May. Suddenly, a forest fire erupts in the direction they came from, so in trying to get out, they try a different road, only to get stuck in a huge mud puddle that was gouged out in the road for fun times. Think of the panic as their suv starts to fill with smoke and they don't know what to do. You might just shrug them off saying "well, they don't belong out there if they don't know where they are going." But, they had every right to be out there as you did, and they had every right to have the opportunity to arrive back to the paved road safely as you did, too. Maybe by closing off the areas that attract trouble, then less of the troublemakers will come looking for their "good ol times" tearing up our woods. Then all of us can continue to use WSF and the roads that remain open for access in a manner as you all assure everyone else that you abide by. On a final note - no one said the Pinelands were closed. Those signs as I saw from the photo posted earlier said no motor vehicles. It seems to me that those areas are still open to park by and take a hike back to your favorite spot, or maybe even hike in and find a new favorite spot. Its the perfect opportunity to begin some new explorations in what you all claim to be YOUR forest. (and, yes, I have volunteered on various cleanups throughout WSF, picking up the mess and trash callously left by others, and even on one occasion going back to an area just 3 weeks later to repaint what had been cleaned up and then quickly graffiti'd)