ORV Management In Sensitive Areas Of Wharton

Discussion in 'Land Use Issues' started by Teegate, Jul 18, 2015.

  1. MarkBNJ

    MarkBNJ Piney

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    I looked this afternoon and also could not find anything.
     
  2. 46er

    46er Piney

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    Nope, not a thing. Checked the PPA, DEP, Parks & Forests, Park Police sites, a general search and nothing. Maybe it didn't happen. I'm going to call District 1 tomorrow and see if they know anything; they should.
     
  3. scouter

    scouter New Member

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    I noticed these signs probably about three weeks ago along Quaker Bridge road. Some of the roadways there even have logs dragged behind the signs as a further deterrence.

    Being only in my early twenties, I had hopped to someday save enough money to grab a Jeep and explore the vast roadways that encompass the barrens ( hopefully getting lost along the way only to find a new way out), but this definitively calls into questions the viability of that idea.

    Mostly, I am surprised. Obviously if I was more aware of the long standing history revolving around this issue, I wouldn't be, but I had always seen the Wharton tract as open. Once you were out there, as long as you respected and revered your surroundings, you could go anywhere, get lost, hit dead ends, pick a favorite sequestered spot along a river, or drive with not destination in mind at all. It saddens me that this new closure procedure could limit that feeling of openness.
     
  4. Broke Jeep Joe

    Broke Jeep Joe Explorer

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    Does anyone know how extensive this is at this point?
     
  5. 46er

    46er Piney

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    I'll be out and about in Greenwood tomorrow.
     
  6. Broke Jeep Joe

    Broke Jeep Joe Explorer

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    I noticed those roads off Quaker blocked just after Al Horners piece in the news about how the beach had been damaged
     
    #86 Broke Jeep Joe, Jul 21, 2015
    Last edited: Jul 21, 2015
  7. smoke_jumper

    smoke_jumper Piney

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    ......The same family walks in to enjoy one of their favorite spots and a fire starts from where they came in. Possibly from their own vehicle by parking too close to some dry brush because they didn't want to block the main trail. Same outcome. I don't like playing "what if....". It can go on forever with no resolution.
     
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  8. Pinesbucks

    Pinesbucks Explorer

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    I am with smokejumper. The what if scenario can go a million ways.

    If they can close one road they can close them all. That goes for all state forests and wmas. So the pines and other areas we all enjoy riding around or riding to our favorite spots could be of days past. I for one am not OK with having even one road closed unless it's for repair and to be opened back up.
     
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  9. Tracker Jim

    Tracker Jim Scout

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    On Monday 20th I spent the day in the Pines. Drove in off 542, along the west side of Batsto Lake. Cutting over to the Atsion branch below Constable Br., where we explored on foot, the eastern banks of the "New Pond". From there we drove up and over Constable Br. And parked at the intersection with the yellow trail. Here we walked down the West side of "New Pond" to the confluence with the Mechesactauxin. Later we drove out to Wescoat Bogs where we spent most of the late afternoon. finally we relocated to a nearby area we call the "Desert" to watch the Nighthawk performance.
    We saw NO closed trails anywhere in the area of our travels.
     
    #89 Tracker Jim, Jul 21, 2015
    Last edited: Jul 21, 2015
  10. mordecai

    mordecai New Member

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    Hey Friends,

    I volunteered to help implement this new plan to manage motor vehicles in the forest. I enjoy driving my jeep in the Pines and in my time I've been a witness to serious abuse of wetlands areas for sport and often this is being done by people who live out of state, pay no taxes here, and have no interest in preserving the ecosystem. I would like to save these beautiful areas that are being ruined and turned into mud pits and so I volunteered to help with the new management plan. The Pine Barrens is not a motor-sports park, its a one of kind ecosystem that we need to protect. If I have leave my vehicle walk a few miles to my favorite spots, that is a small price to pay for keeping the place free from vehicle abuse and litter. I suggest we all do our best to help this management plan succeed, volunteer to help remediate some of the damage that has been done, and some of the roads could be reopened as things get under control. Help us with this, we love this place just like you do, lets work together.
     
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  11. Ben Ruset

    Ben Ruset Administrator
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    I don't think anybody here sees the Pines as a motorsports park. This is a primary history and ecology related website. People here use those old roads to go find historic sites to research and photograph (as I did when I first started exploring the woods) or to find a nice spot to start hiking or launch their kayak.

    As for "if I have to leave my vehicle and walk in a few miles that is a small price to pay" -- what about older members of the community or the disabled. A few years ago we had a guy - James Ungehajer - who loved exploring the woods but couldn't walk very far. I doubt that James was the only person in that situation. Walking "a few miles" is not an insignificant task for a lot of people. In our current 90+ degree weather I wouldn't want to hike a few "extra" miles to get somewhere that I wanted to go.

    I think you're crazy if you think any of these roads will ever be re-opened. You can't roll something like this back, nor do I think that you would really ever want to.

    The fact of the matter is that those signs will stop someone like me - who will rarely if ever drive into a puddle in the road - who have the utmost respect for the Pine Barrens. If you think they're going to stop Johnny Four-Wheeler coming in from PA, you've got another thing coming.

    What you and your fellow volunteers accomplished, mordecai, is to basically take away access to huge chunks of Wharton from law abiding people. The way this came about was sneaky and underhanded - a decision was made without any announcement, any consulting with anybody, or really any consideration of the impact that your actions would have. I think that probably happened because people like you knew there would be a lot of outcry over this.

    Thanks for your help ruining the woods for a lot of us.
     
  12. RednekF350

    RednekF350 Piney

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    Thanks for acting covertly on behalf of thousands of people you don't know and whose recreational pursuits in the Pines are now seriously affected.

    Blocking multiple roads with signs will do absolutely nothing to stop the damage.
    Surveillance of specific targets, enforcement and swift prosecution with a large judicial hammer will work wonders.
     
  13. SuperChooch

    SuperChooch Explorer

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    Mordecai,

    in addition to Ben's points, how do new people discover the forest? How do they find their "favorite spots" to begin with? I didn't develop my full appreciation of the forest driving up and down Carranza, Hampton and Quaker Bridge Rd. I developed it by exploring: "hey, I wonder where this road goes". This plan will not accomplish what it sets out to do and only hurts those who appreciate the forest.

    By the way, if the choice of your username was intentional to this situation, it is very cleaver....
     
  14. imkms

    imkms Explorer

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    The outcome of this plan may actually make matters worse. Those people who enjoy destroying the woods will still come with their same behavior. In removing access to areas that may have been damaged those remaining main roads could become the new playgrounds and when they become full of holes, ruts etc more people will be denied access. If a beach tag type system becomes implemented, I'm sure some will think they paid their money so they have the right to play as usual.
    And with less side roads open, the woods will just seem more crowded.
     
  15. 46er

    46er Piney

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    Luke 23:34 “Father, forgive them, for they know not what they do.”
     
  16. smoke_jumper

    smoke_jumper Piney

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    Thanks for posting. As I m still very angry for what has transpired over the last few days I find it hard to be completely civil so bear with me. I'd like to hear what this new Management Plan consists of and how the closures of sand roads that dead end keep people from out of state from driving through wet lands. There are plenty of places that have been abused not what's been closed so far. I don't believe that closures are temporary. It's kind of like temporary taxs they never seem temporary. If all of a sudden you want to work together lets do that. Keeping us in the dark and telling us to accept it is not working together.
     
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  17. Broke Jeep Joe

    Broke Jeep Joe Explorer

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    Mordecai and all,


    I think I know why you “volunteered” I was in a similar position a few years back. You love the woods, you see damage, trash etc. and hear people complaining about it and it all pisses you off to a point where you need to do something about it. You find some like-minded individuals, or so it seems at the time that convince you blocking roads or blocking off an area is in the “public’s” best interest to stop the carnage and abuse. Let me tell you first hand that by closing something from access, you have failed. You will hopefully come to realize that boning the public is not the answer. Having the balls to confront someone that is doing damage or littering gains way more respect from them and for yourself than underhandedly and anonymously keeping the law abiding public at bay. Not to mention licensed hunters and fishermen, kayakers etc.

    I have always found that when someone volunteers to do something, they are not doing it completely for personal satisfaction or to completely “help out”, myself included. There is always a little personal motivator involved, even if the motivator is a day out in the woods, but I can’t imagine what the motivation was here because this was the opposite of help in my opinion.

    On another note, there was a question a while back if this was on any other site but this one, I haven’t seen it anywhere else yet. I did check my NJ fish and game “pocket ranger” app and found out Chevrolet sponsors it, and the pic on the main page is very ironic:

    IMG_0327.PNG IMG_0327.PNG
     
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  18. mordecai

    mordecai New Member

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    Hey all,

    It seems we can all agree that the off-road vehicle situation needs to be addressed. I'm just a volunteer so I have no ability to influence the plan, but I am happy that there is a plan. Through reading this thread no one has posted any alternatives to controlling the ORV problem. There are no National Parks or Reserves in this country that allows motor vehicle access to every nook and cranny because of the results that we are witness to today. There is still going to be a huge area open to vehicular travel and they hope to be able to maintain those roads better than they have been as well.
     
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  19. Broke Jeep Joe

    Broke Jeep Joe Explorer

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    Mordecai,

    There were a couple of ideas posted here as an alternative to closure, one that sticks out in my mind is consulting the public before an action of this nature, enforcement of the law on individuals caught breaking it, another was a permit type deal which has pros and cons. The "hey I'm just a volunteer" will get zero sympathy from me for your actions. If you had reservations you should have walked. There is no plan when closure is keeping folks out of land that they may want to be in, and national parks around the country do not concern me at this point, this one here in NJ does as it has a direct effect on me and my recreation and this one did not offer access to every nook and cranny prior to the recent closings and now it offers even less nooks and crannies!
     
    #99 Broke Jeep Joe, Jul 22, 2015
    Last edited: Jul 22, 2015
  20. Ben Ruset

    Ben Ruset Administrator
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    Untrue. You don't have to help implement the plan. By helping out you are complicit and therefore shoulder some of the responsibility for it.

    Untrue. You clearly did not read through well enough. But here, I will float my idea:

    a) Hire more rangers (I believe Wharton only has 2 on patrol at any one given time)
    b) Enforce the existing laws (goes hand in hand with point A)
    c) When the cases go to court the DEP should press for the maximum fine and penalty, no exceptions.

    By enforcing existing rules this problem could be reduced.

    Wharton State Forest is not a National Park or Reserve. People have also had unfettered access since the 1950s. You can't expect to just take that away - especially without getting public input - and not think that there's going to be pushback.

    Great, so we'll all be able to drive Carranza Rd., Friendship-Speedwell Road, and out to Hawkin's Bridge. Will I still be able to get to Mount? Martha's Furnace? Nash's Cabin?