ORV Management In Sensitive Areas Of Wharton

popeofthepines

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Mar 8, 2006
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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.
I think there have been suggestions about making it a permit only area. But most of the complaining we are doing is that there were no notifications about the closures and when they would begin, so we could work together to see what was planned. We are not asking for more roads to be created to access more areas in the Pines; we are asking for a discussion with the powers that be to address the issue and come to a mutual agreement. We currently do not have access to every nook and cranny as it is currently, so I think you have missed the point of this thread.
 

Ben Ruset

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And by the way, just to go on record, I don't even own a vehicle capable of going into the woods. I'm upset because this is just plain wrong.
 
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kingofthepines

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Sep 10, 2003
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Some will argue that the 4x4 cleanup every october for the last 13 or so years has been very instrumental in keeping wharton from becoming a real eyesore. I just wonder if road closures will negatively affect the level of participation. Of course if the state can rustle up 4 or 500 volunteers and trucks to haul out the abandoned boats and fencing and the like then its no problem.
 

mordecai

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Jul 21, 2015
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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?

Wharton State Forest is a part of the Pine Barrens National Reserve and lots of things have changed since the 50s. There is still thousands of miles of road access in Wharton, much of the reaction here is overblown--they are finalizing the new map soon. The permitting idea is already being looked into.I know for a fact many groups were consulted about this, I certainly have known about it for more than 6 months just from being on the Wharton State Forest Volunteer list. They aren't going to knock on your door.

More park police is a great idea and stiffer fines, have you lobbied your state government?
 
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smoke_jumper

Piney
Mar 5, 2012
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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.
You talk of this plan but have yet to explain what it is. If it's closing down roads so the state can maintain the existing ones better I have news for you. That will never happen. Many, many existing roads have not been touched in 20+ years. Simply having traffic on the roads tear them up, more traffic means more wear no matter who is driving on them. If Quaker bridge road wasn't touched up as much as it has been it would be impassable. It took a state grant to fix one section of road (high crossing). If it's not maintained,in 3 years it will look no different then it did before. I seriously hope this isn't the master plan.
 

Ben Ruset

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Wharton State Forest is a part of the Pine Barrens National Reserve and lots of things have changed since the 50s. There is still thousands of miles of road access in Wharton, much of the reaction here is overblown--they are finalizing the new map soon. The permitting idea is already being looked into.I know for a fact many groups were consulted about this, I certainly have known about it for more than 6 months just from being on the Wharton State Forest Volunteer list. They aren't going to knock on your door.

More park police is a great idea and stiffer fines, have you lobbied your state government?
Wharton might be part of the Pinelands National Reserve but I have seen no federal involvement in the funding and stewardship of the Reserve. Are they even involved anymore? Have they offered an opinion on the pipeline project?

Anyway, my argument is that this was decided on with little, if any, public input. This is a major initiative - cutting off public access to a signifigant amount of land. It should be done in an open and transparent manner. There are no announcements on the DEP sites, none on Wharton, and none on any other 3rd party sites that I have come across. I should not have to join the Wharton volunteer email list to find out that someone has decided to make a major, far reaching decision that will affect thousands, if not tens of thousands, of people.

As far as me lobbying my state government, that's not my job. If the rangers need more resources to do their jobs effectively then they should lobby for those resources.

As for the reaction here being overblown, do you not see a problem with closing the roads before a map has even been published??
 

Broke Jeep Joe

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Mar 8, 2006
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"I know for a fact many groups were consulted about this, I certainly have known about it for more than 6 months just from being on the Wharton State Forest Volunteer list."

What groups? Can you name them? I belong to a few that involve hunting, fishing and other outdoor recreation that had no idea this was going on.
 

46er

Piney
Mar 24, 2004
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Wharton State Forest is a part of the Pine Barrens National Reserve and lots of things have changed since the 50s. There is still thousands of miles of road access in Wharton, much of the reaction here is overblown--they are finalizing the new map soon. The permitting idea is already being looked into.I know for a fact many groups were consulted about this, I certainly have known about it for more than 6 months just from being on the Wharton State Forest Volunteer list. They aren't going to knock on your door.

More park police is a great idea and stiffer fines, have you lobbied your state government?
The NJ Pinelands National Reserve, the correct title, is little more than that, a title and a link on the NPS website. Requests for info are directed to the Pinelands Commission and other than a few signs, there's that word again, the Feds have no involvement whatsoever. It is also a UNESCO Biosphere Reserve, which like the NPS, gets it absolutely nothing except space on a list, so I fail to see a reason to mention it.

Are you a member of one of the groups that were consulted? One of the state VIP members? Just trying to understand your defense of these closings. You really should analyze more deeply the causes you defend, its too easy to get caught up in the Flavor-Aid crowd.

In my suggestion for a permitting system I stated it should be no cost. If history is any indicator, should a permit system be implemented, I suspect the state will require a fee. Since the Mobile Sportfishing permit, i.e. beach driving, for residents costs $195 a year, with a 3 day option for $75, per vehicle, per park, I would imagine given the area of Wharton, that the cost will be more. If the state see's an opportunity for revenue, they will seize on it.

As far as more Park Police, the DEP, thanks to a cleverly worded ballot question that mis-led good intentioned folks, they now have access to plenty of money, they just choose to use it in other areas, such as creating new high paying positions.

http://www.nps.gov/pine/index.htm

http://www.unesco.org/mabdb/br/brdir/directory/biores.asp?mode=gen&code=USA+43
 
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RednekF350

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Feb 20, 2004
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Thank God Parks and Forestry has been working hard on other serious problems as well !

The anxiously awaited policy on the use of drones over State Parks and Forestry Lands was issued this month. It's about time, I was tired of getting hit in the head by those things.

http://www.state.nj.us/dep/parksandforests/parks/docs/policy_2.38_unmanned_aerial_vehicles-drones.pdf

In addition, the sorely needed policies governing the use of black powder on State Parks and Forestry lands during historic reenactments was also released in November 2014.
Maybe This 65 page document will finally put an end to the carnage that seems to haunt every historic reenactment in New Jersey.

http://www.state.nj.us/dep/parksandforests/historic/njlhac/docs/njlhac_black_powder_use_guidelines.pdf
 
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Teegate

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A little levity if you will


It is always good to look at the past to predict or hopefully predict the future.


With that in mind lets look at the past in Lebanon State Forest (Brendan Byrne for newbees) back in the dark days of 1979. I am sure you all remember this ....... don't you? Well, in the event it has slipped your mind or you did not know about this, have you ever wondered what those gates are in and around Glasshouse Road in Lebanon near the camping area?







They are no longer in use.

Guy
 
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RednekF350

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Feb 20, 2004
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Well, no more levity from me.
These road closures are a shocking disgrace and I surely hope and pray that the means by which this whole thing transpired is found to be illegal.
I also hope and pray that Robert Auermuller loses his job if it can be proven that he has circumvented due process with the implementation of this program on PUBLIC land without public notification and the input that results from that.

Tonight I road in on the road just south of Atsion Lake on the east side of Route 206. Some maps identify it as Railroad Ave. It will take you all the way to Wescoat Bogs. Then again, maybe it won't.

In just 2 1/2 miles, every intersecting road has been closed to vehicles with a combination of signs and small piles of branches that look like they were placed by the Brownies. At least seven roads have been blocked including the two innocuous roads paralleling the Jersey Central tracks.
It should be clearly understood that NONE of these roads lead to off road vehicle problem areas !

The Superintendent of Wharton has clearly overstepped his bounds in bringing on this action without any public comment or input.
You can't imagine how enraged I was tonight seeing roads I have travelled since 1967 with my Dad , taken away from me in a heartbeat by environmental zealots.

I am a Board member of a 700+ member sportsmen's club and I made contact tonight with several people in and outside of our organization who as members of even larger organizations will have the ability to get some movement started on this.

Here are some pics from tonight. Note that none of the blocked roads show evidence of heavy traffic or abuse.
By the way Mordecai, if you think the Indian crying by the side of the road in the littering ads was sad, you should have seen me tonight.









My old red F350 has made the trip down to the water nearly two hundred times in the last 18 years that I have owned it. Not tonight and hopefully not for long.
 
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