ORV Management In Sensitive Areas Of Wharton

MikeBickerson

Explorer
Feb 8, 2004
740
258
63
37
Barringtonl, NJ
www.southjerseytrails.org
I'm of two minds on this one.

The first part of me is furious. We all know the truth - people are friggin' morons out there, and there are a lot of people out abusing things in the pines. The amount of trash hauled out at the annual cleanups easily shows that. Something needs to be done. But not this, and more importantly not LIKE this. I'm probably a naive idiot, but I still have this bizarre belief that the solution to most problems is more Democracy rather than less. This is something that the 4x4 clubs and the environmentalists and the park system and whoever else could have sat down and talked over. Even if the evidence and input was weighted and the decision was ultimately close the roads, there still MUST be that discussion.

The other part of me is trying really (really, really, really, really) hard to stay open minded until the evidence comes in. I've only talked to Rob a handful of times, but he seems like a decent guy. The most shocking thing that he told me is that, when he came in, Wharton State Forest had no management plan. None. Zero. Zilch. How is that possible? So maybe this is a logical conclusion to finally putting a plan into place, some greater temporary reason behind the closings? Some big plan to close, fix (or let recover), and then reopen?

I think about what Rob did with the campgrounds. Let's face it, the pine barrens were (are?) like the wild friggin' west, and the worst example of this was the campgrounds. We've all camped out in the summer there when there were a zillion people out there, with huge parties going on with pot and booze and who knows what. I don't know about you, but I came in many times with a permit and couldn't find a place to set up my tent, especially at Goshen Pond. It made me absolutely furious, out there with my paid permit in hand and no space to do anything with it, while tons of people around me had no permit and were openly and obnoxiously flaunting the rules. And then the campgrounds shut down, and I was pretty annoyed that I couldn't camp out there for like two years. Then they reopened. And while I could shoot the person who came up with the computerized registration system (that was a state-level implementation), it's way calmer than it used to be. I haven't had to challenge anyone to a duel in years to get my darn spot.

So, what I'm feeling the first part, hoping for the second part, and mostly really need is to see this plan ASAP so I can totally commit one way or the other. I'm holding out hope that there is something bigger in the works, but am fully prepared to totally lose it if this is a secretive backhanded way to do... well, whatever it's purpose in this move is.
 

MikeBickerson

Explorer
Feb 8, 2004
740
258
63
37
Barringtonl, NJ
www.southjerseytrails.org
Also, what blows my mind - how is it possible that no one here knew about this? At the risk of inflating everyone's egos, this place is filled with brilliant folks who really have their fingers involved in nearly every facet of the pines (to go along with the dunderheads like me). My sense of evil, secret society plot grows with the fact that no one here knew about this until like yesterday.
 
  • Like
Reactions: WaretownMike

Ben Ruset

Administrator
Site Administrator
Oct 12, 2004
7,330
1,097
1,093
41
Asbury Park, NJ
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.
I hate to say it but I don't disagree with you there.
 

smoke_jumper

Piney
Mar 5, 2012
1,120
572
1,093
Atco, NJ
Has any one been down to any of the areas that are being abused. Have they been left open? If so why? Why did they close roads with little to no 4x4 use? Why is it so hard to make a map? Are they "working" on a map because they haven't finished closing off areas? I have many questions and a few theories. To me this feels like there's more to these specific closures then just 4x4 abuse.
 

Broke Jeep Joe

Explorer
Mar 8, 2006
470
182
43
Waterford Twp
Has any one been down to any of the areas that are being abused. Have they been left open? If so why? Why did they close roads with little to no 4x4 use? Why is it so hard to make a map? Are they "working" on a map because they haven't finished closing off areas? I have many questions and a few theories. To me this feels like there's more to these specific closures then just 4x4 abuse.
I know "Cherry Hill" road is blocked like this, got a pic from a friend of mine, that road was a disaster area
 

Broke Jeep Joe

Explorer
Mar 8, 2006
470
182
43
Waterford Twp
I haven't been down Railroad Ave/Batsto Fireline lately, I know just after Locks Bridge before you get to the other end of Cherry Hill road this was a disaster also, has this been closed after the Locks turnoff? I am alos curious about West Mill Rd / Rockwood Road, another area that looks like the tank testing area at Ft.Dix
 

Broke Jeep Joe

Explorer
Mar 8, 2006
470
182
43
Waterford Twp
I take it then that this is not the 'forum' mentioned in other posts, but one organized by and for folks questioning the closings?
Not sure yet, I contacted Dave and he cant remember his log in info here and is sending me something in email, I have his permission to post and will as soon as I get it.
 

Broke Jeep Joe

Explorer
Mar 8, 2006
470
182
43
Waterford Twp
This is from Dave:

Hey guys, mudboy dave here. That meeting at the red lion inn is a brainstorm I came up with after speaking with rob. My goal is to try to get the 4x4 community to conform with what's going on out there. I want to inform them of the map that is waiting approval and try to not only get them to respect the signs but also to stop tearing up the main roads. With me being as involved as I am in the 4x4 community I believe I stand a better chance of communicating with them than state park police or some random older guy. This is no more than attempt to stop the roads from getting damaged again and to try to prevent any more stringent rules from surfacing later down the road. Of anyone has any questions or has anything they want me to communicate, then by all means feel free to call me or text me at 8568737528. I have totally forgotten my password for this forum and the email that I used upon sign up years ago no longer exists. I hope you are all doing well.
Thanks,
Dave
 
  • Like
Reactions: 46er

smoke_jumper

Piney
Mar 5, 2012
1,120
572
1,093
Atco, NJ
I haven't been down Railroad Ave/Batsto Fireline lately, I know just after Locks Bridge before you get to the other end of Cherry Hill road this was a disaster also, has this been closed after the Locks turnoff? I am alos curious about West Mill Rd / Rockwood Road, another area that looks like the tank testing area at Ft.Dix
Yep those too. I haven't been down Rockwood road in years. It needs to be very dry for me to even think about it.
 

Broke Jeep Joe

Explorer
Mar 8, 2006
470
182
43
Waterford Twp
Yep those too. I haven't been down Rockwood road in years. It needs to be very dry for me to even think about it.
I had deer stands off West Mill, not that far from the crossroad for Rockwood, haven't used them in years, its like a bombing range, even when its dry its almost impossible to get a normal truck down that way. My truck is slightly modified (33's) and I don't take it down there anymore.
 

dragoncjo

Piney
Aug 12, 2005
1,354
94
1,028
37
camden county
Closing off these roads forever changes the character of Wharton. I've said it before say it again I never see much abuse in Wharton from orv use. I see a lot of people driving responsibly. This had to be some part related to getting grants to fix roads, and the realizing only way to keep in tact would be to close them. I caught word of this at beginning of spring via Gibby who heard from fish and game. My days in barrens are almost always quick stops via all these roads to check on illegal collecting. It's impossible to walk to ever spot with limited time, all this is bullshit.
 

Ben Ruset

Administrator
Site Administrator
Oct 12, 2004
7,330
1,097
1,093
41
Asbury Park, NJ
This is from Dave:

Hey guys, mudboy dave here. That meeting at the red lion inn is a brainstorm I came up with after speaking with rob. My goal is to try to get the 4x4 community to conform with what's going on out there. I want to inform them of the map that is waiting approval and try to not only get them to respect the signs but also to stop tearing up the main roads. With me being as involved as I am in the 4x4 community I believe I stand a better chance of communicating with them than state park police or some random older guy. This is no more than attempt to stop the roads from getting damaged again and to try to prevent any more stringent rules from surfacing later down the road. Of anyone has any questions or has anything they want me to communicate, then by all means feel free to call me or text me at 8568737528. I have totally forgotten my password for this forum and the email that I used upon sign up years ago no longer exists. I hope you are all doing well.
Thanks,
Dave
It just kills me that they did the closings before they made the map publicly available. It also speaks volumes that the DEP, PPA, Al Horner, etc. are all silent about this.

Anyway, you can pass on a message to Dave that he can contact me at bruset@njpinebarrens.com and I can get him back into his account if he wants.
 
  • Like
Reactions: mudboy dave

mudboy dave

Explorer
Oct 15, 2008
951
18
18
37
atco
opentrailsnj.org
Hello all, no time no see, I have still been creeping and learning off of this site, but figured it is time to get back on. Yes, what broke jeep joe posted is what I messaged him. ... also any of you who know who I am also know that I am a VERY active motorized vehicle enthusiast. I've actually been staying out of wharton. Our jeep is not street legal and the roads were starting to get to the point to where I was worried about damaging my daily driven kid hauler down alot of the roads. Im happy to see that roads have been repaired and my "meeting" is being done in hopes that I get a younger crowd there of "offroaders" and that they will listen to me on how important it is to not continue purposely destroying the roads. However some of the roads that are shut down I am obviously not happy about. Do I want to fight it? Of course I do, however talking to rob the other day, I wouldn't even no where to begin to fight it. I am hoping out of this "sh*it show" of meeting coming up that I will be able to grab some well educated people and continue to talk. One thing that this forum has never let me down on is the amount of intelligence withheld in one small place. I would love to talk to some of you personally and discuss.... my phone number is 8568737528 I do not check voice mail so if you don't get me, please send me a text with your screen name and I'll get back to you. I look forward to speaking to some other u happy people in the near future
 

Boyd

Super Moderator
Staff member
Moderator
Jul 31, 2004
6,773
1,143
1,093
Ben's Branch, Stephen Creek
I posted about this a year or more ago.
Remember this? https://forums.njpinebarrens.com/threads/closed-to-mortorized-vehicles.7062/

Deja Vu, from the Slag Heap in 2011…

As I have said for years, this is the beginning of the end of motorized access to the Pine Barrens. It's finally happening. Anybody who thinks this is the end is naive.

If you were wondering who's involved in this:
http://njtlc.proboards.com/index.cgi?board=projects&action=display&thread=171
 
Last edited: