ORV Management In Sensitive Areas Of Wharton

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

  1. 46er

    46er Piney

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    Ahh, the good ole daze. "The more things change, the more they stay the same" - Jean-Baptiste Alphonse Karr
     
  2. Broke Jeep Joe

    Broke Jeep Joe Explorer

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    Man that was just a terrible time of misguided false hope filled nonsense for me! I can say I learned a lot from those 3 or 4 threads of complete crap about people in general and myself and want to thank a few folks here for helping me see, you're never too old to learn.
     
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  3. bobpbx

    bobpbx Piney
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    If that coalition held together, if it was not so fractured into so many competing interests, it may have come up with something. It might have at least been a force in place that would have been consulted.
     
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  4. Broke Jeep Joe

    Broke Jeep Joe Explorer

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    Totally agree Bob, it just went somewhere in a hand basket fast, interest fell off and it faded away. I was a great idea with too little support from all angles in my opinion.
     
  5. bobpbx

    bobpbx Piney
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    You said it best in one of those old posts Joe..."If the folks at Wharton manage "our" land and we have no input on how, what do we expect to happen? "
     
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  6. Broke Jeep Joe

    Broke Jeep Joe Explorer

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    Thanks for that Bob, I look back at some of those posts and most were not my best. But that statement is true in more arena's than just this one. If you let any one person or group steer the ship it will go the direction they want which is usually in their best interest.
     
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  7. Teegate

    Teegate Administrator
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    Dave must be referring to Joe. Yea thats it.
     
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  8. Broke Jeep Joe

    Broke Jeep Joe Explorer

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    Haaa! good one Guy! I think there is a few of us here that fit that description though!
     
  9. Teegate

    Teegate Administrator
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    Unfortuantly
     
  10. manumuskin

    manumuskin Piney

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    I am Al Horners email list.I had forgot about it since He rarely sends anything out.Here is what he wrote.
    Summer news

    View this email in your browser
    [​IMG]
    In The Viewfinder
    July 22, 2015
    [​IMG]
    Can our Pinelands handle the abuse it is being dealt?

    Nearly a decade ago I made a very concise decision, a wise decision I might add, to record the photographic beauty of the New Jersey Pinelands National Reserve, a.k.a The Pine Barrens. Not long after making that choice I realized that perhaps my images could help to raise awareness of the Pinelands and preserve this internationally recognized ecosystem (UNESCO World Heritage 1988). As the portfolio of Pinelands images grew it became clear that a book of Pinelands images, no one had published a fine art photographic book dealing with the Pinelands, could be invaluable. That dream came true in April of this year.

    [​IMG]

    Since the original concept of preserving the Pinelands back in the late 70's there have been numerous threats to its existence and future. Most of these threats many of us have heard, development, pipelines, habitat destruction, over use of water, just to name a few. One of the largest problems, in my eye, is the destruction caused by off-road vehicles a.k.a dirtbikes, ATVs and over muscled 4 x 4 Jeep type vehicles. The purpose of my images has always been to expose the beauty of the Pinelands. Off-road vehicle users consider the land to be a motorized sports arena, that mindset is causing irreparable damage to our public lands. I don't believe anyone would entertain having 25 or 30 4x4 trucks, ATVs or dirt bikes running through their lawn, garden or private wooded sanctuary. So why is it okay to run these vehicles through OUR state forest? What good comes from the noise, mud, grease, rutted roadways and destroyed wetlands? This is all quite the opposite of the beauty I attempt to share.

    [​IMG]

    Recently there has been a ray of hope in exposing this problem to the public and a volunteer effort to help rein it in. Asbury Park Press reporter Todd Bates recently wrote a very informative and wonderfully written three part series on the problems existing in the Pinelands, one of problems cited was about off-road vehicle destruction. Earlier this week I worked with The Philadelphia Inquirer reporter, Edward Colimore, on the same issue. Hopefully the Inquirer article will appear as soon as Sunday. On the volunteer front I have been working along with Rob Auermuller, Supt. of Wharton State Forest, with a group of Pineland Lovers to help with issues needing attention in the forest, one of which is off-road vehicle destruction. Pinelands Preservation Alliance was recently awarded a grant to fund a permanent volunteer group for Wharton S.F., provide needed tools and equipment, and do restoration work to 22 areas within Wharton that have been ravaged by off-road vehicle assaults.
    So, this is what has been occupying much of my time most recently, it is a cause worthy of my attention. The focus is needed to turn around a really hideous situation and preserve the beauty I find in the Pine Barrens so I, and others, can have it in the viewfinder for years to come.

    [​IMG]


    Social Media

    I now have accounts with Facebook, Twitter and Instagram. If you use any of these social media platforms please follow or friend me.
    Facebook:mad: Albert Horner and my book as a page as well, Pinelands: New Jersey's Suburban Wilderness
    Twitter@AlbertDHorner
    Instagram: albertdhorner

    [​IMG]

    Upcoming Events

    August 4th, 2015- Margate City Public Library, 8100 Atlantic Avenue, Margate, NJ 08402, 609-822-4700
    6:30 PM Pinelands talk and book signing
    Sept 11th, 2015 - Medford Memorial Community Center, 21 S. Main St., Medford, NJ 08055, 609-654-2598
    This is a major exhibit produced with renowned Pinelands watercolorist Terry Schmidt.
    Reception - Sept. 13th, 1 to 5 PM. Refreshments will be served. Hope everyone within range of Medford can attend. I will be showing new work and Terry will have a wonderful selection of her Pinelands watercolors.

    That's it for now. Thank you for your support and hope to see you in the woods or at one of my events.

    Albert


    I think "Ill have to unsubscribe from this.
     
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  11. Ben Ruset

    Ben Ruset Administrator
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    I met Al Horner at Barbara Solem's book signing at Batsto. I think he's a good guy, despite him chiding me for still using a film camera. (He's gone totally digital.)

    That being said, he's got an agenda. If you look at his Pinelands Under Siege it's full of the most inflammatory language - it'd make Rush Limbaugh proud. Even in the note that Manumuskin wrote he comes across with a huge holier than thou attitude.

    Right at the top of the email he shills for his new book. It seems like there's a lot of self promotion being thrown in with his indignation.

    A valid point. Dirt bikes and ATVs are 100% banned on state land now. Full stop. And yes, there's a lot of "over muscled" Jeeps/trucks riding around in the woods that are total overkill for the road conditions there. I have seen the destruction that careless drivers of these vehicles have done. Look at the mess at the lakes by Old Half Way. Look at the hotel cellar hole at Mount, or the continued destruction of the packing house ruins at Friendship. I personally see this willful damage sickening.

    That being said, I have a hard time believing that every road that has been closed leads to an area damaged by ORVs. I also believe that Guy driving his car down some of these sand roads, or me (back in the day) driving my (stock) Jeep slowly down them while I was looking for some historic site damages anything.

    Why does Al feel that he knows exactly what all ORV drivers think about the land? If this was Wikipedia there'd be a big [Citation Needed] next to that statement.

    So wait a second, is Al the sole arbiter of what OUR state forest should be used for? While Al might not enjoy driving a Jeep down a deserted pine road, getting away from the bustle of the modern world, and escaping to a much simpler time, other people do. Now note that I am not saying that a guy with 44" tires on his Jeep in the middle of tearing up a road should be allowed. My point is that Al is pushing his opinions and views onto everybody. I'm not a birder, but does that mean that I should say "Who would want to bird in these woods. Ban those evil ne'erdowells and their insipid binoculars!" No. Just because I don't necessarily like an activity doesn't mean that others shouldn't be allowed to. Especially when it is land that allegedly belongs to us all.

    Well, good to have confirmation that the PPA is behind this as well. Again, I think that the PPA has done some wonderful things, but they really do not realize that the woods belong to us all, and that things like closures and stuff should be done transparently out in the open.

    So in short, I agree that the Pines should not be destroyed by irresponsible ORV users. But, I don't feel that folks like us, who drive down these roads and are mindful of the kind of damage that our vehicles can do, should be punished - especially since we're the majority of ORV users in the woods. But fine, if you want to make a huge decision like closing down roads that will affect tens of thousands of people, at least do it with some transparency. This pretty much swooped in out of nowhere. I know that there was some talk back in 2010 about it, but that was five years ago. You can't mention something five years ago and then just go ram it into law on whatever whim you have.

    Secondly, the people that do this kind of damage are NOT going to be discouraged by "NO MOTORIZED VEHICLES" signs. They have them up at Old Half Way and yet people still drive back there. They have 1/4 mile closed, but people still go back there. If the state ACTUALLY cared about preserving the environment they'd step up the enforcement of the laws that are on the books.

    In the end, the only people that will be affected are folks like you and me who would actually NOT drive down a closed road while the guy with the 44" mud tires will continue to drive willy nilly and suffer no consequences. The long and short of it is that human beings are selfish creatures. People still flick their cigarette butts out the window. People still don't recycle. People will pour old oil from their lawnmower out in their back yard. Road closures aren't going to stop people from being assholes. The ONLY thing that will remotely serve as a deterrent will be the park police issuing summonses.

    Until that happens, or there is a sea change in how human beings think, those "ROAD CLOSED" signs will just stand sentinel over a bunch of rutted out impassable roads. And we'll have to look back and remember the times that we were able to enjoy the land that we collectively own before a small but vocal minority took it from us.
     
  12. Broke Jeep Joe

    Broke Jeep Joe Explorer

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    Well said Ben
     
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  13. Tracker Jim

    Tracker Jim Scout

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    Well Said Ben!
    I wonder how Al got to all those locations to take those beautiful photos.
    I understand that the ORV damage is a real problem that needs to be rectified, I'm just not sure that limiting access to those folks who's presence is actually a positive influence on our beloved Pines is the answer.
    Unless the parties involved can come to an understanding, and the park police become able to enforce the rules already on the books, I'm afraid those little signs will be gone before very long.
     
  14. Y-BUC-BILL

    Y-BUC-BILL Explorer

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    Most of you don't know who I am.I go by Y-BUC-BILL My given name is Bill Schemel..I first got acquinted with the Wharton Estate in 1943.Leason Small was the caretaker..Leason always said.....I cant stop you from using the roads "they are all public,but if you wat to deer hunt you better have a $2.00 permit-I have them at the house." Seems like after the State bought the Wharton Forest,all went down hill.remember when they wanted to build a hugh airport on the Tract.The Sportsmen's clubs helped shoot that idea down.Now we are encountering road closures.I thought the Forest belonged to the people of our State.I have asked the State Federation of Sportsmen's Clubs and the NJOA for help..Closing of the roads will effect all the people that use the roads for recreational purposes.Never thought I would see anything like this happening.
     
  15. smoke_jumper

    smoke_jumper Piney

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    The abuse goes much deeper then ORV use in the pines. In todays throw away society people pretty much abuse everything and when it breaks get a new one. That that general lack of respect includes the pines. ORV's just happen to be one of the most noticeable culprits. In some of these closures I've picked up more trash from kayakers then from 4x4's. We stopped at Weymouth for a small picnic over 4th of July weekend. We wound up just people watching. In the hour or so that we were there we saw a girl passed out in a canoe to a man floating in a tube with a floating cooler in tow sipping on a beer. All the while a ranger was right there. When a man stepped foot on shore with a beer the ranger yelled to come over here. The man turned around and simply floated away in the slowest getaway ever seen. There seemed almost a steady flow of drunk people. I am sure that these people are not picking up after themselves.
    As more people make the pines their destination and treat it with little or no respect and just go home. The worse everything is going to get. Closing roads is simply putting a band aid on a much larger problem.
     
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  16. smoke_jumper

    smoke_jumper Piney

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    Well said Ben.

    Maybe someone should contact the Inquirer before his article is released so his report is much less one sided and how these closures affect everyone not just the targeted people
     
  17. RednekF350

    RednekF350 Piney

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    Thanks for all of your help Y-Buc-Bill. Missed you last night.
    I made a presentation to our club members and it spurred a lot of questions, along with a lot of anger. It was especially troubling for our members who are also members of strictly deer clubs.
     
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  18. Stamos

    Stamos Scout

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    Nearly every year I do the annual 4x4 Pine Barrens Clean Up. I am always amazed at the amount of trash that is dumped in the Pines. In my opinion (from what I have seen) there is a large amount of illegally dumped contractor type trash. Yes, there are literally thousands of beer bottles, cans, tires, beds etc. , but the contrator dumps are usually rather large.

    I am in the Pines nearly every weekend driving down legal roads as a get-away from the throngs of people I have to deal with every day. I would be heartbroken to have the Pines closed down to law-biding people.

    Make your voice heard and write to your congressman or woman to let them know how you feel.
     
  19. SuperChooch

    SuperChooch Explorer

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    I'm at work now, but later on today, I'll be posting a little write up and our Senators and Representatives email addresses that you all can just cut and paste and send in an email. It couldn't get any easier. :) I'll also cross post it on the 4x4 meeting's Facebook group and ask those who are members of groups if they could send it on to groups they are a part of.
     
  20. SuperChooch

    SuperChooch Explorer

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    Hi all,

    If you want to contact your congressmen, I've done some research to make it easy for you. (Edit: I've pulled out the US Congress info, because, on reflection, I think Mike is right, the State Senate and Assembly is the right forum)

    The contact info for our state NJ Senators and Assembly can be found here:

    http://www.njleg.state.nj.us/districts/districtnumbers.asp

    Just look for your town and click on the link. Then click on the Senator's name. To right, you will then see a link that says: "Contact your Legislator(s)". This will allow you to select the Senator and the two Assembly people.

    If you are pressed for time, I wrote up a message that you can feel free to cut and paste, or if you don't like what I wrote, go ahead and change it to whatever you want to say:

    I am an outdoor enthusiast and I, along with hundreds of others, were dismayed to find out that large areas of Wharton State Forest were recently closed to motor vehicles.

    Wharton is very popular with outdoor enthusiasts who use it for hiking, camping, fishing, hunting, horse back riding, 4x4 exploration, etc. These areas of the forest have been open to motor vehicle traffic for decades and have provided easy access for these outdoor enthusiasts. The closures restrict accessibility to some of the more beautiful parts of the forest since you would now have to access them by foot or bicycle and have to travel several miles in some cases. This would limit or eliminate access to these places for the very young, very old or disabled, but would make it significantly more difficult to access for even the able bodied.
    The most disappointing part is that this action was taken without input from the public. I am very concerned about the damage that is being done to the forest, everyone can agree on that, but I believe there are other solutions and that closing access will not actually solve the problem.
    I am asking for your help to restore motor vehicle access to these newly closed area of the forest. Further, I believe that the real solution is to increase funding for the DEP and Park Police so that we can combat this problem with a combination of enforcement, restoration and other solutions besides closures. Finally, we ask that you help make sure that any further action that is taken engages the public so that they can contribute to the solution.
    If you are concerned about this topic, please take just few minutes of your day to reach out. It can make a difference.
     
    #160 SuperChooch, Jul 24, 2015
    Last edited: Jul 24, 2015
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