Our view: Promising new DEP steps on pinelands use, protection

Teegate

Administrator
Site Administrator
Sep 17, 2002
24,062
6,147
Even if it is free this won't work. A colossal waste of time and money.
 

Rooftree

Explorer
Mar 24, 2017
241
405
76
Haddon Township
It's states in the article, you will need a permit to go 'off-road' in the pinelands. What do they define as 'off road'? So. they are going to close off some roads, and you would need a permit to drive the other open sandy roads? I travel in the pines using a 4-door Honda Accord. I can travel on a good number of sandy roads, weather permitting. i.e. Quaker Bridge Rd to the bridge, Hampton Rd, Glossy Spung Rd, the road that leads out of Friendship down to Hawkins Bridge and then out to RT 563, Stevenson Rd, and all most all the roads in Penn State Forest. Am going to need a permit to drive a car in the pines?

I'll just have to wait in what they determine as being off-road. If I do need a permit, and they charge a cost, maybe I'll be exempted. Based on my age, I currently don't need a NJ Freshwater Fishing License, and I get on State Parks free, of the ones that charge.

I've been retired for 15 years and going to the Pines quite regularly for 13 of them. I only go during the weekdays. On many occasions I can spend the whole day not seeing one vehicle or person. Once in a while, I would go in the evening to see if I can spot a pine barren tree frog. Several times I go to my spot just in off Carranza Rd. There's always loud traffic going back and forth all evening long. (But I guess that's ok since it is a hardtop road.) The State should be patrolling the roads in the evening and weekends, when I feel most problems occur.
 

Boyd

Administrator
Site Administrator
Jul 31, 2004
8,347
1,928
Ben's Branch, Stephen Creek
I think "they" can do whatever they want. ;) My interpretation of the scant info is that you would need some kind of permit and sticker on your windshield to drive on the unpaved roads on state land. I believe other states have this, years ago I was passing through Maryland(?) and took a little detour through a state forest. There were signs saying you needed a permit to drive on those roads and would be fined without one. I was only there for an hour or so, but nobody asked to see my permit, LOL.

So, who knows, if they passed a law like that I wouldn't be especially happy but I'd just get the permit. I mean, what could they charge? $50? If they actually used that money to enforce existing laws or improve the state forests then it wouldn't be such a bad thing. I just avoid Wharton now, haven't been there in awhile, but from posts I see here it sounds like there are a lot of park police and getting a ticket would probably be a lot more expensive than the permit. For that matter, they could make it a license plate sticker and use automated cameras to check for compiance. That would likely generate a lot of income from un-permitted users.
 

manumuskin

Piney
Jul 20, 2003
8,309
2,131
58
millville nj
www.youtube.com
I think "they" can do whatever they want. ;) My interpretation of the scant info is that you would need some kind of permit and sticker on your windshield to drive on the unpaved roads on state land. I believe other states have this, years ago I was passing through Maryland(?) and took a little detour through a state forest. There were signs saying you needed a permit to drive on those roads and would be fined without one. I was only there for an hour or so, but nobody asked to see my permit, LOL.

So, who knows, if they passed a law like that I wouldn't be especially happy but I'd just get the permit. I mean, what could they charge? $50? If they actually used that money to enforce existing laws or improve the state forests then it wouldn't be such a bad thing. I just avoid Wharton now, haven't been there in awhile, but from posts I see here it sounds like there are a lot of park police and getting a ticket would probably be a lot more expensive than the permit. For that matter, they could make it a license plate sticker and use automated cameras to check for compiance. That would likely generate a lot of income from un-permitted users.
Hopping out and taking a pee could get you a fine for decent exposure.The woods just ain't the same anymore.
 

enormiss

Explorer
Aug 18, 2015
367
181
Atco NJ
It's states in the article, you will need a permit to go 'off-road' in the pinelands. What do they define as 'off road'? So. they are going to close off some roads, and you would need a permit to drive the other open sandy roads? I travel in the pines using a 4-door Honda Accord. I can travel on a good number of sandy roads, weather permitting. i.e. Quaker Bridge Rd to the bridge, Hampton Rd, Glossy Spung Rd, the road that leads out of Friendship down to Hawkins Bridge and then out to RT 563, Stevenson Rd, and all most all the roads in Penn State Forest.

That's always the problem, there is NO off road. Based on what we know from the past they are talking about the roads you describe and some of them may even be off limits.
 
  • Like
Reactions: Broke Jeep Joe

NJChileHead

Explorer
Dec 22, 2011
773
555
For starters, I do applaud this effort: "The other, expected to take shape this coming spring, will create an interactive map of the pinelands showing where off-road vehicle use is approved or prohibited." At least if they can funnel activity into certain areas, this will probably cut down (I hope) on pressure in other areas.

Now, I'm all for enforcement of laws and protection of the Pine Barrens, but once again I am looking at an idea that the state probably believes looks good on paper but probably will have unintended consequences for law-abiding citizens.

The one question that sticks out the most: are the people who are trained to enforce these new laws also going to be trained to not abuse them? For example, if someone is birding, fishing or otherwise lawfully recreating and they pull over (IOW not stop/park in the middle of the road) to take a look at an area, fish, etc. are they going to pay a hefty fee for being 'off road'?

Another thing: I admit I'm a little grouchy today but my knee-jerk reaction is that once again honest, law-abiding people are paying fees because of the negligence of others, while the state makes out in terms of revenue. Who really wins, who loses, and who draws even in this arrangement?
 

Ben Ruset

Administrator
Site Administrator
Oct 12, 2004
7,482
1,461
Monmouth County
www.benruset.com
"I was totally going to go muddin through four mile but I'm waiting for my permit to be approved."

Yes, this plan will surely halt all of the destruction in the woods. All it's going to do is keep the people that are responsible out.

While we're at it, who's involved with planning out the "map" of where people can go?
 

Teegate

Administrator
Site Administrator
Sep 17, 2002
24,062
6,147
I have been told about very late evening meet ups where mudders will spend all night tearing places up and arrive home at 3AM. I don't live even near the pines and vehicles all over my neighborhood and routes out to the pines have mud so thick on them I can't see in the windows. At least one other person I know has mentioned the same thing to me about this activity that was and most likely still is occurring from a home across from where they lived. Does anyone honestly think the Park Police are going to be at these places at midnight? I am hearing they are ostracized if they end their shift with scratches and damage to their vehicle. Is a permit going to eliminate this? Honestly, think about that.
 

NJChileHead

Explorer
Dec 22, 2011
773
555
Still bothered by this. Am I misunderstanding this? If I drive down the sand roads from place to place with my kids to go birding, fishing, odeing/herping (without touching anything of course) or picking huckleberries, am I off-roading?

If that's the case, there's probably going to be lots of public pushback, and rightly so. Again I realize that there are entitled idiots out there who really do leave a mark, but there's got to be a solution that doesn't punish everyone. More fees and regulations are not going to be seen as an investment, they are a consequence for bad behavior of X number of people.

If this permit isn't free (which I'm pretty confident it's not), it's going to get to the point where people who are legally recreating are going to feel unwelcome in the preserved areas that are supposed to be set aside for them. Take the taxpayers money, preserve the land with it, open the land to the taxpayers, then kick them out if they don't pay a second/third time (third being on top of entrance fees at some parks)?

So I need a permit to fish (which I'm very happy to pay because it goes towards conservation)
Then I have a park entrance fee (I'm happy to pay, it goes to the parks)
Then I am going to need a permit just to get there? Now my BS radar starts tingling.

Are these parks really public anymore?

There are almost more ways to get charged, fined or kicked out of a state park in the Pine Barrens than to recreate in it if you do anything more than hike or drive down the middle of a trail with your eyes straight ahead. Whose vision of public land is this anyway?

I'll be more than happy to admit that I was wrong in my interpretation if I misunderstood this. Hopefully I did.
 
Last edited:
  • Love
Reactions: manumuskin

Teegate

Administrator
Site Administrator
Sep 17, 2002
24,062
6,147
Off-roading is their term for going in the woods basically. They are not giving out permits to allow one to damage the woods. Imagine how many people visit Wharton every year from across the county and each and every one who comes here will need a permit. They are not going to make you and me buy one and let everyone else get away with it. It is insane!

So to get to your favorite fishing hole no matter where it is you need a permit. If you are kayaking and have a friend from out of town who has agreed to drop his car off at the end of the route and it is in Wharton, they will need a permit. At least that is how I see it. It is a crock of shit!
 
Top