PPA and ORV's

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russell juelg

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Jul 31, 2006
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In a recent editorial, Ben Ruset indicated that PPA was trying to stop all ORV activity in the state and using "heavy handed" methods to get better enforcement against illegal ORV activity. We wish he had consulted us before posting the editorial, because some of those claims spring from uninformed sources, and are simply false. Here is a summary of the major misconceptions about ORV activity and PPA.

PPA Addresses Misconceptions

MISCONCEPTION
PPA is opposed to all ORV activity

CORRECTION
PPA is opposed to all *illegal* ORV activity
PPA is philosophically opposed to any ecologically harmful ORV activity, whether or not it may be legal, but PPA has not proposed any new laws to limit ORV riding on one’s own property.

MISCONCEPTION
PPA is opposed to the establishment of ORV parks

CORRECTION
PPA drafted a letter that was sent to then-commissioner Brad Campbell specifically *recommending* the establishment of legal ORV parks, together with passage of legislation and rules for the registration of all ORVs, stepped up enforcement against illegal ORV use, and education of ORV riders on legal and environmental impacts.
PPA continues to support the establishment of legal ORV parks that meet strict environmental criteria, if registration laws are also adopted at the same time.

MISCONCEPTION
PPA is not trying to be part of the solution.

CORRECTION
PPA has been directly engaged in this controversy since 1999. We have led and attended regular meetings and participated in numerous discussions that included ORV riders. We helped promote the idea of a statewide policy for ORV recreation that includes state registration of the vehicles, with the registration fees calculated to cover the costs of stepping up enforcement and the establishment of parks

MISCONCEPTION
PPA is trying to prohibit the use of ORV’s by a rider on his or her own private property

CORRECTION
PPA has never given any such indication. Possibly this mistaken notion springs from PPA’s published statements about “private property,” the context being ORV riders *on someone else’s private property* without permission.
PPA would be opposed to ORV use, even by the landowner, on individually specified private properties, if the use were causing clear environmental degradation – but PPA has not proposed any new laws limiting ORV use on one’s own property.

MISCONCEPTION
ORV riders need a place to ride.

CORRECTION
ORV recreation is a *choice*, not a need. ORV recreation is clearly an expensive and problematic sport. Riders choose both the costs and the problems when they choose the sport, but they choose the sport knowing their legal opportunities are restricted.

MISCONCEPTION
Since the state is not providing sufficient places for ORV recreation, it is forcing law-abiding citizens to become criminals.

CORRECTION
Buying an ORV is an individual choice.
Riding an ORV in an illegal manner is an individual choice.
No one is forcing anyone to ride illegally.

MISCONCEPTION
ORV’s are so popular, you will never stop all the illegal traffic.

CORRECTION
We don’t expect to stop all illegal traffic, but we have a responsibility to try to stop as much of it as we can.

MISCONCEPTION
If everyone, including PPA, would help the ORV community to set up legal parks, that would take the pressure off the state natural lands and would reduce the trespassing.

CORRECTION
It’s unlikely the state could ever hold enough ORV parks to satisfy the ORV recreation community.
Even if there were sufficient access to ORV parks, there will always be renegade riders.
PPA is an environmental activist nonprofit organization dedicated to protecting the Pine Barrens of New Jersey. It does not normally fall within our mission to invest our resources in promoting any particular forms of recreation, unless those forms of recreation specifically lead toward better protection of the Pinelands. Even so, we participated in the analysis of several proposed sites for ORV parks, and will continue to assist in this manner. We do not have the power, the authority, the resources, or the mandate to directly engage in the establishment of new ORV parks.

MISCONCEPTION
ORV riders have a right to go on state-owned lands, just like any other tax-paying citizen of the state.

CORRECTION
We all have a right to go on state lands, but we don’t have a right to *do whatever we want to do* there. However, if you want to create specifically designated state lands where ORV riding is legal, the appropriate strategy is to organize, strategize, and follow legal channels.

MISCONCEPTION
ORV riding is not really destructive to the environment.

CORRECTION
Even ordinary road traffic through natural areas has significant negative impacts on natural communities, such as air, water, and noise pollution, direct mortality to animals, and disturbances that affect their reproductive success, and damage to stream banks and wetlands. Biologists have documented all this. Off road traffic compounds these problems and adds to them the direct destruction of vegetation and wildlife habitats.
 

Ben Ruset

Administrator
Site Administrator
Oct 12, 2004
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www.benruset.com
Hi Russ,

Thanks for posting. I had actually already posted this in this thread.

russell juelg said:
In a recent editorial, Ben Ruset indicated that PPA was trying to stop all ORV activity in the state and using "heavy handed" methods to get better enforcement against illegal ORV activity. We wish he had consulted us before posting the editorial, because some of those claims spring from uninformed sources, and are simply false. Here is a summary of the major misconceptions about ORV activity and PPA.

Also, as I had stated several times during my phone conversation with you, those claims sprung solely from my opinions after reading that article. Just as I had not consulted with the PPA before publishing that article, I did not consult with any other ORV groups. The conclusions that I drew from that article are solely what I got out of reading that article, which both of us had agreed was "bad marketing."

In any case, I removed my editorial as I will be re-writing it after having spoken to you.
 

LARGO

Piney
Sep 7, 2005
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Pestletown
Welcome

While it's not the General Discussion welcome thread....
I'll say, welcome newcomer. Enjoy the site, it's really got good people on it.
Ben has created a very informative as well as amicable environment here.
It's great to have many types of different perspectives to learn from.

g.
 

russell juelg

Explorer
Jul 31, 2006
158
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Thanks! My hat's off to Ben. As for different perspectives, the way I figure, no matter how different we are, we have more in common than we usually realize! Most of the ORV riders I have met really care about the Pine Barrens and its wildlife. There are some very indifferent and careless ones out there, too, but I don't paint them all with the same brush.
 
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