Recreation in the Pines... My thoughts

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russell juelg

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Guys, please cite specific words or actions. I cited a specific statement from a PPA Pinelands Watch newsletter that I believe was inaccurate and misleading. We can correct such things, but it is impossible for us to address statements such as, "You can just tell..." or "It's obvious that..."

Those are your personal impressions, and they may be perfectly justified, but nobody can evaluate them unless you relate them to specific words or actions.
 

russell juelg

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...the article that I was referring to was in the most recent PPA newsletter. ... It was far more harsh and contained more errors.

I am surpised that the PPA is not addressing the current rules of the state forest, that motorcycles that are tagged and insured as well as trucks are legal. Where as quads and untaggable motorcycles are not. I am also surprised that no mention is made of the long history enduros in the pine barrens and the contribution of enduro and 4x4 clubs in clean up projects.

To the contrary, they claim that ORV use is a recent recreation. Anyway, I didn't want to open this subject up again, I was just responding to Russ's comment about a specific comment I made in earlier post.

Jeff
Jeff, what are the errors you refer to? What do you mean by saying that, "PPA is not addressing the current rules..."? Also, I don't understand the significance of whether or not we mention the enduros. And yes, it's good that some clubs are conducting cleanups, but focus of the project is illegal ORV activity and how we can address that. Finally, whether or not ORV use is "recent" is a matter of perspective, but the main issue is that ORV use has become more popular in the recent past, and a lot of that activity is in fact illegal and destructive and inconsiderate of other people. PPA's project is about this aspect of the use. Whatever people may be doing or planning to do within the bounds of the law is not our focus.
 

Ben Ruset

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Off-road vehicles (ORVs) have been damaging natural land, farmland and private property since this new form of motorized recreation began over twenty years ago.
Right off the bat, lets start with an inflammatory statement.

In 2002, the Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) released some statistics on the damage caused by ORVs in New Jersey. DEP estimated at that time that 340,000 acres of public land had been negatively impacted by ORVs and that the agency
spends $900,000 a year on enforcement and restoration work tied to ORV use.
I'd love to see how they (the DEP) came to that conclusion. 340k acres is 3.4 times the size of Wharton. It's a great way of scaring people.

A recent editorial (12/28/2007) by The Press of Atlantic City states that tough
rules are needed for off-road vehicles. According to the The Press, "Why should the rest of us subsidize this rampant destruction of public lands, where it has long been illegal to operate dirt bikes and ATVs?"
First, it's perfectly possible to operate an ATV without rampant destruction. Second, ATV use on public lands was legal up until 2002, so long as they stuck to trails.

The joint cooperation among the elected officials and conservation groups for the
past two years has pushed the ORV community to create a non-profit organization, per our collective recommendation, that has access to state motorized recre-
ation money for creating an ORV facility. Recently, this ORV non-profit group
was awarded over $1 million dollars to purchase land for a facility in South
Jersey. The ORV riders have the opportunity to receive $300,000 yearly for trail
creation and maintenance.

Unfortunately, the ORV community keeps pushing for more money and expects funds to come from the ORV bill, which is not the intent of the legislation.
Sure, because it's in everyone's best interest to fund the police. They have every right to try to get more money - a $1M grant and $300k/yr isn't going to begin to pay for any sort of ORV park. Yet money pours in to pay for public lands that support everyone elses special interest (equestrians, sportsmen, etc.)

Anyway, it's not so much any specific thing said, it's just the tone of the article. It's all about legislation, fines, etc. which would make anybody think that that's all the PPA cares about.
 

Medford Piney

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http://www.medfordcentralrecord.com/WebApp/appmanager/JRC/Weekly?_nfpb=true&_pageLabel=pg_wk_article&r21.pgpath=%2FMED%2FOpinion&r21.content=%2FMED%2FOpinion%2FTopStoryList_Story_1512244#

This was from my local newpaper...

Time to Protect From ORV Assault
To the editor:

Illegal riding of off-road vehicles (ORVs) is assaulting our public lands throughout the country. The unique and fragile ecosystems in New Jersey are under assault as well. A new book Thrillcraft captures the problems caused by illegal and sometimes legal off-road vehicle use and asks all state and federal leaders to address die environmental assault on all conservation lands. These vehicles cause soil compaction, erosion on stream banks, destruction of plant and animal habitat disturbance to wildlife and disturbance to low-impact recreationists, such as birdwatchers, hikers, and fishermen.

The uncontrolled operation of Thrillcraft such as All Terrain Vehicles (ATVs) and Personal Watercraft (PWCs) here in New Jersey kill and injure people, damage land, water, and property, create noise, air, and water pollution, reduce property values, discourage passive/quiet recreation, and harass and displace people and wildlife.

Assemblyman Reed Gusciora introduced a bill last year that would help reduce the illegal riding by increasing fines and penalties for these riders on public lands, and implementing a mandatory tagging and registration program so that the riders could be more easily identified.

As property owner of the temporary Chatsworth ORV facility, New Jersey Conservation Foundation has learned firsthand that parks are not the solution for illegal-riding, but rather strict penalties and fines for deterring illegal riding. This legislation is needed to curb illegal ORV riding that is damaging conservation land and creating public safety problems.

The citizens of New Jersey and beyond deserve to have the right to quality and quiet public lands. Wildlife deserves to be protected from motorized recreation. It is the responsibility of state lawmakers and agencies to give these rights back to the public and back to nature. Action is needed now to end the damages that have occurred for over a decade. Legislation is the only answer, and Pinelands Preservation Alliance commends the sponsors of the bill for recognizing this need and coming up with a plan to address it.

Jaclyn Rhoads
Pinelands Preservation Alliance

This is the link to the bill she speaks of and the PPA are in support of...
http://www.njleg.state.nj.us/2008/Bills/A1000/823_I1.HTM



And a response to this opinion in the same paper.....



http://www.medfordcentralrecord.com/WebApp/appmanager/JRC/Weekly?_nfpb=true&_pageLabel=pg_wk_article&r21.pgpath=/MED/Opinion&r21.content=/MED/Opinion/TopStoryList_Story_1623659

In defense of Off Road Vehicles
To the editor:

What are the real goals of the Pinelands Preservation Alliance? After reading Jaclyn Rhoads' Time To Protect From ORV Assault, it is clear that she and the Pinelands Preservation Alliance seek to deny use of and access to New Jersey State Wild lands, for ORV use. What is an ORV or Off Road Vehicle? I am confused. Ms. Rhoads states, illegal and sometimes legal ORV “use must be stopped.” Legal ORV use could only mean registered and insured vehicles, cars, trucks and motorcycles. Unregistered vehicles cannot legally be operated in state wild lands. The penalties for doing so are severe; fines, loss of license, etc.

In her Jan. 21 letter, Ms. Rhoads lists activities approved of by her on state lands; bird watching, hiking and fishing. These are referred to as “passive, quiet recreation.” I wonder if driving a 4 by 4 truck down a dirt road, in Wharton State Forest will be passive and quiet enough. How about hunting Ms. Rhoads? Will that be OK with you?

Ms. Rhoads' portrayal of ORV use reads like a horror story with hordes of outlaw bikers arriving in our state woods, killing and destroying everything in their paths, with no respect for people, property, or wildlife. She refers to off road vehicles as “thrill craft” and says that they are harassing peaceful and quiet recreation, causing soil erosion and soil compaction and are “injuring and killing people.” These claims are insulting to me personally and I think unfair to a large group of people who care deeply about our states forests and parklands. For more than 25 years I have spent much time in our pineland woods, riding motorcycles, hiking, hunting and fishing. Now I wish to pass on the enjoyment of these activities to my two sons and will teach them to appreciate and respect the woods as I do.

The majority of ORV riders is responsible and law abiding. They ride their vehicles primarily on roads and firebreaks that were established long ago. Our ecosystem in the Pinelands is not fragile and badly damaged from ORV use. I view the ecology of the pines to be rugged and resilient with sandy soil, not prone to erosion or soil compaction.

With the vast amount of acreage available in South Jersey's State Pinelands, there is enough space for the thousands of people who ride and drive vehicles off road, to be given the same consideration as other outdoor enthusiasts. Responsible use of street legal vehicles on state land should continue to be allowed, as it is now. An area of a few thousand acres, in a remote location, should be established for non street legal motorcycle and ATV use. Other states have done this successfully. It would work in New Jersey as well.

If Ms. Rhoads and other extremist groups are successful in banning ORVs or any other group of people, from state wild lands they may cause the very thing they are trying to prevent. If people are denied use of public lands, for the recreational activities they choose, they will cease to fight the battles that will come in the future, to save the pinelands.

(name removed)

Medford



This post will be edited with additional info later...
 

russell juelg

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Jul 31, 2006
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... it's not so much any specific thing said ....
Well, my concern in this discussion was to discover whether there was any specific thing PPA has said or done to give anyone the impression that we are "anti-ORV" rather than "anti-illegal-ORV-activity."

Blurring this simple distinction seems to me similar to someone saying "Mothers Against Drunk Drivers are anti-drivers." The facts they state, the opinions they quote, the tone they adopt, their attitude, and, no doubt, their body language, are all directed against a specific kind of driving, not driving in general. Why don't they praise the good, sober drivers? Because it is presumed that drivers should be good and sober. Good, sober drivers don't cause an inordinate amount of trouble. MADD is trying to help solve or at least alleviate a problem.

So with PPA, the tone, quotes, the facts, the effort to get legislation, the type of legislation we seek, the support for increased fines are all directed toward what? ORV's in general? People who operate ORV's legally and responsibly?

No. Illegal ORV activity.
 

woodjin

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Nov 8, 2004
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I think Ben addressed the specific errors very well. I also think the article supplied by MP proves very effectively that Rhoads and the PPA are not just concerned about enforceing the current laws on ORV use or addressing illegal ORV use. there is a call for strict, even extremist, legislation to stop this "assault" on public lands.

My point about enduros is that the PPA does not recognize the history of motorized use in the pines in their argument or the noble efforts of ORV clubs. Who is going to clean up the trash if these clubs have no where to organize? The PPA?

BTW: I believe the NJCF was very pleased with the results of the Chatsworth park and the restoration of that land. Where did she come up with the idea that they wern't. Because they didn't extend the contract?


Also I agree with the response in that article that ORV's is a very general term, who exactly is she attacking?

This is a bad campaign and I feel the PPA is losing credibility and we need that credibility in an organization that has the potential to do so much good for the pinebarrens.

Jeff
 

russell juelg

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I think Ben addressed the specific errors very well... Jeff
Jeff, please take a look at my post immediately prior to yours (previous page) and let me know what you think.

I didn't see any instances in Ben's post of addressing specific errors. What did I miss?
 
Apr 6, 2004
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I have kept out of these discussions because of how heated they have been. I can certainly see where Ben and Jeff are coming from and I can see where Russel is coming from. I think at this point it would be expedient to recognize that the PPA is not anti-ORV in general, but rather against illegal operation of ORVs.
 
Folks:

I have no dog in this fight, but I have been reading all of the postings about ORVs and ATVs. Obviously, emotions surge on both sides of the issue and it is quite easy to get caught up in the moment and lose sight of the facts. I discern that Russell is attempting to keep the discussion unemotional and logical, seeking, instead, specific examples of inflammatory language and bad behavior on the part of PPA personnel.

Given the somtimes emotional opinions expressed in this and other similar threads, I suggest that Russell and the PPA thoroughly vet all future communiques emanating from the PPA and its personnel and volunteers—official and otherwise. In addition, I think it is paramount for the PPA to issue a position paper in the immediate future that clearly and succinctly proclaims to everyone that the PPA is only against illegal users of ORVs and ATVs and that they acknowledge the appropriateness for the legal use of such vehicles. The PPA should also understand the long history of using motorized vehicles in the Pines and express appreciation for the great services rendered to the Pine Barrens by organized groups of legal ORV users.

Dancing around what the PPA has and has not said or done is never going to fix the problem. It is time for the PPA to quell the dispute by telling the world where the problem lies—and where it does not!

What say you, Russell?

Best regards,
Jerseyman
 

Medford Piney

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Feb 25, 2008
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I think at this point it would be expedient to recognize that the PPA is not anti-ORV in general, but rather against illegal operation of ORVs.
You can adopt that belief if you like, but I don't think you will convince anyone else here to believe it...

or the other people in the ORV communities for that matter...

the only way that opinion will change is with a direct and official statement from the PPA, (and not only on this website) a new directive and
working relationship with the users on the issue and parting ways with the people who are completely against ORV use within the state. Which might include purging some of their own membership and rank.


If this were to happen, I'd bet they would find 1000's and 1000's new members and supporters after some good faith is show on their part.
 

russell juelg

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Jul 31, 2006
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...I suggest that Russell and the PPA thoroughly vet all future communiques emanating from the PPA and its personnel and volunteers—official and otherwise. In addition, I think it is paramount for the PPA to issue a position paper in the immediate future that clearly and succinctly proclaims to everyone that the PPA is only against illegal users of ORVs and ATVs and that they acknowledge the appropriateness for the legal use of such vehicles. The PPA should also understand the long history of using motorized vehicles in the Pines and express appreciation for the great services rendered to the Pine Barrens by organized groups of legal ORV users.

Dancing around what the PPA has and has not said or done is never going to fix the problem. It is time for the PPA to quell the dispute by telling the world where the problem lies—and where it does not!
Sound advice. I have already advised my colleagues (and myself) to be careful not to paint all the riders with the same brush, and to try to avoid generalizations and emotive language that offends law-abiding riders. Future statements issued by PPA for the clarifications you advise, may be helpful.

Not sure what you mean, though, by "dancing around." I have asked that accusations be backed up by facts. It does strike me a bit unfair to accuse someone of something, fail to bring any evidence to back up the accusation, then demand that the accused prove his innocence.
 
Not sure what you mean, though, by "dancing around." I have asked that accusations be backed up by facts. It does strike me a bit unfair to accuse someone of something, fail to bring any evidence to back up the accusation, then demand that the accused prove his innocence.
Russell:

The term "dancing around" as used in my previous post refers to all of the accusations made in this and other threads on these forums regarding the PPA and their perceived attitudes, words, and actions relative to ORVs and ATVs. As I indicated, I am totally neutral in this discussion, but I am growing weary of everyone—ranging from the subscribers here to the PPA—suffering from an awful beatdown. We all care about the Pines and enjoy what they have to offer in diverse number of ways, including those who legally riding motorized vehicles. For you and everyone else here: LET’S NOT THROW THE BABY OUT WITH THE BATH WATER!!!!

The PPA and all who support natural and cultural preservation in the Pines need to engage in a lasting symbiotic relationship, and put aside their differences.

Best regards,
Jerseyman
__________________
scriptor rerum Nova Caesarea
Dei memor, gratus amicus
 
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Sound advice, Jerseyman.

Medford Piney, could you give some specific examples of where the PPA has condemned ORV use in general? If you have already given some examples that I glossed over, I apologize and would appreciate it if you reiterated them.
 

Medford Piney

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Sound advice, Jerseyman.

Medford Piney, could you give some specific examples of where the PPA has condemned ORV use in general? If you have already given some examples that I glossed over, I apologize and would appreciate it if you reiterated them.
it is the perception of the general public that is in question. The people are influenced by things they read from the PPA and the actions and issues they have brought up in the past. People believe they are against ORV's in general, that's is all that matters. Nothing has been published to change peoples views on this matter.

Please show us proof that the PPA is pro ORV use within the state. Or any printed documentation from them that supports your feelings.

I have reviewed many posts on many public forums and have yet to see a single poster's comments reflect that the PPA is not against ORV use. well besides here. Regardless if the poster was pro or anti ORV.

Again to vanish this perception from the publics eye, they, the PPA will have to address this issue head on. Until then the 100' of 1000's of people who believe this, true or not will continue to believe it...
 

Ben Ruset

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Well, listening to Russ I think anybody who is fair-minded will see that the PPA is not anti-ORV. The problem is that the message being conveyed from the PPA in their newsletters, meetings, and newspaper articles is not conveying that message.

The fact that Russ needs to come on here and explain the position of the PPA (not that I am not happy that Russ is posting here) shows the failure of the PPA to explain this point.
 
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Medford Piney said:
it is the perception of the general public that is in question. The people are influenced by things they read from the PPA and the actions and issues they have brought up in the past. People believe they are against ORV's in general, that's is all that matters. Nothing has been published to change peoples views on this matter.
While I agree that the PPA ought to clarify this matter, we have to be responsible in our criticisms. Do you have any specific examples of where the PPA has condemned ORV use in general?

Please show us proof that the PPA is pro ORV use within the state.
Russel himself has said that the PPA is not anti-ORV in general. I have not seen anything that would indicate otherwise. If you are going to assert that the PPA is totally anti-ORV, the burden is on you to demonstrate as much.
 

russell juelg

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Well, listening to Russ I think anybody who is fair-minded will see that the PPA is not anti-ORV. The problem is that the message being conveyed from the PPA in their newsletters, meetings, and newspaper articles is not conveying that message.

The fact that Russ needs to come on here and explain the position of the PPA (not that I am not happy that Russ is posting here) shows the failure of the PPA to explain this point.
Thanks for sticking up for me on that one point, Ben!

I think I have made all the concessions and admissions that are logically appropriate on this topic. Please see previous posts where I have agreed that PPA should make some adjustments.

I respectfully disagree with you, though, on a few very important points. PPA's message has been consistently one of opposition to irresponsible and unlawful use of ORV's. The fact that some portion of the public believes otherwise is not primarily a result of PPA's communications on the topic. Rather it is primarily the result of rumors and the failure of certain members of the public to read carefully and notice appropriate distinctions. Also, my posting here does not prove anything, except that I am happy to defend PPA against unwarranted (not fact or detail-based) accusations whether they come from a presumably large or small group.
 

Ben Ruset

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Sorry, if you're putting out a message, and a large number of people are not understanding it or misinterpreting it, the fault lies with the message sender.

That's like someone writing a childrens book using really big words and then blaming the kids for not understanding it.
 
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