Recreation in the Pines... My thoughts

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Ben Ruset

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I think in the long term a break that has been widened into an all out trail will be more "damaging" than a firebreak that's cleared every 5-10 years with that bulldozer thing.

I agree with you, but I'm still not convinced that a fire break turned ATV trail isn't going to get widened and eventually turn all out into a trail. I don't think it's a bad thing, I'm just saying that years of constant traffic is going to be more damaging than a firebreak getting cleared every 10 years.
 

russell juelg

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Understood... but if the land owner is able to reopen the operation and start the sand mining again, wouldn't that defeat the same concern you have??

on another point, if a portion of the land might or could support T & E species, why could it not be only a "protected nature landscape" section within the park?? I have no worries that something like that would receive support from anyone that would be positively involved with a proposed park. Fence it if necessary. The the park would then serve in 2 forms, recreation and protection. Sensitive areas could be simply off limits. Easy to enforce, it would be part of the agreement to join with substantial consequences if violated. Remember off roaders ride to also enjoy what nature has to offer, not just to make noise and spin tires.
I think with all these questions, we have to look at specific situations rather than hypothetical. But I believe that with most sand mined areas, the desired material has been extracted, and the owners are supposed to return the area (to the extent possible) to a natural condition. As for protected areas within an ORV park, everything comes down to the species. Some require bigger buffers than others, some are more sensitive than others to the impacts of motorized traffic. It really does come down to site by site analysis.
 

russell juelg

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I think in the long term a break that has been widened into an all out trail will be more "damaging" than a firebreak that's cleared every 5-10 years with that bulldozer thing.

I agree with you, but I'm still not convinced that a fire break turned ATV trail isn't going to get widened and eventually turn all out into a trail. I don't think it's a bad thing, I'm just saying that years of constant traffic is going to be more damaging than a firebreak getting cleared every 10 years.
I tend to agree with Ben here, but maybe for a different reason. I would think that the noise of repeated traffic on these plow lines would be more of an issue for other users and wildlife than the width.
 

Medford Piney

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I think in the long term a break that has been widened into an all out trail will be more "damaging" than a firebreak that's cleared every 5-10 years with that bulldozer thing.

I agree with you, but I'm still not convinced that a fire break turned ATV trail isn't going to get widened and eventually turn all out into a trail. I don't think it's a bad thing, I'm just saying that years of constant traffic is going to be more damaging than a firebreak getting cleared every 10 years.
That where the "rotation" of used trails comes to play. It would fall under the management part of the whole system. there are plenty of cuts that run parallel to each other. One option could be with the rangers in Wharton now having 2 dual sport bikes to patrol, they could monitor and under their discretion close and open specific section or fire cuts.
 

Medford Piney

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I tend to agree with Ben here, but maybe for a different reason. I would think that the noise of repeated traffic on these plow lines would be more of an issue for other users and wildlife than the width.
Well..... to quote a part of a great American song

"this land is your land, this land is my land"

please refer back to post #1 in this thread...:dance:

It's not like the "traffic" is going to be like setting up camp next to RT 70 on a summer Sunday after noon. There are many times I ride and NEVER cross paths with anyone else. I stop and open up my backpack and enjoy a 1/2 hour-45 minute break and eat lunch off to the side and hear no other motors running in the woods. Sound enforcement needs to be part of any plan.
 

Medford Piney

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As for protected areas within an ORV park, everything comes down to the species. Some require bigger buffers than others, some are more sensitive than others to the impacts of motorized traffic. It really does come down to site by site analysis.
Agreed 100%...

So if the required buffer is 100 feet, lets make it 150', 150% of the regulation or recommended buffer.. To better protect and preseve. As long as facts are facts and the info used is unbias and not a one sided study, I see no problem with this.
 

jeepinjp

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How many legal venues of what size would be required? Do you have any specific places in mind? I agree that the OHV fuel tax is an important issue. If that money were to be applied to a piece of property, what do you think it could buy?
Some answers:

How many venues of what size ?

That I am not totally sure I can answer as it depends on size and location, but some criteria would be it is important for a venue to be large enough for users to enjoy a day of adventure without have to travel the same route more than one time per visit, this insures that no user will wonder off to areas outside the site or to areas which he/she should not be..

It would be nice to start with Bradley Campbell`s promise to have 2 new parks by 2005 as well as a replacement for Chatsworth which is slated to close October 2008..That would be a start.


My point of the OHV fuel tax was not if that money were aplied what could it buy, but more like over all these years the non-motorized trail communities have enjoyed using that money for their trails while continuosly stymying any motorized trail use and I find that totally obnoxious.
 

jeepinjp

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I am not for that. Many fire breaks go through areas they never should have in the first place, like sphagnum bogs. The first time a little log falls down near the firebreak that does go through a bog, and what happens, they go around it, tearing up more of the bog.

No, that is not an answer to allow them to run willy-nilly up any old fire break.

The answer is that the State and the riders need to get together and create a master plan.

PART 1): They should design enduro trails in, say, Wharton (4), Byrne (3), Greenwood WMA (2), Bass River (1), Double Trouble (1), Pine Plains (1). Those trails should always be maintained and rotated for sanctioned events. They should not be dug into sensitive bogs, although I still think you can have them go through muddy areas and some pitch pine lowlands for good fun and adventurous effect. No more should ever be allowed than these initial dozen.

Part 2) I think they should create 6 to 8 ORV parks on the periphery of the pines (in the pines, but not deep in the pines). The state needs to pressure some who own large blocks of land that are conducting resource extraction to turn over some of that land to help the ORV park. After all, why do they get to gouge the hell out of the land and not put it back the way it was? There should be a penalty for doing that, and contributing to an ORV park should be it. Also, it wouldn't hurt the state to give a little land up, seeing since this is a no-win situation as is.

Part 3) FREEZE the current road/trails that are now on topo maps, and allow any registered vehicle to use these roads. If new roads appear to pop up due to heavy riding, close them down somehow.

Part 4) Increase enforcement, fines, penalties (take their ATV/bike) for any riding other than 1-3.
it cerainely should be a no brainer that no trails ever go thru a real environmentally sensitive area , i.e. WMA`s, vernal pools, bogs etc. and should never run "willy nillie" ..............this is why education is a very important component.

But truth be told many in the conservation community make it a habit to finding habitat, low lying areas they call sensitive etc. although this may be partially true to properly manage a situation that is larger than all of us here it would be in the best interest of all concerned to take a long hard look and say hae this is not really a concern compared to the treasure over here that could be adversly affected so lets build it here... in NJ almost every area is going to have some concerns it is just a matter of what is real and what is percieved...
 

Ben Ruset

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I tend to agree with Ben here, but maybe for a different reason. I would think that the noise of repeated traffic on these plow lines would be more of an issue for other users and wildlife than the width.
Concerning other users -- since the amount of land open to their recreation is far larger than the amount of land opened to ORV people, they shouldn't really have much of a say. Obviously land opened up to ORV use shouldn't be near heavily used hiking/equestrian trails, but at the same time you can't say "we shouldn't open a park here because it might be loud to some hikers."

It's all about balance.

I consider the effect on wildlife more important than the impact on other recreational users of the woods. Has there ever been any sort of impact study done for the species that live around the Chatsworth park? How do we know what the impact of hearing a motor is to an animal?
 

russell juelg

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Well..... to quote a part of a great American song "this land is your land, this land is my land"

please refer back to post #1 in this thread...:dance:

It's not like the "traffic" is going to be like setting up camp next to RT 70 on a summer Sunday after noon. There are many times I ride and NEVER cross paths with anyone else. I stop and open up my backpack and enjoy a 1/2 hour-45 minute break and eat lunch off to the side and hear no other motors running in the woods. Sound enforcement needs to be part of any plan.
Not sure what you mean by the first two points. The land is both yours and mine, but that, by itself, doesn't imply anything about exactly what ought to be permissible on that land. Give me a specific reference within post #1 and I will try to respond.

FOR THE REST OF THIS POST, PLEASE NOTICE THAT THE CONTEXT IS THE PROPOSAL TO OPEN UP FIRE BREAKS FOR GENERAL DIRT BIKE OR ORV TRAFFIC.

We have roads all over the Pinelands. There are plenty of opportunities for people to drive around. They just need to do it in street legal vehicles. I think it can be easily argued that there are too many roads, in fact. Motorized traffic generally has negative impacts on natural communities. Wildlife biologists have abundantly documented this.

Obviously, most of us do not want to shut down all motorized traffic in the Pinelands, so the question becomes, how much traffic do we think is tolerable in terms of negative impacts on wildlife. Probably the answer, purely within that context, is the less traffic the better. So it becomes difficult to develop an argument that says there ought to be more.

And then the other issue is how does your preferred form of entertainment affect the prospect of other people enjoying theirs. Historically, dirt bikes, ATV's and monster trucks were not a major part of the scene. The popularity is a fairly recent phenomenon. Maybe the last 30 years? Each year, there seems to be more and more.

So the reality is that you have a large number of people out there who are not particularly receptive to the message that they should be willing to tolerate the noise, dust, road ruts, destroyed vegetation, etc., that comes with increased ORV traffic in places where they were not accustomed to having it. I think we have all experienced the spells of peace and quiet out there. Sometimes it makes you think you really are way out in the remote wilderness. Personally, I think we need to be working toward more of that, not less.

Please understand, I say all this in reference to the proposal to open up fire breaks or plow lines to dirt bikes and/or ATV's. A lot of the riders openly brag that they can come and go as they please and evade the law all day long. If an activity is already problematic in terms of its affects on the ecosystem and other user groups, and it's also difficult to police, how can you argue that we should increase the opportunities for that activity?
 

russell juelg

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It's all about balance.
Sure, it's all about balance. Hypothetically speaking, balance is a wonderful thing, but that doesn't get us anywhere. Unless someone proposes a specific place for a park, it's impossible say what "balance" might mean.
 

Ben Ruset

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And then the other issue is how does your preferred form of entertainment affect the prospect of other people enjoying theirs. Historically, dirt bikes, ATV's and monster trucks were not a major part of the scene. The popularity is a fairly recent phenomenon. Maybe the last 30 years? Each year, there seems to be more and more.
How long has hiking, kayaking, etc. been a popular form of entertainment? Were there as many shops in the 1950's that sold specialty hiking gear or kayaks?

No. New technology will always bring new hobbies.

Also, the amount of conservation in the Pines is up sharply over the last 30 years. The Pines are in much better shape now then they ever have been.

So the reality is that you have a large number of people out there who are not particularly receptive to the message that they should be willing to tolerate the noise, dust, road ruts, destroyed vegetation, etc., that comes with increased ORV traffic in places where they were not accustomed to having it. I think we have all experienced the spells of peace and quiet out there. Sometimes it makes you think you really are way out in the remote wilderness. Personally, I think we need to be working toward more of that, not less.
Which is why you would limit traffic to a few desinated areas and continue to press for fines, confiscations, etc. of gear used in areas that are out of bounds. During the process of selecting sites for these designated areas, you should try to find places that are not heavily utilized by hikers, etc. But at the end of the day, people have to realize that no one group should have a monopoly on the woods, and that they have to share.

Please understand, I say all this in reference to the proposal to open up fire breaks or plow lines to dirt bikes and/or ATV's. A lot of the riders openly brag that they can come and go as they please and evade the law all day long. If an activity is already problematic in terms of its affects on the ecosystem and other user groups, and it's also difficult to police, how can you argue that we should increase the opportunities for that activity?
And you know what? A lot of riders don't. So instead of punishing all of the riders, go after the bad ones.
 

russell juelg

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How many venues of what size ? That I am not totally sure I can answer as it depends on size and location...My point of the OHV fuel tax was not if that money were aplied what could it buy, but more like over all these years the non-motorized trail communities have enjoyed using that money for their trails while continuosly stymying any motorized trail use and I find that totally obnoxious.
I think we need to talk about specific places. Where would you recommend we put these parks?
 

jeepinjp

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I tend to agree with Ben here, but maybe for a different reason. I would think that the noise of repeated traffic on these plow lines would be more of an issue for other users and wildlife than the width.
Some sound facts

Since the demise of 2 strokes they should no longer be a concern.
And seeing that the present nationally recognized slound levels for non-competitive OHV is 98dB, soon to be 96dB... Mind you noise level measurements per SAE J 1287 are taken at 20 inches and every time that distance doubles, sound levels decrease approximately 25 % ...likewise when addition sound sources are added : each time the number of identical sound sources are duplicated the sound levels are increased by only 3dBs. ie 1 ATV/BIKE + 98dB ....2 @ 98 dB = 101 dBs....and on

Food blender . . . 88 dB
Milling machine . . . 85 dB
Garbage disposal . . . 80 dB
70 Moderately loud High urban ambient sound . . . 80 dB
Passenger car 65 mph at 25 ft . . . 77 dB
Freeway at 50 ft from pavement edge 10 a.m. . . . 76 dB
Living room music . . . 76 dB
Radio or TV-audio. vacuum cleaner . . . 70 dB 70 dB(A)
Air conditioning unit at 100 ft . . . 60 dB
Cash register at 10 ft . . 65-70 dB
Electric typewriter at 10 ft . . . 64 dB
Dishwasher (Rinse) at 10 ft . . . 60 dB
Conversation . . . 60 dB
Quiet Large transformers at 100 ft . . . 50 dB
Bird calls . . . 44 dB
Lowest limit of urban ambient sound . . . 40 dB
 

jeepinjp

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I think we need to talk about specific places. Where would you recommend we put these parks?
Russell ,

Come on we back to that.... That is where the state and the conservation orgs come in they have many more resources to locate land that we do, and if they truly wanted to get a handle on use and do the right thing it would be done.
 

russell juelg

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How long has hiking, kayaking, etc. been a popular form of entertainment? Were there as many shops in the 1950's that sold specialty hiking gear or kayaks? No. New technology will always bring new hobbies.
Are you saying that any new technology that generates any new hobby is acceptable? And if not, how would you judge the degree of acceptability of a new hobby?

The Pines are in much better shape now then they ever have been.
I don't think you have any evidence to make that claim, but supposing it were true, what would that have to do with any of the points I made?

Which is why you would limit traffic to a few desinated areas and continue to press for fines, confiscations, etc. of gear used in areas that are out of bounds. During the process of selecting sites for these designated areas, you should try to find places that are not heavily utilized by hikers, etc. But at the end of the day, people have to realize that no one group should have a monopoly on the woods, and that they have to share.
This all sounds reasonable on a theoretical level, but where are these designated areas, these places not heavily used by hikers?

And you know what? A lot of riders don't. So instead of punishing all of the riders, go after the bad ones.
I'm surprised by your tone. I'm not punishing anyone. I was just calmly expressing an opinion.
 

russell juelg

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Russell ,
Come on we back to that.... That is where the state and the conservation orgs come in they have many more resources to locate land that we do, and if they truly wanted to get a handle on use and do the right thing it would be done.
I don't know, John. I have a hard time understanding why one or more of the clubs don't just contact a real estate agent and tell them what they want. I think if you are leaving yourself at the mercy of the state, you are bound to be dealing with a long wait. What does the state ever get done in a timely fashion? I could give you a long sad story about some of the things we have been trying to get the state to do for years, and we keep getting the line, "Don't worry, be happy. One of these days real soon..."

Also, I think there must be some kind of strange myth out there, that the conservation orgs are fat and happy, and they have special access to government or special abilities to make difficult things happen. Maybe this is one of those popular misconceptions that we have somehow generated without realizing it.

No, I tend to think that the people who actually want to use the parks are the ones who most logically should do the work to find the sites.
 
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