Save the Pole Bridge Forest

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Jon Holcombe

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Dec 1, 2015
967
1,934
Medford
I removed the area at the top and still have 154 acres, not 130. The issue is the much larger bisected forest, which will be destroyed by the new development. I hope people viewing this will look into the issue and decide for themselves. I am speaking for myself. I do not belong to to the Pinelands Preservation Alliance and I definitely do not speak for them. Save 19,000 trees.



PPA_154_acres.jpg
 

bobpbx

Piney
Staff member
Oct 25, 2002
14,322
4,443
Pines; Bamber area
I'm starting to see some of the silly stuff environmental organizations are raising hell about, and I'm disgusted. This is as bad as the denial of a walmart along route 37 in toms river because one pine snake was found on the site. Move it, then. That was also in a regional growth area.

And the Save LBI group blaming whale deaths on wind turbine pre-work. They used that excuse only because they think their property values will be driven down because the view would be slightly altered. Ridiculous. Their multi-million dollar homes will be underwater soon and they will be asking for relief.

 

bobpbx

Piney
Staff member
Oct 25, 2002
14,322
4,443
Pines; Bamber area
I removed the area at the top and still have 154 acres, not 130. The issue is the much larger bisected forest, which will be destroyed by the new development. I hope people viewing this will look into the issue and decide for themselves. I am speaking for myself. I do not belong to to the Pinelands Preservation Alliance and I definitely do not speak for them. Save 19,000 trees.



View attachment 20553
PPA using all their money to dupe people into voting for saving all the areas designated Regional Growth (orange below) is just crazy. Go right ahead, tell them all this stuff is all the last remaining wilderness, then. Not me, I'm satisfied with what the FEDS and NJ agreed to in 1980. It was a monumental acheivement, and many landowners were inconvenienced. That was enough.

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bobpbx

Piney
Staff member
Oct 25, 2002
14,322
4,443
Pines; Bamber area
I did some calculations using Google maps and an area "feet to acres" calculator. First, your acre calculation is innacurate. The development area is 180 acres, not 130 acres as you stated. Second, the development area completely bisects the larger wooded area which looks to me around 700 to 1000 acres. I am guessing that is what Jason considers the "Pole Bridge Forest".

Contiguous forest is important for wildlife. I support the petition and hope that others will sign it.
I understand what you are saying, but that land can in no way be built upon anyway. It's mostly swamp and streams. So the cry is to save something that has already been saved due to its nature. And even more, it's already protected by Forest designation.

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bobpbx

Piney
Staff member
Oct 25, 2002
14,322
4,443
Pines; Bamber area
And if we go to the yellow area on the other side of Country Lakes, it's already coded for rural development but MUST be run through the Pinelands Commission. There is no other answer than PPA used this to obfuscate the issue; it has nothing to do with the current development plan. Why PPA, would you even allow this type of campaigning?

Jon, this is not your plan, I understand that completely. You are just like one of the signers though, not given all the information so you can make your own decision. And okay, your decision is that you are for ANY trees to be saved. You have that right. But others have the right to call for sensible development in areas already coded for that possibility.

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GermanG

Piney
Apr 2, 2005
1,125
445
Little Egg Harbor
I'm starting to see some of the silly stuff environmental organizations are raising hell about, and I'm disgusted. This is as bad as the denial of a walmart along route 37 in toms river because one pine snake was found on the site. Move it, then. That was also in a regional growth area.

And the Save LBI group blaming whale deaths on wind turbine pre-work. They used that excuse only because they think their property values will be driven down because the view would be slightly altered. Ridiculous. Their multi-million dollar homes will be underwater soon and they will be asking for relief.

Bob, I totally agree with you on the wind turbine/whale issue. It's a ridiculous hijacking of the environmental cause for self-serving reasons. I also agree we need to be careful when looking to exceed the protections given by the existing regulations, which were fought hard for.

But you lost me on the snake/Walmart issue. As a plant guy, would you also advocate digging up all the T&E individual specimens in the region and stockpiling them on some ten acre corner of the pine barrens? And I say all because once the precedent is set, it is open to being used for every project there is local support for. Moving animals (or plants) is one of the worst ideas out there unless the project is of critical importance. Most species are not threatened because something is happening to the individuals. It is usually because of degradation or destruction of their habitat. In a healthy habitat of adequate acreage, individuals are of little consequence. That is why hunting, tree cutting, or forest fire, all of which eliminate individuals, has little and sometimes even positive effect on long-term species health. But when the habitat is gone it's game over. And T&E and wetland laws take precedence over regional growth designation. Those are adhering to existing rules, not going above and beyond.

As for this tract, while I think every acre lost at this point, in as small and densely populated state as this one, is an acre too much, I do believe in only working within the laws. The only options I would agree with are if there were wetland or T&E species documented, or outright purchase through one of the acquisition programs, which I believe is the best solution in most cases. The habitat is preserved while landowners are justly compensated.
 
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bobpbx

Piney
Staff member
Oct 25, 2002
14,322
4,443
Pines; Bamber area
Bob, I totally agree with you on the wind turbine/whale issue. It's a ridiculous hijacking of the environmental cause for self-serving reasons. I also agree we need to be careful when looking to exceed the protections given by the existing regulations, which were fought hard for.

But you lost me on the snake/Walmart issue. As a plant guy, would you also advocate digging up all the T&E individual specimens in the region and stockpiling them on some ten acre corner of the pine barrens? And I say all because once the precedent is set, it is open to being used for every project there is local support for. Moving animals (or plants) is one of the worst ideas out there unless the project is of critical importance. Most species are not threatened because something is happening to the individuals. It is usually because of degradation or destruction of their habitat. In a healthy habitat of adequate acreage, individuals are of little consequence. That is why hunting, tree cutting, or forest fire, all of which eliminate individuals, has little and sometimes even positive effect on long-term species health. But when the habitat is gone it's game over. And T&E and wetland laws take precedence over regional growth designation. Those are adhering to existing rules, not going above and beyond.

As for this tract, while I think every acre lost at this point, in as small and densely populated state as this one, is an acre too much, I do believe in only working within the laws. The only options I would agree with are if there were wetland or T&E species documented, or outright purchase through one of the acquisition programs, which I believe is the best solution in most cases. The habitat is preserved while landowners are justly compensated.
I always understand where you are coming from, yes. As to the pine snake and Walmart, I'm sure the Commission absolutely knew there would be snakes in development areas, but they went ahead and created these orange and yellow areas as a concession, but still upon their approval. I can guarantee you that there are both types (pines and timbers) that go into developed areas, and probably many of them have a den there. I still support common sense relocation of them in instances such as the Walmart issue.

Thankfully, in regards to plants, not many of our T&E species are in dry areas (comparatively). But even so, I can see common sense decisions being made under certain conditions. Consider this hypothetical; the 563 bridge over the wading is in need of total replacement, but it is known that an S3 plant is on the bank of the stream 6 feet from the bridge. Should we build around that plant, or should we realize that it won't break the bank to sacrifice it. I say the latter.
 

GermanG

Piney
Apr 2, 2005
1,125
445
Little Egg Harbor
I always understand where you are coming from, yes. As to the pine snake and Walmart, I'm sure the Commission absolutely knew there would be snakes in development areas, but they went ahead and created these orange and yellow areas as a concession, but still upon their approval. I can guarantee you that there are both types (pines and timbers) that go into developed areas, and probably many of them have a den there. I still support common sense relocation of them in instances such as the Walmart issue.

Thankfully, in regards to plants, not many of our T&E species are in dry areas (comparatively). But even so, I can see common sense decisions being made under certain conditions. Consider this hypothetical; the 563 bridge over the wading is in need of total replacement, but it is known that an S3 plant is on the bank of the stream 6 feet from the bridge. Should we build around that plant, or should we realize that it won't break the bank to sacrifice it. I say the latter.
I would agree with you on Evans Bridge, as it is necessary public infrastructure. Commercial development is not however. The overriding philosophy that guides my stances, before reasonable exceptions, is that they are not making any more land. In fact, sea level rise will likely be claiming more of what we do have. And for every acre preserved, many more are being cleared for legal development daily. And failed residential and commercial developments no longer go the way of Martha or Friendship, being reclaimed by nature. My thoughts are on what we are leaving (or more accurately, not leaving) our children, grandchildren and beyond. For those claiming the benefits of tax ratables, ask residents of Brick Twp if they can sing the praises of their low taxes.
 
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smoke_jumper

Piney
Mar 5, 2012
1,534
1,066
Atco, NJ
On a different note. Seeing this petition got me thinking. It seems a large portion of the signatures don’t live in the town that this property is in. Some are even out of state. How effective could it actually be? Also who am I to say that something should or shouldn’t be built if I live 20 miles away?
 

bobpbx

Piney
Staff member
Oct 25, 2002
14,322
4,443
Pines; Bamber area
On a different note. Seeing this petition got me thinking. It seems a large portion of the signatures don’t live in the town that this property is in. Some are even out of state. How effective could it actually be? Also who am I to say that something should or shouldn’t be built if I live 20 miles away?
You have a good point John, for that instance. But think of the other situation, the wind turbines off LBI. Should those LBI locals have all the say if the electricity is used throughout the state as needed?

And also consider....in 1980 when the pinelands were formed, should the only people voting be the people owning land in the pines? I suggest they would have sold out to the highest bidder. Not all, no, but enough to cause a major problem.
 

stiltzkin

Explorer
Feb 8, 2022
480
679
Medford
I don't think that you must live right on top of a piece of land in order to feel a sense of responsibility to it, or to be entitled to have a voice in what happens to it. I don't physically live in the Pine Plains, or at Friendship, or on the banks of the Wading, but I don't want to see any of those areas developed.

Many people come from out of state to enjoy the natural resources we have here and don't want them lost, either.
 

GermanG

Piney
Apr 2, 2005
1,125
445
Little Egg Harbor
My understanding of the initial move to protect the Pine Barrens is that much of the resistance came from within, to preserve ratables and home rule, while more of the support for the CMP came from individuals and organizations outside the pines. While that may be painting with a bit of broad brush it seemed to match some of the attitudes I experienced in the early days.
 
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smoke_jumper

Piney
Mar 5, 2012
1,534
1,066
Atco, NJ
You have a good point John, for that instance. But think of the other situation, the wind turbines off LBI. Should those LBI locals have all the say if the electricity is used throughout the state as needed?

And also consider....in 1980 when the pinelands were formed, should the only people voting be the people owning land in the pines? I suggest they would have sold out to the highest bidder. Not all, no, but enough to cause a major problem.
I want to clarify myself a little. I don’t think if you don’t live in the area you shouldn’t have a say. Clearly everyone should have some say in something like this but I’m just wondering how much weight is placed on petitions like this. Say a town has a population of 10,000 and 1000 of those residents sign it. Does one with 5,000 state residents carry as much weight? Same with out of state signatures.
Your wind turbine example is a perfect one just on a larger scale. They have been decades in the making and from the beginning there has been opposition with the biggest reason being reducing property values. That is until whales started washing up on the beaches. Now it’s in the national news and people all over the country are weighing in. Many may have never been to NJ and probably never will, but Save The Whales is important to them. I’m just curious when politicians get these what do the really think. It’s probably something we will never know lol.
 

stiltzkin

Explorer
Feb 8, 2022
480
679
Medford

Petitions are more of a tool for raising awareness. Other things they are useful for are estimating the size of support among the population for your platform, intelligence gathering (building lists of contact information), and as a kind of first step toward more formal and effective ways of organizing. I would not expect a petition, even with many signatures, to on its own change the mind of a politician or decision maker, but that doesn't mean that they aren't useful.

Clearly everyone should have some say in something like this but I’m just wondering how much weight is placed on petitions like this. Say a town has a population of 10,000 and 1000 of those residents sign it. Does one with 5,000 state residents carry as much weight?

I think it is not really that the petition carries any real weight, but that we are having this discussion - they have brought the subject to people's attention. PPA can get more engagement with a petition than they can with a blog post on their site.
 

Jon Holcombe

Explorer
Dec 1, 2015
967
1,934
Medford
New Jersey is a tiny state. Wharton State Forest is a relatively small forest at 123,00 acres. There are state forests 140 times that size.

My interest in preserving 19,000 trees in 152 acres and a fairly contiguous 700 acres (which seems accurate) is climate change. Trees remove carbon dioxide and release oxygen. Green space is better than developed space.

Developers can build in other areas instead of forests. There are malls and vast tracts of abandoned housing in New Jersey. But it's sexier and alluring to cut down forests and put communities in the trees. I knew a couple of builders in my town. One of them had a 90 million dollar mortgage on a building in Philadelphia. And he was frustrated about the PInelands Commission and his inability to build locally, in the pines.

To be clear, corporations, developers and builders have a profit motive that supersedes any considerations of climate change. They absolutely do not care about my grandchildren and what the world will look like in 50 years.

Any action that fights climate change and preserves green space is a cause worth fighting for. Thinking globally and acting locally is worthwhile now more than ever.

The details of Browns Mills politics and stepping on the toes of developers is irrelevant.

The Wind Turbine issue is a perfect example of a cynical and dishonest attempt to hijack real environmental activism in the guise of Saving the Whales. When the real motive is, as always, money, oil, and real estate values. Do the research, it is not hard to find if you look.

Bob, your knee jerk reaction to the PPA is misguided and a shame, because you seem to be, philosophically, on the side of the angels. The PPA and New Jersey Conservation Foundation should be viewed as guiding lights, a bulwark against a neo-facist insurgency that is bent on preserving corporate interests.

"Monsters exist, but they are too few in number to be truly dangerous. More dangerous are the common men, the functionaries ready to believe and to act without asking questions.” From If This is A Man, first published in 1947. Primo Levi recounts the horrors he witnessed in Auschwitz.
 
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Apr 6, 2004
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Galloway
New Jersey is a tiny state. Wharton State Forest is a relatively small forest at 123,00 acres. There are state forests 140 times that size.

My interest in preserving 19,000 trees in 152 acres and a fairly contiguous 700 acres (which seems accurate) is climate change. Trees remove carbon dioxide and release oxygen. Green space is better than developed space.

Developers can build in other areas instead of forests. There are malls and vast tracts of abandoned housing in New Jersey. But it's sexier and alluring to cut down forests and put communities in the trees. I knew a couple of builders in my town. One of them had a 90 million dollar mortgage on a building in Philadelphia. And he was frustrated about the PInelands Commission and his inability to build locally, in the pines.

To be clear, corporations, developers and builders have a profit motive that supersedes any considerations of climate change. They absolutely do not care about my grandchildren and what the world will look like in 50 years.

Any action that fights climate change and preserves green space is a cause worth fighting for. Thinking globally and acting locally is worthwhile now more than ever.

The details of Browns Mills politics and stepping on the toes of developers is irrelevant.

The Wind Turbine issue is a perfect example of a cynical and dishonest attempt to hijack real environmental activism in the guise of Saving the Whales. When the real motive is, as always, money, oil, and real estate values. Do the research, it is not hard to find if you look.

Bob, your knee jerk reaction to the PPA is misguided and a shame, because you seem to be, philosophically, on the side of the angels. The PPA and New Jersey Conservation Foundation should be viewed as guiding lights, a bulwark against a neo-facist insurgency that is bent on preserving corporate interests.

"Monsters exist, but they are too few in number to be truly dangerous. More dangerous are the common men, the functionaries ready to believe and to act without asking questions.” From If This is A Man, first published in 1947. Primo Levi recounts the horrors he witnessed in Auschwitz.
Good points, Jon. Can you briefly expound on what you mean by "neo-facist insurgency"? Not looking to debate the point; I'm just curious.
 

Jon Holcombe

Explorer
Dec 1, 2015
967
1,934
Medford
Good points, Jon. Can you briefly expound on what you mean by "neo-facist insurgency"? Not looking to debate the point; I'm just curious.
Banning books, banning black curriculum, denial of the settled science of climate change, gutting the voting rights act of 1965 and the refusal to accept a legal and fair national election result in 2020. Noam Chomsky's term and I think it is a perfect description. And gun violence is now the leading cause of death in children and adolescents due to gutless and cowardly policies of the congress and senate.
 
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