Those Wacko Environmentalists

bobpbx

Piney
Staff member
Oct 25, 2002
14,097
4,189
Pines; Bamber area
Jeez, look what they done now, those radicals who portray themselves as helping the environment. This will destroy the lumber industry in that township and cost thousands of jobs. I gotta call my mentor and have him marshall the right-wing troops. These tree-huggers are definitely out of control, and sound science will prove them wrong.

FOREST ONCE SET FOR A CUT IS SAFE IN HADDON TOWNSHIP

Date: 030423
From: http://www.philly.com/

By Kristen A. Graham, Philadelphia Inquirer Staff Writer

Apr. 23, 2003

Haddon Township - For the tree folks, it was a sweet Earth Day
victory.

Last night, Haddon Township adopted a conservation easement that will
preserve the MacArthur Tract, an old-growth forest that for months was
the subject of demonstrations, bitter debate and political
maneuvering.

An easily missed jewel sandwiched between shopping centers and a
high-rise apartment building, the land will be set aside "for the
gentle use, enjoyment, and appreciation by local residents and
visitors."

The move was made by the same township commissioners who once drew
national attention for their plan to clear-cut a quarter of the
centuries-old forest of tulip poplars, beeches and oaks to build
soccer fields.

The difference, some say, is that it is election season and that more
than a year of protests by environmentalists and neighbors wore the
panel down.

Commissioners have also said the cost of putting athletic fields on
the MacArthur Tract turned out to be too steep - more than $1 million.
Officials will look elsewhere for space to accommodate the community's
burgeoning youth sports association.

The township earlier backed off another unpopular plan that would
have placed fields next to Saddlertown, a tiny, historically African
American section that is already home to a number of municipal-service
complexes.

Whistles and applause broke out when the easement was unanimously
adopted at a meeting attended by people poring over the voluminous
easement document, some wearing "Save the Trees" T-shirts.

Resident David Jacobs was jubilant.

"This is exceptional," he said, smiling. "Everyone's going to be
happy with this."

Mark Dill, one of the most visible proponents of preserving the plot,
called the move "an important first step."

The easement applies to the 15 acres owned by the township. It does
not affect the 13 acres behind Paul VI High School owned by the
Diocese of Camden, but that ground may be purchased and incorporated
into the larger MacArthur Tract.

Kathy Hogan, a lawyer who used to work for the federal Environmental
Protection Agency in Washington, drafted the easement. She sits on the
new township Environmental Commission - and is running on Mayor Bill
Park's slate of township candidates.

She said she had reviewed easements around the country and talked to
numerous residents before writing Haddon Township's. The result, she
said, is an "innovative, contemporary" document that considers
residents' desires for the property.

It bans off-road vehicles and skateboards in the forest, and
prohibits the removal of any native plant or vegetation. Biking is
permitted on approved paths only.

Many easements look to an outside nonprofit to oversee the properties
they regulate. The MacArthur Tract will be regulated by the township
Environmental Commission.

"Because so many people are so passionate about the preservation of
the MacArthur Tract, this keeps the whole operation in-house," Hogan
said. "Residents can come to the township and voice any concerns."

Any attempts to develop or alter the parcel will require judicial
proceedings.

Environmental Commission members will come up with a complete
inventory of the site and issue recommendations about its
preservation.

In some ways, the athletic-field threat was a boon for the ancient
trees. Before the flap, trash and weeds marred the forest. Now a well-
organized group cares for the trees, organizes tours, and coordinates
art nights, poetry readings, and other community events there.

Janet Goehner-Jacobs, who with husband David Jacobs maintains a Web
site devoted to the tract, invited residents at the meeting to a tree-
planting on Friday. New trees, she said, will ward off invasive plants
that might harm the ancient ones.

"What better way," she asked, "is there to celebrate this motion for
the easement?"

* * *

Contact staff writer Kristen Graham at 856-779-3927 or
kgraham@phillynews.com.
 

Ben Ruset

Administrator
Site Administrator
Oct 12, 2004
7,616
1,855
Monmouth County
www.benruset.com
Commissioners have also said the cost of putting athletic fields on
the MacArthur Tract turned out to be too steep - more than $1 million.

Hmm. There's a big diffeence between logging a section of land for wood to go to a pulp factory, and logging a section of land to build recreational facilities for kids. It's not like they were going to cut the entire forest down. It doesn't tell you the size of the forest, though. I would imagine that it wouldn't be a lot just for 1 or 2 soccer fields.

But I suppose the real reason why all of this stopped was because it was too expensive to build.

Those crazy greenies! :myball:
 
J

JeffD

Guest
Yes, Ben, there is a difference between using a parcel of land for lumbering and clearing it for a recreational facility. If used for for a recreational facilty, the forest won't grow back, that is, as long as the land is used for soccer fields.

Actually, keeping this parcel of mature forest so people can walk through, and bike in limited areas is a good idea. Looking at the topo map you posted, Guy, it looks like the area is surrounded with development. Maybe the soccer fields can be put in a better area. 15 acres isn't that much.

This isn't a matter of saving the earth and an earth day victory, as the somewhat biased Inquirer touts and the Goof Troop Greens instigate, but a question of the best use for this particular tract of land.

It's good that land that was being trashed out and overgrown with weeds is now being cared for. It's -- here's a dirty word Bob -- managed. Planting trees to keep out invasive species is wise, as is regular responsible use of the land, which will help keep out barbarians who may otherwise destroy abandoned woods. I just hope the responsible parties have the sense to thin out the "old growth forest" when the forest starts getting overcrowded and that they cut down some of the dead, dying and decaying trees. It's certainly OK, and beneficial, to have a small percentage of snags -- dead trees -- and old rotting logs for wildlife, but there is a problem when forests become overcrowded and dead, diseased wood dominates, which is the case with millions, maybe billions of acres of national forests that have been neglected, except to put out forest fires, for decades. So far, this doesn't seem to be the case here.
 

bobpbx

Piney
Staff member
Oct 25, 2002
14,097
4,189
Pines; Bamber area
JeffD said:
This isn't a matter of saving the earth and an earth day victory, as the somewhat biased Inquirer touts and the Goof Troop Greens instigate, but a question of the best use for this particular tract of land.

"Goof Troop Greens"?

Thats a new one Jeff, what does it mean?
 
J

JeffD

Guest
You never heard of the GOOF TROOP, Bob? Even the name suggests the meaning. Figure it out. I know you can. If you know what "is" is, then you should have no problem with this one. :)
 
J

JeffD

Guest
BobM said:
The move was made by the same township commissioners who once drew
national attention for their plan to clear-cut a quarter of the
centuries-old forest of tulip poplars, beeches and oaks to build
soccer fields.

The difference, some say, is that it is election season and that more
than a year of protests by environmentalists and neighbors wore the
panel down.

This project to put in soccer fields drew national attention? What, a land use decision can't be made locally? And notice the inflated, loaded language about clear cutting a quarter of the centuries-old forest... Oh, that's right, in enviro-speak, clear cut bad. And don't forget the hype by saying that 1/4 of this forest needs to be clear-cut for the soccer fields. Do nearly four acres need to be cleared to build a soccer field?

I think that very little, if any, of this 15 acres should be clear-cut (which is not what the soccer field proposal would do), even though it will grow back. This is a park-like woods that was decided on, and as much forest should be maintained as possible. Out deep in national forests this would be a different story, where 15 acres could be clear-cut and it would be hardly noticed when surrounded by thousands of acres of trees. I don't know why the Goof Troop Greens can't be honest about an issue and stop attacking windmills. Notice that the protests were from environmentalists and neighbors. What, environmentalists, outsiders have to stick their noses in (and distort the issue, painting it with a broad brush) because neighbors can't decide on the issue themselves? :rolleyes: And honest evaulation of the issue would be something like this: There are 15 acres of land sandwitched between a housing and commercial district. Should we use some of this acreage to build soccer fields, or should be turn it into an undeveloped park where people can enjoy the woods and allow foot access with very limited bicycle access? I think the latter is a good argument, enough for the proposal to prevail. But, alas, the Greens have to get involved and on their soapbox to sell their snake oil.
 

bobpbx

Piney
Staff member
Oct 25, 2002
14,097
4,189
Pines; Bamber area
JeffD said:
But, alas, the Greens have to get involved and on their soapbox to sell their snake oil.

Without the push by the "greens" to keep the old growth intact, the soccer fields would have went in. Often their persistance and organizational skills pay off..

.
 
J

JeffD

Guest
It's more like the Greens nagging and distortion turn off people. It was the local neighbors and other factors that got the easement, which would keep all 15 acres of woods intact. The Greens try to take the credit and attempt to make themselves look credible for a legitimate project.

I've heard the arguement before that it takes an extremist to call attention to an issue to get something done. I don't buy it. Yes, it takes someone passionate and dedicated, but not someone who pushes junk science and who practices the ends justifies the means.

Granted, Patrick Moore's ideas were not mainstream at the time, but he and folks like Bjorn Lomburg made an honest effort to convince the public of their point of view. They gradually won the public over on some of his ideas, and he worked with people to try to form a mutual understanding and build a consensus. Unlike today's extremists, with their P.T. Barnum tactics, Moore didn't try to con the public nor say that something is right just because he says so. Some environmentalists today, with their buzzwords like old growth forest and clearcut remind me of a scene from W.C. Fields in THE BANK DICK. In the flick, W.C. Fields' character is given a job, through a fluke, at a bank. When his future son-in-law, a teller at the bank, is reluctant to go along with his plan to illegally borrow money from the bank to invest in a bonanza stock, W.C. asks "Are you a jackdaw? Are you a mooncalf? Are you a jabbernow? You're not any of those, are you?" In this same vein, the radical environmentalists say that if you don't go along with their agenda, without knowing the details and are not convinced without understanding the whys and wherefores, then you are anti-environment. These elitists act as though they hold the key to truth and that others can't even wipe their behinds without their divine assistance.
 

bobpbx

Piney
Staff member
Oct 25, 2002
14,097
4,189
Pines; Bamber area
JeffD said:
Notice that the protests were from environmentalists and neighbors. What, environmentalists, outsiders have to stick their noses in (and distort the issue, painting it with a broad brush) because neighbors can't decide on the issue themselves? :rolleyes:

Who says environmentalists all have to be outsiders? Who said they were? Might not there be some concerned environmentalists (read: neighbors) living in the same town? Conversely, why do you assume the neighbors are not also environmentalists?

Oh, but wait, now I get it. They can't be environemtalists because they don't fit under your broad brush. They don't sit in trees or put sugar in the gas tanks of bulldozers.

To you, there is only one type of environmentalist, the bad type. Right?
 
B

bach2yoga

Guest
This particular tract of land is an old growth forest, hundreds of years old, and one of the oldest hardwood growth forests in the area. They have an interesting website with a lot of information.
http://www.macarthurwoods.com/
From the site:

MacArthur tract holds a rare example of the type of forests that once existed from the Atlantic Ocean to the Mississippi River, before Europeans settled here. Today, almost no old growth forest remains, in fact less than 0.5% of the forest that remains in the Eastern U.S. can be classified as old growth. This is what makes MacArthur woods special, this small pocket of forest has many trees between 100 and 200 years old and is one of the last old growth forests.

(There is an American Beech, calculated to be 298 yrs old, ranks second in the state, and black oak and white oak that range from 170 to 230 years old.)

That is why this has drawn national attention.
Renee
 
J

JeffD

Guest
BobM said:
JeffD said:
Notice that the protests were from environmentalists and neighbors. What, environmentalists, outsiders have to stick their noses in (and distort the issue, painting it with a broad brush) because neighbors can't decide on the issue themselves? :rolleyes:

Who says environmentalists all have to be outsiders? Who said they were? Might not there be some concerned environmentalists (read: neighbors) living in the same town? Conversely, why do you assume the neighbors are not also environmentalists?

Oh, but wait, now I get it. They can't be environemtalists because they don't fit under your broad brush. They don't sit in trees or put sugar in the gas tanks of bulldozers.

To you, there is only one type of environmentalist, the bad type. Right?


My main problem is the reporting in the Inquirer article. Some of the neighbors may indeed be environmentalists. Maybe not formally, but still concerned about the environment. Why then does the reporter make the distinction? The slant of the article is environmentalists and earth day. The environmentalists are singled out as the prime movers of the decsion. See, this is reported as an earth day sweet victory driven by environmentalists. The neighbors seem to just come along for the ride.

The article from the Courier Post Online on the link about the Mcarthur Track you posted, Renee, seems to take a more objective tone, reporting what different interests say and not focusing on environmentalists and earth day. I read on the link that the tract has secondary growth as well as old growth. I couldn't find information to review what old growth forests are, other than what was on that link, but my understanding is that old growth forests are basically virgin forests, which haven't been cut away and that secondary forests are basically forests that are reborn, so to speak. A secondary forest is created after, for example, the woods are cleared for farmlland and after the farm is abandoned the forest grows back. Old growth forests, as explained on the link, retain the characteristics of the orignal forests, basically in the composition of trees. Secondary forests are sometimes a different composition, but not always. In eastern Pennsylvania, for example, the predominate connifer forests were replaced with hardwood forests because large amounts of connifers were cut down, mainly for shipbuilding.

I can understand some interest nationally, in the sense that a local story sometimes gets national coverage. But here we're talking about 15 acres of township land. If the case was a national reserve in the Pine Barrens, then alot of national attention is warranted.

I read in the Courier Post article that there are those who want to legislate the remaining 13 acres of the McArthur track owned by the Camden Archdiocese. This concerns me. Unlike the township land, this is private property, and the owner should not be coerced into using the land the way the self-appointed guardians of the old growth forest say it should. It's OK to point out the uniqueness of the forest to the owner and encourage him to retain it. But my problem is with government regulation of private property and private property rights.

As I've already said, I think the outcome of the issue was good. You might say that my view is analogous to a conurring opinion on a case in the U.S. Supreme Court, where the justice agrees with the decision but has different reasoning and may have something to add or may disagree with some of the reasoning behind the decision.

I don't believe all environmentalists think alike and there may be a mixed bag involved in this issue. As Patrick Moore points out in his opening to his essay on environmentalism in the 21st century, there is a fault line drawn between the different camps of environmentalists.

http://www.greenspirit.com/21st_century/
 
J

JeffD

Guest
And BTW, where was the Sierra Club when the Super Park that would fill the hole in the donut of protected Pine Barrens land where wetlands, cedars, and many more acres than in this case were at issue. As in Elton John's song, NJ head of the Sierra Club Jeff Tittle said he just had to get back to the farm... :jaw: :storm: :crazy:
 
J

JeffD

Guest
I just got unlogged, booted off the Internet and lost my post AND I DON'T LIKE IT MAYBE I'LL GO BACK TO A MANUAL TYPEWRITER AT TIMES LIKE THIS!

I had posted, before I was so rudely cut off, that the link you posted, Renee, had some interesting things. One was that in the area of the tract a runaway slave was helped and was made welcome. It's great that the former slave pulled himself up by his bootstraps once he got a helping hand. And there's the old growth forest. I found a U.S. Forest Service link about old growth forests. Basically they are woods where very mature trees dominate, granddads and grandmoms. Some trees grow to be older than others, so some old growth forests are older than others. And these old trees die and are replaced by younger, healthier ones. It doesn't really matter, then, if a forest is virgin or second growth to be an old growth forest. Of course, the trees in the second growth forest may have not gotten very mature, and the second growth forest may have a different composition than the original forest.

It's good to have that historical and wooded island in the area.

Here's the link:

http://www.fs.fed.us/land/fm/oldgrow/oldgrow.htm
 

bobpbx

Piney
Staff member
Oct 25, 2002
14,097
4,189
Pines; Bamber area
Speaking of old-growth forests; Ben, since its near you, and you have an hour to spare on a nice day, go to East Freehold Park. There is an old growth forest in the back right corner. My daughter was in a horse show there Sunday and I got a chance to explore it.

There are Tulip Poplar trees 3 and 4 feet in diameter, and I found an oak in the back with a circumference at the waist of 205 inches. That works out to 5 foot in diameter. Very impressive.

Also found Bellwort there, and I think it is Pine Barren Bellwort, a rare plant I have never yet seen in the pines.............
 

Ben Ruset

Administrator
Site Administrator
Oct 12, 2004
7,616
1,855
Monmouth County
www.benruset.com
Pretty nifty. I generally try to avoid Freehold though. I'd rather be in the Pines.

I might spend some time at Turkey Swamp Park this summer. They have canoe rentals and a nice little lake to paddle around.
 
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