Washington Tpke 745 acre thinning bid

Boyd

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Jul 31, 2004
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Ben's Branch, Stephen Creek
Sorry for offering an opinion against the herd here
Well we don't agree on this, so what? I thought NJPB existed so we could discuss important issues with each other. I have learned a lot here over the years and my opinion has changed on a variety of topics because of the discussion. 3 people "liked" my post above… that's a pretty small "herd". :)

If trees need to be cut to help prevent fires, I can accept that. I am just skeptical of attempts to "improve" the the forest by clearing large areas.
 

Broke Jeep Joe

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Mar 8, 2006
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Waterford Twp
AGREE, took a ride out to Batsto yesterday and what an awful disappointment. Washington Turnpike showcased what a ride in the pines is. I don't know much about forest fire management so I can't judge but I do know one thing... an incredible scenic area is being destroyed. I had no idea those signs indicated such a devastating change of this scale was coming. It's hard to believe that planned destruction of this magnitude can be seen as positive and needed ? Washington turnpike is looking pretty much like a utility road where they cutout a swath of trees for electric lines. What beauty.
I also checked this out on Friday, my wife had the same opinion of it looking like a clearcut for powerlines. I too am at a disadvantage when it comes to FF management, and I am by far not a botanist or the like so I will not comment on what is best for growth or rehab but this seems extreme to me, the intersection at Quaker Bridge Rd is no longer recognizable, as I am sure every intersection is along this route now. It looks like hell in my opinion.
 

bobpbx

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Oct 25, 2002
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Interesting choice of words... If nature has decided to "choke" the barrens, so what? Who says that the area needs to support any more variety? At best this seems short-sighted. Whatever you dislike about the area is probably the result of man's interference in the first place (like clear cutting for charcoal, etc). Would it be so terrible to just let nature take its course? I mean, 100 years from now won't it evolve into whatever best suits the location? And in the short term all the people and machinery moving through the area for two and a half years will surely have a negative impact.
Oji is absolutely correct. The barrens are not choked when nature IS allowed to take it's course with hot, sweeping fires. I'm a big proponent of the outlandish idea to create and maintain huge firebreaks around pineland towns and agriculture areas, in addition to one nearly contiguous and gigantic firebreak around the major border areas (parkway, route 70, Mullica River, etc)...and then let nature do it's thing.
 

dragoncjo

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Aug 12, 2005
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camden county
Whether it is fire or it is some selective cutting or other attempts to open up areas I'm all for it. I've seen often firsthand where animals instantly move into an area that is opened up. The sense I get is they are begging for more open areas. I don't particularly think much of the pine barrens is overly healthy. Sections just seem to thick to me in many areas. A nice clearing next to a road provides great habitat for pine snakes, timber rattlesnakes, corn snakes, birds, deer, etc. Now I'm not sure if the intentions were to open things up, but if it results in less pine trees and more open areas I like that. I can't really speak for plants but much of the reptiles and amphibians like disturbance or disturbed areas in the pines. Once the areas heal the species really take to it. I think the species like the choked areas in the dead of summer to avoid the intense heat and almost aestivate but I think its really the only time that the area is beneficial. Nesting areas need to be open for almost all the endangered snakes species, turtles, etc. A lack of good nesting areas due to fire suppression is probably a big limiting factory for many species, from my experience.
 
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GermanG

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Apr 2, 2005
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Little Egg Harbor
The most common criticism I’m seeing here is how “ugly” it looks. But disturbance rarely is “pretty”. The immediate aftermath of logging, agricultural harvest, wildfire or prescribed burning never looks good to the untrained eye, or more accurately, the uninformed eye, and the resulting knee-jerk reactions are to be expected. The negative esthetics rarely last long, however, and a majority of the plant and animal species we value and which fill the pages of the photography forum on this site thrive on such disturbed sites. They certainly don’t care if the disturbance is human-created or natural, whatever the heck natural is in New Jersey. Are the positive effects of a wildfire ignited by lightning more desirable than those of one started by a careless camper? There is no true “virgin” wilderness in this state. It has all been impacted and shaped by man through centuries of sometimes devastating manipulation. Letting “nature take its course” sounds nice but is not a description of what actually occurs in nature in a small, overcrowded state such as this. We’ve already lost far too much habitat to development and degradation, and populations of many species have suffered as a result. Managing what habitat remains for maximum diversity is easily justified in my eyes. And diversity of habitat equals diversity of plant and animal species.
 
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manumuskin

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Jul 20, 2003
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You want a 100 ft wide fire break? Put it behind the peoples homes who it benefits.Let them look at the carnage With this kind of reasoning we will eventually have a 100 ft strip of desolation down every major sand road in South Jersey. I smell money being made on our woods with none of it lining our pockets.Not that I would want the money anyway. http://maps.njpinebarrens.com/#lat=39.32926223031901&lng=-75.04626530807496&z=16&type=nj2012&gpx= This is the fire break that surrounds my community.It looks as if Tylertown has something similar http://maps.njpinebarrens.com/#lat=39.657783822056736&lng=-74.60899550121309&z=17&type=nj2012&gpx= I"d suggest they make one around the other half of the town and maybe widen the one they have a little bit.The Washington Batsto road will suffice as a break as it is but if it jumps it they will have another around the settlement. If it jumps that one i hope their fire insurance is paid up.All part of living in the woods.
 
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dragoncjo

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Again I actually like the look once healed. I can't really think of a ton of examples where they opened up along roads but some slight examples come to mind whether natural or by man. There is sections in parker which if you have vehicle access look quite nice with vegetation about 20 yards on both sides of the main road until the forest starts again. I believe Bloody ridge is another spot where the road is wide and along the road a lot of wildlife gather. I also find powerlines when not completely clear cut attractive so maybe this is just me. I understand the benefits of open clearings and is a necessity for many species.
 
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Tony

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Jul 30, 2015
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Folsom
It looks like a waste land out there. I wonder how many animals were killed or injured while these trees are being cut down.
 

Piney4life

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Oct 8, 2015
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I'm watimg to see phase 2, 3 and 4 of washington turnpike.wonder why the map on the big board they have up does not show the 3 cuuting zones to the east.
 

Zach McGarvey

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Feb 11, 2018
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Old thread, I know.

Spent a good amount of time up and down this section last sunday and some more time looking at it on the map. I hadn't been on Washington Turnpike since summertime 2016, and the difference is really drastic. It looks like some work is still being conducted out there, clearing stumps and the like. There's an excavator parked on the east side of the road, and lots of piles of stumps and roots that they may be prepping to burn. It sure looks like a wasteland out there, but I guess I see the logic in building a firebreak there. It goes nearly to the Batsto in the southwest, and the wading in the northeast, so the area between the rivers that makes up most of Wharton is "dammed off" so to speak. I do wonder if this will facilitate a change in policy, to let the fires burn more freely, since the area is contained on three sides.

One other thing- the road has really been graded well, with almost no bumps despite all our crazy weather. One can easily drive 65mph through there, if you wanted. I was going 50 at one point and a guy in another truck came up behind me and was getting pretty annoyed that there was no room to pass. I ended up turning off to take a look at the ruins on Iron Pipe road and he sped off at top speed.
 

manumuskin

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A waste land is right.No reason for it whatsoever in my book.They filled in a historical well right next to the road. On purpose or out of ignorance i don't know.Ignorance wouldn't surprise me. Ugly as sin. Migh as well pave it now.They've created a dragstrip through the State Forest
 
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Zach McGarvey

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Feb 11, 2018
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Woodbury / Vineland NJ
I wouldn't be surprised if the SF police start watching the area and issuing speeding citations. That guy behind me was a jerk. I was going plenty fast myself.

This was at the ruins at Washington's Tavern (see attached pic). Caught my kid about to take a tumble into the old cellar hole, just a few seconds after this was taken.

Sounds like you guys are taking the name "Turnpike" too literally. ;)
 

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Teegate

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Thanks for the photo. Brings back memories.

The ruins are pretty much still about the same as they were in 1978. The area on the right where your daughter is has changed, as has the surrounding area. It was more wild back then.

Developed 8/1978. Somewhat the same view. Yours truly in the photo.




This is the other side.



Guy