West Mill Firebreak

openwoods

New Member
Apr 22, 2013
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Has anyone been back there recently?

Currently the only access to West Mill Road is from Route 206. The other access point is from Route 542 (by the Church in Pleasant Mills). Access from Route 542 is currently closed because the bridge by the Church in Pleasant Mills is unsafe to cross.

I've been going back West Mill Road (from Route 206) for the last 25 years. I mainly go back there to deer hunt and hike. The road was sometimes not that easy to navigate in those 25 years. Especially the section closest to Route 206. The Forest Fire Service fixed the entire length of the road 3 years ago (Fall 2012). It was nice after they fixed it and I no longer had to worry about damaging my vehicle.

The portion of road that sits northeast of Paradise Lakes is now flooded. It has been flooded since early October. 1 mile portion of the road is underwater and now is impassable. The woods surrounding the road is flooded and water is flowing across/down the road. I thought beavers created this problem but I looked around and didn't see any evidence to support my thinking.

Paradise Lakes was recently purchased and has a new owner. I know a new dam was constructed at Paradise Lakes after the purchase. I'm thinking maybe the owner raised the level of the water at Paradise Lakes (by raising the dam) thus flooding the woods that sit northeast of Paradise Lakes? I don't plan to walk over there to check out the dam because the area is clearly marked with 'No Trespassing' signs.

Anybody have any ideas who I should contact regarding this situation?

Thanks!
 
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smoke_jumper

Piney
Mar 5, 2012
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Atco, NJ
Has anyone been back there recently?

Currently the only access to West Mill Road is from Route 206. The other access point is from Route 542 (by the Church in Pleasant Mills). Access from Route 542 is currently closed because the bridge by the Church in Pleasant Mills is unsafe to cross.

I've been going back West Mill Road (from Route 206) for the last 25 years. I mainly go back there to deer hunt and hike. The road was sometimes not that easy to navigate in those 25 years. Especially the section closest to Route 206. The Forest Fire Service fixed the entire length of the road 3 years ago (Fall 2012). It was nice after they fixed it and I no longer had to worry about damaging my vehicle.

The portion of road that sits northeast of Paradise Lakes in now flooded. It has been flooded since early October. 1 mile portion of the road is underwater and now is impassible. The woods surrounding the road is flooded and water is flowing across/down the road. I thought beavers created this problem but I looked around and didn't see any evidence to support my thinking.

Paradise Lakes was recently purchased and has a new owner. I know a new dam was constructed at Paradise Lakes after the purchase. I'm thinking maybe the owner raised the level of the water at Paradise Lakes (by raising the dam) thus flooding the woods that sit northeast of Paradise Lakes? I don't plan to walk over there to check out the dam because the area is clearly marked with 'No Trespassing' signs.

Anybody have any ideas who I should contact regarding this situation?

Thanks!
I haven't been back there since September. It was dry then for the most part only couple of holes but had relatively decent go arounds. If it's flooded that bad I'd report it. Especially since the water is low right now. I believe that is section C-6 in the forest fire service. Contacting the FFS office in Mays Landing would probably be the best way to get the information to the Section Warden, Al. That is a critical road since the only other access is Rockwood Road and that is all but impassable and the bridge is out at the other end.
 

bobpbx

Piney
Staff member
Oct 25, 2002
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Pines; Bamber area
You might be right about the dam. It appears on the aerial that if they were to back up the water enough it would enter this low spot that appears to be a small cripple. Maybe their property actually extends to the road and over the road, so they don't care?

Guy will be able to say whether or not Wharton has jurisdiction over the road at that point. Maybe they don't. But still, the FFS would not take kindly to that flooding situation.

wmrpng.PNG
 
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RednekF350

Piney
Feb 20, 2004
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Pestletown, N.J.
The road is public with an "as traveled" floating right of way location. (See attached tax map)
Scott Miller owns both sides of the road with the Paradise Lakes property being Block 6001 Lot 2 and Block 6002 Lot 2 on the attached map.

If it isn't dam reconstruction activity by the owner, then beavers may be to blame.
If the lower dam was restored to its original crest, there shouldn't be a problem since the road didn't flood like that prior to the dam collapse.
 

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Teegate

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Sep 17, 2002
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That tax map is wrong Scott. He does not own across the road. This is the EXACT location of his property line and as you can see it does not cross the road. I have visited all of the corners and I can prove he does not own it. He can't be allowed to flood that road and if he is someone should report him.


paradise.jpg
 

Teegate

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Here are the corner stones of the north east edge of the property .... on the south side of the rod.



 

bobpbx

Piney
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Oct 25, 2002
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Scott, maybe your tax map is actually showing the road closest to the creek, which apparently does cut through his property?
 

Teegate

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It appears the tax map may be showing a road that just went around the property. So it may not be wrong. In any event, the property on both sides of West Mill Road is state land. As you can see the north corner is the closest to the road at about 62 feet from the center of West Mill Road to his property corner.

 

RednekF350

Piney
Feb 20, 2004
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Pestletown, N.J.
Look at Block 6002 Lot 2 on the tax map Guy. That lot is located north of the words "Paradise Drive" on your aerial mapping and is his property.
The tax map is accurate in its representation of the location of Block 6002 Lot 2 relative to Paradise Drive. HOWEVER, that road is Paradise Drive in its original location. It is still there today.
The current West Mill Road departs form Paradise and rejoins to the east. Looking at Historic Aerials what we now call West Mill Road was blown through after 1970 and before 1990.
 

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Teegate

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I am slightly confused on what you are trying to say. In any event, his property does not reach West Mill Road and that is what is now flooded.
 

RednekF350

Piney
Feb 20, 2004
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Pestletown, N.J.
I really don't know what I am saying.
Try this. What everyone views as West Mill Road, north and east of the Miller boundary, is far outside of the limits of the established public right of way known as Paradise Drive. West Mill is just a fairly recent push road through the State's woods. Paradise Drive is public and since access to Wharton is allowed, for now ;), on existing roads, the pushed portion would be treated as public too.
So, if the flooding of either Paradise Drive or the purported West Mill Road is being caused by actions of the owner of Paradise lakes, then there is a problem that needs to be addressed immediately.

Smoke -jumper had the best idea for the original poster. Call the Mays Landing office of the Forest Fire Service:
(609) 625-1121
 

Teegate

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Nice! Basically, the flooding needs to stop. With flooding of this kind you usually see erosion. Where his property corner is would most likely be flooded and the stone there from 1898 may be undermined.