Whoopee its coming again!!! I know everyone has been waiting with bated breath.
Jeep Jamboree 2016 – March 17 – 19, 2016 New Jersey Pine Barrens
One of the synonyms for Jamboree is bash. The only bash going on here is the Pine Barrens getting bashed. The above image that Jeep Jamboree used for its ad is from an area that has been off limits to motor vehicles for years, 1/4 Mile Bogs. 1/4 Mile is a highly sensative ecological area that was destroyed via off-road vehicle abuse, obviously some of it by Jeep Jamboree. The 2015 Jamboree was not staged, supposedly, because video taken during their 2014 event was not representative of where they were permitted to travel. This event will be their 22nd year of tearing up our Pinelands. Think about it, a company from California comes all the way to NJ to stage an event for 50 to 70 Jeeps to ride around our forest and wetlands on a Friday, Saturday and Sunday in March, the wettest period in the Pine Barrens, and then returns to California on Monday with a pile of cash. They “ain’t” doing this for free, especially since they are charging nearly $500 per vehicle to ride around our State Forest. They have nomial permit fees and no bond to post for damage that may be done during their event. Seems like a pretty good profit margin to me.
On two recent occasions I had the privilege of being present when Jeep Jamboree’s local representative, Jim Justice, spoke at the Hammonton stateholders meeting in November 2015 concerning the Wharton M.A.P. proposal, conducted by the DEP, and a recent Pinelands Commission meeting were he spoke of the virtues of the Jeep Jamboree. Here is some of what he said, most of this is paraphrased but you’ll get the picture when you watch the videos below.
…..We look for areas of historic significance. …..guides point out the history of places like Hampton Furnace, the cranberry bogs and the railroad tracks ( I have never seen any of that on any of the many videos posted on YouTube by many Jeep Jamboree participants). …..We educate with a 101 offroading course for safe and responsible offroading (safe may be true but responsible to the environment it is not) …..Our intent is not to damage the forest and to keep it open to everyone (well, the roads, part of the forest, depicted in these videos are not now open to anyone but those who have a Jeep) …..teach sane responsible offroading – don’t speed though the mudholes so you don’t get stuck, go through them slowly (the videos don’t bare that out because there many people towing each other out of the deep waterholes (wetlands). …..We get permits from the Pinelands Commission and we do everything in our power to stay within the permitted route (what would stop them from staying on a permitted route. Many scenes in the videos are from 1/4 MIle Bogs which is posted and I am sure was not part of the permited route). …..some past videos were proven to not be our people (the videos below clearly show their Trail Guides in the video) ….. we stay on the route and don’t use go-arounds and we have prosecuted people for going in the meadows (what about the go-arounds used in the videos and who is it they have prosecuted?)
The videos below represent three conscutive years of Jeep Jamboree 2012, 2013, 2014 and a video that shows what happens after an event and people return to ride again and again without a permit and, of course, with their friends. All videos were taken by participates in the various Jeep Jamborees. All are edited to take out the boring parts and the loud music that the videographers seem to like, it could damage your ears.
2012 Jeep Jamboree – Lined up to go through a vernal pool and using the mud wallow on a Right of Way instead of using the road right next too it.
2013 Jeep Jamboree – Clearly taken at 1/4 Mile Bogs, which has been off limits for several years. Note that the first vehicle is registered in Virginia. Many of the vehicles that participate in this, and many unpermitted events, are from out of state because they can do here what they can’t do in their home states.
2014 Jeep Jamboree – Many wetland intrusions and the last section of the video shows a road that would take 100’s of thousands of dollars to repair.
This last video is a great example of what happens after an event. People return, without permits, with their friends and make the “run” again for weeks, months and years to come and it causes even more damage to our delicate sand road infrastructure.
The mystery here is why the agencies in charge of our public lands, especially our Pinelands, the DEP and the Pinelands Commission, continue to issue permits for these events. There is certainly no ecological or financial advantage. If they are trying please a user group what about the other user groups that enjoy our public lands for quiet recreation. If you are on a road that Jeep Jamboree is using you will either have to challenge 20 or 30 vehicles (they split up into two groups so you could encounter this twice in one day as I have) or move over and let them through. If you have been in the area of a dirt bike enduro then you know you have to get out of the way, put up with the noise, speeds over the posted limit, and hide from the dust.
Decades and decades of issuing permits for motorsports as given the impression, locally and to all the off-road enthusiast in the Delaware Valley, that our public lands are open as a motorsports arena, 24 hours a day, permit or no. If there are going to be permits issued these motorsports events they should be chaperoned by Park Police so the event does not harm the environment or distrub those that want quiet enjoyment of our public lands.
The Pinelands was preserved by forward thinking governors of the 70 and 80’s and I don’t think they envisioned a motorsports park when they decide this area was worth preserving. Even with todays budget restrictions there seems very little reason not to keep our public lands just as we found them.
Here are some photographs taken right from the Jeep Jamboree website. It is a clear indication that their concern is not for our environment but for their bottom line.