Who Really Owns Our Public Lands????
I have long been advocating that The DEP and Pinelands Commission should cease issuing permits for off-road event in our public lands. These permits are first approved by the Superintendents of the State Forest, then on to the DEP and finally approved by the Pinelands Commission’s staff and Executive Director. Now my case has become even more critical. On April the 9th, 2017 an enduro group is planning a race that will encompass Brendan T. Byrne State, Bass River State Forest, Penn State Forest and Wharton State Forest. That is one hell of a race to cover all of that territory. The event is called the Pine Barons Clock Run and will have appx. 150 participants. Just the fact that they are planning this event and the DEP is in line to approve it is not enough – they want to re-open the use of illegally cut “single track” that have been banded for years and have divided the forest up into Non-Sensitive and Sensitive area (see chart below). “Single tracks” are narrow paths chain sawed through the Pinelands by the dirt bike clubs and groups themselves. They were long ago been forbidden to do such cutting but now they want to start using them again. In dirt biker lingo “single track” = “trail”. Keep that in mind when view the videos below – very important, comparable to “alternative facts”, a very popular phase these days.
See What Is Going On YOUR Public Lands!
The videos presented here are taken directly from videos produced by various enduro groups and published on YouTube. First and foremost, I want you to see what an enduro looks like, remember they are doing the filming themselves.
This Is What A “single track” Race Looks Like
This video is what a “single track” looks like. It is a path cut through the forest with chain saws and loppers to open up a trail that can cover a lot of territory. There was recently a new one discovered in Bass River State Forest that was 5 (FIVE) miles long.
This next video tells, in their own words, what these trails are and that they are NOT fire cuts or plow lines.
This video explains, again in their own words, why these “trails” are so important. Not so sure we want to help build their male/female egos by allowing them the luxury of using our forest for their events.
We Should All Get Along?
Why should we all get along as this video voice over suggest? They have no concern for the environment, they cut paths into the forest at random (it is illegal), the noise is disturbing not only to hikers, hunters, fisherman, equestrians and kayakers it also scares the hell out of wildlife. There have been recent incidents of Pine snakes being killed on “single track” routes and as you can tell from the videos these machines are not friendly to any part of the ground they pass over.
Who Is Dividing Up Your Forest?
Somewhat secret meetings, starting around March of 2016, between the dirt bike community and representatives of the DEP have shown that there is a very friendly attitude toward the enduro crowd by the DEP. There have been proposals made to the DEP by conservation minded groups to help protect areas of the Pinelands that are getting constant abuse by off-roading practices but the DEP has yet to respond. They, the DEP, don’t want to accept help to preserve our forest but they will help enduro groups destroy it. Go figure! The map below of Brendan T. Byrne State Forest shows the forest divided up into Non-Sensitive (yellow) and Sensitive areas (green). The black lines in the Non-Sensitive (yellow) areas are routes that have been used by enduros – seems like every inch of the land is being run over by dirt bikes. It is thought that this same plan is also going to be applied to all the other State Forest in the Pinelands, Bass River, Penn State, and Wharton. DID YOU HAVE A VOICE IN THIS DIVISION OF OUR STATE FOREST??????? Most of us know that the entire Pinelands IS SENSITIVE.
Why just the Pinelands?
There are appx. 20 off-roading events approved by the DEP per year in the Pinelands. None of these event are held in Stokes State Forest, Round Valley Reservoir, or Island Beach State Park. What has the Pinelands become in the eyes of the DEP – a dumping ground for the events no one wants up north? All of these events are never short lived. After these events participants from all over our state and the adjoining states, where this is not legal, return day after day, month after month and year after year to abuse our public lands because no one is watching. These events have developed a culture that believes our Pinelands is nothing more than a motorsports area – it seems the DEP feels the same way!