Should there be off-roading events in our Pinelands?

April 9th, 2017, a day that will live forever in the minds of conservationist in New Jersey. That is the date of the DEP and the enduro dirt bike clubs have chosen to hold their mostly secretly planned Pine Barons Clock Run that will be the eventual destruction of Brendan T. Byrne State Forest. Here’s a description of the race in their own words:

2017 Pine Barons Clock Run Description

The Pine Barons Clock run is scheduled for April 9, 2017. The event proposes to use roads, fire cuts, and existing enduro trails in: (Remember “trails” equals illegally cut “single tracks”)

BTB forest

Penn State forest

Bass river forest

Wharton Forest

Keep in mind that BTB represents Brendan T. Byrne State Forest and the existing enduro trials means illegally cut single track routes through our Pinelands. Brendan T. Byrne SF has now been divided up into sections, Sensitive and Non-sensitive, at whose discretion I am not sure, or even why. At this time the only approval needed to put this race into action seems to be that of the Pinelands Commission.                                                                  See map below:

potentialnonsensitiveareas_btb_reduced-1

Yellow is considered Non-sensitive areas at BTB – black lines are enduro “trials”.                Isn’t it all SENSITIVE?

This event has been in the planning stages by the DEP personal from Superintendents of the State Forest to the top of the DEP, Bob Martin himself, and the enduro clubs for about a year now. Many of these meetings centered on the enduro club’s wishes to prevent the DEP from imposing a Menu of Options that restricts their use to certain areas of the forest. The plan was first developed in Wharton with the idea that it would be used as a template for future enduro runs in other state forest. Enduro clubs, for whatever reason, have a very cozy relationship with the DEP. No one who would object to these abusive uses of our state forest were invited to the meetings or even asked for an opinion. The route the event will take is kept a secret too, they claim they don’t want to let the entrants know in advance what the route is so no one will ride it in advance (BEST INTEREPTED AS NOT LETTING THE PUBLIC KNOW). I would bet that half of them were the ones who laid out the route and have pre-ridden it as well. Our Pinelands State Forest are being managed now for the sake of a few hundred dirt bike riders, and the 8 million citizens of New Jersey that own the public lands have no say.

Here is a look at what can be expected to happen if this dirt bike race is allowed to take place. These videos and still images below are being seen for the first time and were taken by various participates at various enduro events. THEY ARE QUITE SHOCKING!!!

This is a Typical Enduro Event

Water Invasion

For years the enduro community had said that they do not destroy the Pinelands. Their machines use only a narrow part of the forest and it is self-healing in virtually no time at all! See what you think.

Soil Disturbance

This what these innocent enduro bikes do to the soils in the Pinelands, for hundreds of miles.

Road Destruction and Go-arounds

Our Pinelands roads have been a mess for years and no one is taking blame for their destruction. For the most part that problem is assigned to the 4 x 4 community (that you can read about in many of the other blog post listed here). So now we can thank the enduro community for their efforts to stop the general public from enjoying the Pinelands because you can’t drive on its roads.

Aftermath of Enduros

This is a long video, around 3 minutes, but it is a walk about on SINGLE TRACK trails after an enduro. Please take the time to watch so you can get a good idea of what is left behind by enduros. Believe me, the enduro riders are not coming back to rake over a 100 miles of trails and replant the area with native plants!

Below is a series of never before seen still images that are hard to view – WATCH AT YOUR OWN RISK!

 

 

 

If this isn’t bad enough these people have the audacity to complain to the DEP after a race that they are not satisfied with the destruction they have already reeked on the Pinelands.

ome-omg

Department of Environmental Protection????

What part of their name doesn’t this DEP understand? Perhaps they need to have a definition of “environmental” explained to them. The DEP certainly needs to be schooled on the meaning of “protection” as opposed to “destruction” They can rightfully be called the Department of Environmental Destruction (DED) in this case, and many other cases.

What to do? Contact the office of Bob Martin, Commissioner of the DEP at:

Bob Martin, Commissioner
401 E. State St.
7th Floor, East Wing                                                                                                                                   P.O. Box 402
Trenton, NJ 08625-0402
phone: (609) 292-2885
fax: (609) 292-7695

and the Pinelands Commission at:

Pinelands Commission
PO Box 359
15 Springfield Road
New Lisbon, New Jersey 08064                                                                                                         Phone: (609) 894-7300
Fax: (609) 894-7330

Tell them that you will not stand to have our public lands destroyed this way. The enduros have been destroying the Pinelands for 75 years (their time frame) it is now time to give the Pinelands a rest by having a 75 year ban on enduros and all 4 x 4 off-roading events.

Change!                                                                                                                                 Here is a link for a petition on change.org. “Stop off-road vehicle races through protected habitat!” https://www.change.org/p/new-jersey-pinelands-commission-stop-off-road-vehicle-races-through-protected-habitat-36f3af3f-d5cd-4471-a954-bccfa5f18f18. Please go to this link and sign the petition to stop this habitat abuse!

Another View                                                                                                                                              What could be better than offering another view. Here is a video produced by enduro advocate Joe Springer offering “alternative facts”. You be the judge….what would like to see and hear in your Pinelands?

http://www.vimeo.com/86267015

34 thoughts on “Should there be off-roading events in our Pinelands?

  1. Wow is all I can say. You are delusional. The forest is for the use of the entire tax paying public, not just one group that doesn’t like what the other group does. There’s more than enough land for everyone to co-exist peacefully. It works in plenty of other states. You are just greedy and want the forest to be used for only things you like to do. The percentage of area these trails,fire cuts, etc take up in relation to the amount of acreage that is available is miniscule. People need to work together to manage the forest for everyone, not only one.

    Like

  2. Jim, I want to thank you for spending your time with such a concise comment. I will answer your comments directly as I see the issues in your comment.
    First, let’s straighten something out. The CMP, neither do the rules that guide the State Forest of our State, do not contain anything referencing to the use of dirt bikes and enduro racing. There is nothing about it anywhere. Here are a few excerpts you.
    “Most specifically, policy 2.35 states “The creation or use of single-track trails for motorized use is prohibited.”
    For the Pinelands Commission, the Comphrensive Management Plan also has very specific language regarding motor vehicle restrictions. The Commission has wide authority to restrict motor vehicle use even further than is already stated in the CMP.”
    “2. No motor vehicle other than fire, police or emergency vehicles or those vehicles used for the administration or maintenance of any public land shall be operated upon publicly owned land within the Pinelands. Other motor vehicles may operate on public lands for recreational purposes on public highways and areas on land designated prior to August 8, 1980 for such use by state and local governmental entities until designated as inappropriate for such use under (a)3 below.”

    This land was not preserved as a motorsports arena, it was preserved for the natural heritage and water resources that this rare habitat contains. This is the reason UNESCO selected it as a World Heritage Environment in 1988.
    Now specifically to your statements.

    “Consider that when the Govt or a developer takes the land: You never get it back (remember the Sanctuary development? Homeowners built in that easement were killing the endangered rattlesnakes that found the driveways comfortable for sunning. Sanctuary is still there…). Can we work together?”….This land is preserved under a sustainable growth plan for certain areas. Areas are allowed to be built on as long as the guidelines are followed. The land we are talking about is in the preserved area and will never be developed. Thus the reason to prevent it from being damaged beyond repair as is happening now on 1000’s of acres.
    “before the sweep crews arrive, witnessed by the tire tracks and the arrows and warning tape still in place (our forestry-issued permits require we take them down, and we do):”…. Are you implying that a crew of people rake out the tracks of a 100-mile course afterward? If you are 100 people doing so you would have each be raking 1 mile of the trail. For the most part, we know you take down the signs if you didn’t the forest world be littered with them.
    “in the woods one doesn’t have the ability to go fast enough to create such a berm;”…. please review the video in my blog post called Soil Disturbance.
    “not to mention that the road itself makes a loose matrix that encourages berm creation.”…..you must realize that the very nature of the Pine Barrens sand roads are a loose matrix. You act like the berm problem is a problem that is not your fault!
    “In contrast, one 4×4 stuck in that puddle will cause a huge amount of damage.”….no shifting blame here, we are only discussing enduros, not alternate facts.
    “3) the bikes going through the tight section: the riders are practically walking the bikes: You can watch the riders feet walk along the bikes. 2MPH?”…. That is certainly not the speed of the entire race. even from Joe’s video it says the speeds are as high as 28 MPH.
    “4) A scene had a lot of smoke: this was from the ground after a controlled burn, not from the bikes.”…..The scene you are referring to is not a controlled burn. It is clear it was a wildfire. The enduro is destroying rhizomes that are trying to regrow from the effects of the fire. It is one way the pine trees repopulate the forest after a fire.
    “5) After 300 bikes went through the area, the trail is barely disturbed. 2 decent rains will flatten this out very nicely”… I can show you many eroded areas that after years of rain have not “flattened out”.
    “6) The picture of a ‘whooped out’ (‘hilly’ trail) is straight; the surrounding area has all trees: This says the trail is down a fire cut, and having the bikes traverse this path helps prevent out-of-control fires.”….The whoops are a nuisance to the Forest Fire Service. They plow those cuts mechanically and the whoops make it more difficult for them to do so. The fire cuts are not made to prevent out of control fires, they are cut to make it easier to have controlled burns and in the event of wildfires, they can back burn to prevent the wildfire from spreading. The Forest Fire Service is never happy when a “Single Track” prevents them from controlling their controlled burns because it disrupts them as it is a false fire cut, the flames don’t know the difference.
    “8) during an enduro, the event is timed: one doesn’t have the luxury of time to leave the trail to stray into areas they are not supposed to. This again is evident by the lack of tracks outside of the arrowed trail”… please look at video titled “Typical Enduro Operation” and near the end you clearly see a rider going off the trail.
    ” The motorcycles are very small/tight, with no luggage. One cannot carry in cases of beer to leave the cases of bottles behind. Even water bottles are discouraged in favor of a very-efficient camelback. The sweep crew also does litter control.”… No one implied this is the case, please not words in my mouth.
    ” (our history is written into the Pinelands charter).”….. This is not true. It can not be found in that document.
    “the enduro club is a Not For Profit club if you were wondering: We’re happy to break even after the many events.”… But you do make enough to sustain your club by raising money like all non-profits do.
    “I recall a prior argument where it was stated that a rare fauna only lived at one side of the trail: Well, if we didn’t have trails, there’d be no spot for them to grow!”… You need to quote this directly, it is total nonsense.
    “In the years of riding the Pines, we enduro riders RARELY encounter anyone else once we’re a few hundred feet into the forest (seriously: I doubt I’ve seen 10 hikers in the trails over 10 years)”… are going to next claim that the deer, turkey and coyotes are all lining up to watch the race?
    “We work equally as well to avoid disturbing the hunters, who also have legal run of the land where permitted, and who enjoy the trail access to get to favorite hunting areas.” ….I’ve know plenty of hunters, I was one, and never did I hear one say they were glad for the enduro riders. Yes, they do use fire cuts to gain access to areas. Do you want us to believe you know where all the hunters are when they are out there and you are randomly riding in the woods?
    “For you to throw the enduro riders out of the forest would be to take a resource paid by the ‘8 million’ taxpayers and give the land to a handful of people that actually visit the Pines (a smaller number should that the bikes are gone). A better ratio would be to consider the ratio of the different users of the forest. And because the funding is based on the amount of users, you JOINING WITH the enduro community can actually ADD RESOURCES for the forest, to insure we can all use the land.”…. The governor’s budget decides how much money the Parks and Forest will get. Wharton totes 700,000 visitors per year..are they all enduro riders? If so we really are in trouble.
    “We like and respect the different proper users of the forest: we ask you to embrace our being there as being in line with what you do. If you can’t find a way to steer clear of us if you prefer not to see us when you’re out there, I’d suggest you’re not trying hard enough.”…how can we embrace the noise, dust, mud, frightened wildlife and erosion all year long in our forest?
    “Together we can assure we all have access, and that the land doesn’t disappear from our uses.”…The land isn’t going to disappear without you, with you it will be destroyed.
    I offer you the same deal I have offered severals in the past but no one has taken me up on it. Here it is:

    I have a position on this blog that I will offer anyone with an opposing point of view equal time with their own categorized blog post that I will call “Opposing Point of view – Let’s listen”, the deal is 500 word Word doc. and photos and I will post it. I will waive the 500-word restriction for you. Keep in mind that the overall theme of my blog is the destruction going on with our Pinelands and the need to stop these actions and protect this valuable resource.. Hope you or Joe can take me up on it.

    Like

  3. Jim B you have written the best response so far to the fake news and poorly presented photographs on this subject. This issue is no way has been presented in an objective manner. I am a retired Chief Ranger from the NJDEP. I worked 11 years between Wharton, Bass RIver and Lebanon State Forests. The rest of my career was at other areas. I wholeheartedly endorse the points you have made. I was involved with approval of several Enduros In Bass River and Lebanon. I encountered very few issues of concern with the Enduro leaders or riders. Any issues with riders were immediately dealt with and those riders were suspended from the event. No, I am not an Enduro rider. I don’t even hold a motorcycle license. I am not even a fan of motorcycle riding. However, they as a group have every right to use the public lands. The Enduro races are not the destroyer of the land as this blog would lead one to believe.

    Like

  4. I think Jim B hit it on the head across the board. We could debate our point of view all day and in throng run nothing changes. Pretty similar to politics! What is scary is the fact that once that land gets into developers hands – it’s game over for us all. We all love the forest so maybe we could figure out a way to get along.

    I grew up riding in the Pinelands back in the day and still love it this day. Maybe I’ll have to lend you a bike Al, maybe that’ll change your mind 😉

    Like

  5. Albert, all:
    Maybe think about the big picture: The enduro people love the forest, and the conservation people love the forest: Both of these groups oppose any development or land-grabs. Consider that when the Govt or a developer takes the land: You never get it back (remember the Sanctuary development? Homeowners built in that easement were killing the endangered rattlesnakes that found the driveways comfortable for sunning. Sanctuary is still there…). Can we work together?

    I’ve ridden responsibly in the enduros and in the preparation for them. Some things to consider when you watch the ‘awful destruction’ videos on this page:
    1) Many videos appear to be taken after the event but before the sweep crews arrive, witnessed by the tire tracks and the arrows and warning tape still in place (our forestry-issued permits require we take them down, and we do):
    1a) You can see that all the traffic is in a tiny lane, and all the surrounding area is undisturbed.
    1b) Because it was so soon after the event, the road crossings were not yet raked out. Part of the check crew’s gear is a rake/shovel just for that purpose. Only where the road is wide enough do you get such berms: in the woods one doesn’t have the ability to go fast enough to create such a berm; not to mention that the road itself makes a loose matrix that encourages berm creation.
    2) The Water Crossing scene: those bikes are going so slow, they’re barely splashing each other, and they’re all in control. In contrast, one 4×4 stuck in that puddle will cause a huge amount of damage.
    3) the bikes going through the tight section: the riders are practically walking the bikes: You can watch the riders feet walk along the bikes. 2MPH?
    4) A scene had a lot of smoke: this was from the ground after a controlled burn, not from the bikes.
    5) After 300 bikes went through the area, the trail is barely disturbed. 2 decent rains will flatten this out very nicely
    6) The picture of a ‘whooped out’ (‘hilly’ trail) is straight; the surrounding area has all trees: This says the trail is down a fire cut, and having the bikes traverse this path helps prevent out-of-control fires.
    7) the videographer walked down trail: I didn’t see him once walk out of the trail, as an illustration of a service these trails provide.
    8) during an enduro, the event is timed: one doesn’t have the luxury of time to leave the trail to stray into areas they are not supposed to. This again is evident by the lack of tracks outside of the arrowed trail.
    9) The motorcycles are very small/tight, with no luggage. One cannot carry in cases of beer to leave the cases of bottles behind. Even water bottles are discouraged in favor of a very-efficient camelback. The sweep crew also does litter control.

    The enduro community has a good relationship with the governing bodies because we have to have one in order to put on such an event, year after year (our history is written into the Pinelands charter). You’ll also find the local businesses, police departments, and fire/first aid/rescue teams endorse the enduros because we hire them for the events and make sure the local causes are well taken care of: the enduro club is a Not For Profit club if you were wondering: We’re happy to break even after the many events.

    I recall a prior argument where it was stated that a rare fauna only lived at one side of the trail: Well, if we didn’t have trails, there’d be no spot for them to grow!

    In the years of riding the Pines, we enduro riders RARELY encounter anyone else once we’re a few hundred feet into the forest (seriously: I doubt I’ve seen 10 hikers in the trails over 10 years). The few times we encounter horses, you’ll find that many will turn their bikes off until a clear signal is given by the horse riders, or at a minimum we’ll throttle down to idle and try to pass as far away and slowly as possible. We work equally as well to avoid disturbing the hunters, who also have legal run of the land where permitted, and who enjoy the trail access to get to favorite hunting areas.

    For you to throw the enduro riders out of the forest would be to take a resource paid by the ‘8 million’ taxpayers and give the land to a handful of people that actually visit the Pines (a smaller number should that the bikes are gone). A better ratio would be to consider the ratio of the different users of the forest. And because the funding is based on the amount of users, you JOINING WITH the enduro community can actually ADD RESOURCES for the forest, to insure we can all use the land.

    (I’m not rich enough to own a horse, and I sure don’t want my tax dollars supporting land for the free run of wealthy horse owners.)

    We like and respect the different proper users of the forest: we ask you to embrace our being there as being in line with what you do. If you can’t find a way to steer clear of us if you prefer not to see us when you’re out there, I’d suggest you’re not trying hard enough.

    I hope I’ve shown that your videos show responsible use of the forest and a desire to work with the governing bodies. We are a disciplined bunch.

    Together we can assure we all have access, and that the land doesn’t disappear from our uses.

    Like

  6. Thank you for your support. I hope people read the passage from Thrillcraft you provide. I have several of the original books here and I will give them to anyone who wants them. Thanks again.

    Like

  7. Al, thanks for a great blog! Keep up the good work! You might know about this website, but others might not:

    http://www.stopthrillcraft.org/

    here is an excerpt:

    Thrillcraft are machines used primarily for recreation. Examples of thrillcraft includes snowmobiles, jet skis, four wheelers, dune buggies, swamp buggies, and dirt bikes. When machines are used for “thrill seeking” they are, by our definition, a thrillcraft.

    Thrillcraft are generally designed for use off of traditional routes and roads and/or for high speed. Many owners of thrillcraft enjoy challenging themselves by “attacking” the land or water, seeking out steep slopes or rough pathways through the woods.

    One cannot talk about thrillcraft without discussing the culture that spawns this kind of behavior. The culture is one that glorifies machines and human dominance of nature. It is a culture estranged from the natural world. The speed, noise, and air pollution associated with these machines blurs, obscures, and hides natural beauty and prevents appreciation. Worse yet, it destroys the land and jeopardizes the enjoyment of our public heritage by others.

    A review of any of the ads for major thrillcraft machines demonstrates this attitude. You will find ads admonishing thrillcraft owners to use “brute—as in force,” and that “going to the stand for coconut smoothies is for sillies,” and other messages that imply that anyone who doesn’t tear up the land, and “conquer” the obstacles is somehow less manly.

    Reckless and Rude Behavior

    Reckless and rude behavior is common among thrillcraft users. Speed combined with reckless behavior is prevalent among thrillcraft users—since that is one way you get thrills—by pushing the limits. Though not all thrillcraft users are inconsiderate, there are plenty who see nothing wrong with loud noise, racing close to other people, and creating a hazard for other public lands users. One ad for thrillcraft suggests users “thumb their throttle at the world.”

    Because of this reckless behavior, thrillcraft are often involved in serious injury. Nation-wide, jet skis make up only 9% of all motorized watercraft, but account for 46% of all injuries.

    Trespass and Violation of Route Closures

    A major problem endemic with thrillcraft culture is the notion that one straddles these machines to go “where no one else has gone.” As a consequence, there is a strong tendency to ignore trail and road closures, and violate any limitations placed upon use of the machines.

    For instance, a study in Georgia documented that of the 59 routes surveyed in the Chattahoochee NF, illegal ORV use occurred on 67 %, including designated wilderness and trails restricted to pedestrians.

    Another study conducted in Colorado on behalf of Colorado Coalition for Responsible ORV Riding found that despite the fact that most thrillcraft enthusiasts understood that they should not stray from designated trails, more than two-thirds admitted they go off-trail occasionally, and 15-20% admitted they regularly rode off legal routes.

    Violation of Rights of Other Public Lands Users

    A peaceful walk in the woods is violated by the noise from thrillcraft. An otherwise successful stalk of a deer or elk might be jeopardized by the sudden appearance of a noisy machine. The fact is that the majority of people do not use these machines to access our natural areas. A recent survey by the Montana Department of Fish, Wildlife and Parks found that 90% of Montana trail users were on foot, and only 2% used thrillcraft.

    Like

  8. You are right, it is an enforcement issue. There is almost no enforcement and isn’t likely to change until we have a new administration. In the meantime, it is well known that most of these guys are club riders and they should be educated to not return, stay off the single tracks and fire cuts without authorization and obey the 20 MPH speed limit and not pack up against other forest users. It is like the wild west up here now and they feel they own the forest for their own pleasure. It is time-consuming just to keep up with it all, but we will. Hope all is well with you and you are enjoying your retirement in the South.

    Like

  9. What has happened to Brendan T. Byrne State Forest is an absolute abomination. I have never in my life seen a forest more disfigured by illegal dirtbike activity than in BTB. I usually let the dirtbikers off the hook, but the constant traffic actually IN the forest itself and not on roads is a disgrace to land management. We need to get a handle on this issue. If the enduro’s stay on the roads and firecuts, there would be much less of a problem. This single track trail should never be allowed. There are even defacto ORV parks being illegally made within BTB, terrible.

    Like

  10. I wish I had the opportunity to reply to your reply tomy post but I see that is not an option. You mentioned how the enduro riders return after the enduro with their friends and cause untold damage. That is not an enduro issue that is an enforcement issue. Stopping the enduros will not stop the illegal riding. The illegal riding is an on going problem that is not being addressed by the DEP. You are putting your efforts in the wrong area. When I worked at Wharton, Bass River and Lebanon we had the illegal riding pretty much under control. We had enduros back then. I think 2 each year in Lebanon and Wharton. You need to look in another area other than stopping the enduros to stop the illegal riding which is the real problem not the enduros.

    Like

  11. We will use the land and learn to share it single track or hike,or hunter deal with it keep spending time and money,, here when came hear when your long gone

    Like

  12. Michael, thank you for your comments. I will offer you the same option as I just offered Jeffrey Fitzpatrick:
    I have a position on this blog that I will offer anyone with an opposing point of view equal time with their own categorized blog post that I will call “Opposing Point of view – Let’s listen”, the deal is 500 word Word doc. and photos and I will post it. I will waive the 500-word restriction for you. Keep in mind that the overall theme of my blog is the destruction going on with our Pinelands and the need to stop these actions and protect this valuable resource. So show everyone the important contributions to the environment by enduro and 4×4 events and you will get to be read by the thousands of people who read this blog.

    Like

  13. Jeffrey, thank you for your comments. You seem to have a good handle on the way most 4×4 and enduro users feel about their sport and the forest. I will offer to you, the same as I have to others, that you participate in this blog as a guest author. Here is the deal:
    I have a position on this blog that I will offer anyone with an opposing point of view equal time with their own categorized blog post that I will call “Opposing Point of view – Let’s listen”, the deal is 500 word Word doc. and photos and I will post it. I will waive the 500-word restriction for you. Keep in mind that the overall theme of my blog is the destruction going on with our Pinelands and the need to stop these actions and protect this valuable resource. So show everyone the important contributions to the environment by enduro and 4×4 events and you will get to be read by the thousands of people who read this blog.

    Like

  14. Me. Horner, it seems every response you give to people on your thread is inflexible, and you give no refutation to the topic.
    Please try to be open minded to who really harms the pine barrens( developers,Gov’t,
    Illegal dumping,unregistered vehicles(all enduro racers are registered&insured)military) it’s not just one race per year in the forest..
    Have you asked who cleans the state forest? Trail days? Yes enduro clubs!! I have yet to see any hikers carrying large bags of trash.. I would really like to discuss these topics with you

    Like

  15. Joe, thanks for your input. What that 70 years of enduro riding has created is a sense that the clubs own the forest, at the expense of everyone else. If you have 100 riders in just one event many of them return, with friends, week after week, year after year and continue to ride those same trails. The videos clearly show that there is continued destruction of the land and there is plenty of documentation of the effect on wildlife. What isn’t documented is the disturbance of the other quiet users of the forest, the hikers, hunters, fisherman, birders, kayakers, horse people, not to mention the soil and flora destruction, the list goes on and on. No one registers these complaints, nor do they give a damn. There is nothing worse than seeing destroyed ice age paleo dunes, gravel ridges, and intimidate ponds. The enduro riders claim not ride in those areas but those are “alternative facts”. The videos don’t offer “alternative facts” they only offer the truth. I can understand that in the past the clubs were perhaps better behaved but that is not the case today. Their attitude is they own the forest and no one is going to stop them. I can produce plenty of comments stating just that. You know as well as I that that is not the reason Wharton or and part of the Pinelands were preserved. It is not meant to be a motorsports area for a few. If you would like to make a trip into the woods with me and my associates we will be more than happy to show you what we see day in and day out.

    Like

  16. Enduro riding has been a sport enjoyed in pines for about 70 years. They use existing trails that have been used historically or made for fire suppression purposes. The clubs and organized users are not the problem. Many of these clubs have national affiliations. As a former Chief Ranger in the state park service I worked with these organizations and found them to be professional and have a deep respect for the pines.

    Like

  17. Wildlife and their habitat are facing a new threat—from unethical practices deployed by a breed of nature photographers. An exponential surge in the popularity of nature photography is unknowingly altering species behaviour and creating habitat disturbances.

    The craze for nature photography has increased, but unfortunately, there is no understanding of ecology or animal behaviour among photographers. The perfect shot may be detrimental for the species and how repeated off-roading on a wild landscape harms the ecosystem.

    To what length should one go to get that perfect nature shot? Consensus has been that species or habitats should be left undisturbed. Over-enthusiastic wildlife photographers repeatedly cross the line and disturb the ways of the wild.

    Like

  18. This movement of conservation is very humorous to me as most of you are of a liberal background. In that background I have found that if something isn’t 100% in line with what you are saying it is wrong, “dangerous”, illegal etc… Enduro Clubs work with the DEP to try to work with them to protect habitats and share land areas with other users as well as conserve the resource. Unlike self proclaimed “conservationists” who ILLEGALLY drop trees and ILLEGALLY use these trees to block access to this shared resource to other users that not only include off road riders but hikers, hunters, fisherman and others that use those routes to enjoy the resource.

    The amount of areas that are actually used for off-road is a VERY small percentage of the MASSIVE acreage that is in the Pine Barrens. I’ve been to meetings where statements like the length of trail equaling the length of the NJ Turnpike being used to give a false visual of huge amount of the resource. Remembering that this is all relative…the total amount of trail is a minuscule percentage compared to the full size of the resource.

    It’s been mentioned about how the riders help by keeping fire cuts clean and in good working order for the forest department. That’s just the tip of the iceberg of the positive impact riders have on the forest and not only the people who manage it but the other folks who use it as well. I personally have been in groups of riders that the State Park Police have asked us for assistance in helping them in various situations because of our familiarity with the resource and be their eyes and ears in the forest. Things like abandoned vehicles, lost travelers/hikers to name a few and sadly searches for missing persons where sadly at times a body is found and we can bring closure to a family who had lost a loved one.

    I could really go on and on. I am saddened by the misuse and selective use of information that is not accurate to try to persuade others to blindly follow your mantra. Above you used a clip from a run that was SEVERAL years ago where riders were MADE to ride between a parallel set of caution tape an d through an area of water that was very deep. This was the direct ask and order of the DEP and Pinelands commission to keep riders on that specific track/route. I was there that day and remember it specifically. When you act in such a dishonest and underhanded way like this it really does undermine your argument. I personally do try to see everyone’s perspective but your viewpoint is so one sided and distorted it makes it difficult for me to try to listen and understand your perspective and I’m sure others feel the same way. I ask that you stop spreading this propaganda that you are disseminating and try to conduct yourself in a more honorable way. As was mentioned earlier…a lot of the trail that is enjoyed by soooo many has been established MANY years ago by off-road enthusiasts so instead of pointing fingers in an unsupported belligerent manner, we would really be just fine with a thank you. WE’RE NOT GOING ANYWHERE.

    Like

  19. Someone must have a great and easy life to put so much effort and time into this. Perhaps spending time in a children’s cancer treatment center, or a nursing home, or a homeless shelter would put things into perspective of where to spend time and effort. We all have a very limited amount of time…everyone should use it wisely.

    Like

  20. What about the destruction caused by
    The govt. bombing the pine lands? What about the state tearing up ground
    Using bulldozers to cut fire cuts, how does controlled burning not kill the species? Apparently agitation increases the growth of the pine lands .. but dirt bikes ruin the land… ??

    Like

  21. Really… I’m not even going to get started on this!!! I just want to let all the tree hugger , conservation people, bird watchers… hikers… whoever…. 95% of all the trails you enjoy walking on.. or doing whatever it is you do…. those trails were made by enduring clubs over 70 years ago!!! And now you call them illegal single track trails.????give me break!!! Maybe one day you’re grandchildren and great grandchildren will enjoy them just like you are now!! I love how you think you own the Forrest and can be the only one to enjoy it!!! Makes me sick!!! I’ve ridden motorcycles and raced enduros my entire life!! And plan to keep riding and enjoying the pine barrens as long as I’m alive!!! I hope the younger generation keeps doing the same!!! ✌️ out!!

    Like

  22. Thats it? Thats what all the hysteria is about? You have lost your minds. You forget all the FREE work these enduro clubs do maintaining firecuts and forest cleanups. And btw, routes are never published ahead of time

    Like

  23. Hi, Joe. Thanks for keeping tabs on my blog.
    What could be more productive than putting one’s efforts into the preservation of the largest natural resource of New Jersey, a resource that is a UNESCO World Hertiage Site and the source of one of the largest aquifers in our country that provide’s water for millions of South Jersey residents, industries and farmers? Is it more productive to run over the area with loud, dust and mud producing, wildlife frightening, people annoying machines? And doing it for, apparently, years and years and over thousands of miles of single track illegally cut through our State Forest that is owned by the 8 million residents of NJ and not the enduro/off-roading crowd. In the words of one of its own groups, SJER, “The National Championships were long events, usually 100 miles or more. It was a huge undertaking. Overall the club has maintained hundreds if not thousands of miles of trail in New Jersey over the last 47 years.”
    In March of 2015, I published a book “Pinelands: New Jersey’s Suburban Wilderness”, available from Amazon, exploring the beauty of the Pinelands, it represented, at the time, 9 years of my work photographing the Pinelands. Hope your enduro group will put together a monograph of the trails you have craved illegally in the Pinelands over the last 75 years. It will be quite a coffee table book, a companion to mine, no doubt.

    Like

  24. Michael, what part of the videos don’t you get? These videos were made by several participates in these events who have chosen to come forward to expose these issues to the general public. I can take you to several single tracks if you would like? Illegal means that it is not legal to hack a path through our public lands for your own purposes. That should be pretty clear!

    Like

  25. Mr Horner, I think you really need to find something more productive to spend so much energy on. Now, I know I am biased because I enjoy riding dirt bikes, but I am also realistic. I understand that these bikes make trails through the forest but is it really as bad as you claim? I think your being a little too dramatic about this. Hopefully your not the type of person that would do something so twisted as to put some sort of hazard in a trailway and cause a serious injury or something much worse and very possible, a death.

    How about putting this much effort towards something that could benefit fellow humans in around the NJ area. Our Vets need help, animals can be saved or rescued. Maybe partake in events with some fellow art friends. Do you really want to spend the last years of your life arguing with all these people? For what, to limit some trails being cut through a very expansive forest!?

    God bless

    Joe

    Like

  26. “Remember “trails” equals illegally cut “single tracks”
    Please provide any proof of this. Ive personally walked some of these same trails 30 years ago.

    Like

Comments are closed.