After years of seeing similar destruction like the above image I truly had enough of what is being done to our Pine Barrens, a.k.a. Pinelands National Reserve. I am a fine art landscape photographer, I spend 98% of my time photographing in the NJ Pine Barrens. I envision and record beauty, what I was seeing was a horrible molesting of our public lands. I got caught up in these problems about four years ago when I identified a location on Google Earth as a potential location for a future photograph. It took me seven (7) months before I could get to see the area because of all types of weather, snow, ice and lots of rain, and, most importantly, roads damaged so bad they were not usable even in a small SUV. When I finally got to the location I was heart sick to see what had been going on there. It turns out the area is known to the off-road crowd as “1/4 Mile” (which will be covered in a later blog). This area was so devastated by abusive 4x4s, ATVs and dirt bike operators it is a wonder they could stand to be there themselves. It not only looked like another planet is had its own unique smell, a combination of mud and motor oil. I estimated that the area destroyed, probably permanently, was 83 – 85 acres of pristine Pine Barrens wetlands on the Batsto River watershed. I partnered with Michael Hogan, a well know Pine Barrens photographer and naturalist, to expose these atrocities, and we have been doing so every since. Presently we are undertaking a more formal presentation of these problems by logging all of the sites we can locate that have been destroyed by abusive off-road vehicle use and presenting the information to the general public.
This blog is the beginning of the process.
Albert D. Horner