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Unread 12-01-2010, 08:45 AM   #1
mudboy
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South Jersey/Pine Barrens/Wharton info

Alright as most of us know already there has been alot of negative publicity going on over the past 3 months or so which all surfaced from an area locally known as "1/4 mile". It is a low area located within Wharton State forest which is located in the Pine Barrens National Preserve in South Jersey. It started out as 1 trail going through the area on the south eastern side of the old Jersey Central railroad tracks that run through the area. The trail has been there since as early as 1930 from the research that I could dig up with historical overhead shots. My guess is that it was a railroad access/maintenance road. the road was always in poor condition due to the wet conditions that regular the area. Off to the sides were two vernal pools which most of us would just refer to as a grassy swamp. Depending on the season depended if they had water in them, this makes a great habitat for different amphibians and reptiles and apparently alot on endangered plant life. During the 70s the trail became popular among early 4x4 enthusiasts and explorers of the land. Of course road conditions degraded from higher amounts of traffic than what it has seen before. It stayed that way for quite sometime until the 90s. In the 90s is when it started to become popular for the trucks on 40s and 44s to run the one cut which went through the most southeastern section of the area. This is where 1/4 mile was born. At that time it was a handful of trucks that would go there on their way to the old Chatsworth pit. Back in the day the environmental awareness was not what it was up to today and also the amount of wheelers was nowhere near what it was today and also people didn't really throw their trash around like they do today. In 94 i believe was when the big fire happened out there and the forest fire service made new trails surrounding the area to block the fire from spreading. These trails eventually started to get traveled as well and where it wet areas so more puddles and mud holes formed. Not too long after people started connecting the other swampy area to the new fire trails. In the late 90s early 200s you had the "Internet bloom". More 4x4 clubs started to form and word started getting out about "1/4 mile". By the mid 2000s it came to the point of being able to go out there any given Saturday or Sunday and you'd run into a group of people. It kept getting bigger and bigger and more people kept coming in, now from different states as well. The trails always stayed wet going out to there making it difficult for an unskilled person to get out there without hiking. This is what kept the environmentalists and rangers (Now State park Police) out of there. This past Summer we had a dry spell where you could basically get a low rider out there. Along came the environmentalists and other users of the forest. They finally found out where all of the "Youtube" vids and "photobucket albums" where coming from. Under their trained eyes they saw a totally destroyed area out there. An area that was once a grassy savannah with an access road, now being a sandy lot with ruts and trash. Also being familiar with the endangered species that frequent the pines they also saw some of them destroyed. Be3ing outraged and wanting to see a stop to the destruction, they did what they felt was necessary and wanted the public to know what was going on so they have a better chance of stopping the destruction. What people have failed to realize within their experiences at 1/4 mile is that, no it was not always a big muddy area and no it was never technically legal to be out there. i know all of the years i used to go back there, from the beginning days in the 90s when i was a little kid. I never thought about that. It was just something we did and didn't see any harm in it. As much as I originally didn't want to, i started educating myself on the area and different areas of the pines and also the legalities. I now have 3 boys(a 2.5 year old ,and 7 month old twins). i don't want to get pulled over with them in the vehicle and also I want them to be able to build a old beat up jk together in the later years and go have fun exploring out there as I did as a kid.. But anyways this is why 1/4 mile is no longer a legal area to be. I will continue with a part2 reply to this post about the rest of the pines and Wharton in general as far as legalities go, problems we are facing, future plans and fines.

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Unread 12-01-2010, 04:15 PM   #2
bjdstt247
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this would interesting to hear about part 2
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Unread 12-01-2010, 04:54 PM   #3
pile_alcalineNJ
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i will say, as a member who signed onto jerseydevil towards its dieing days. i saw alot more of the pines then any other site ever, photo wise and met some pretty awesome people. to be honest, the quarter mile was always kinda like the "tourist" attraction in the pines, at least to me. it just seemed if you went to the pines you HAD to go to the quarter mile but honestly there's other parts of the pines that are legal and enjoyable to see and play in and if i ever knew the terrain enough to show people the pines i wouldnt bring them to the quarter mile. also, im glad with it being illegal and hope anyone who is caught back there get fined, i mean id prefer a warning first and taking down the info but if its to much work, fine them. i mean i enjoy the pines but i dont see what the big deal for the mud holes of the quarter mile made it so special or different for the other ones, just easy to get to i guess.

mudboy, what they should do, is instead of fining the people caught at the quarter mile, just bring them to the black hole and let them wheel without any assistance when they get sucked into those ruts
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Unread 12-02-2010, 06:33 AM   #4
mudboy
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Part 2:

Alright. Part 1, I went into the history behind 1/4 mile. This one I'm gonna go over some of the rules that are here now, what we are possibly facing and solutions (including OHV park).
Rules Laws whatever you want to call them, they are something that we face no matter where we go. For some of us the woods are a place to escape the reality of everyday life. People with all kinds of different interests use the forest for this reason and every single one of them still has to abide by some rules. These rules are really simple however NOT very descriptive. Coming from a racing lifestyle, I read rules with a fine tooth comb and find every grey area that exists. One of the rules that has a HUGE grey area is "staying on the established trail". You should hear the answers I get when I ask for definitions of an {"established trail". One of the most common ones is "hey if its on google it must be an established trail". Bull**** my friend , same with topography maps , there are roads on both maps that don't exist anymore, never did exist and my parents road that they live on in Atco isn't even shown on a topography map. so take your google, take your map, and take your GPS and burn them. They are totally useless in what is legal and what is not. As of right now using your common sense should tell you what a trail is and what is not, however depending on what state park police officer or if he /she got laid last night, depends on if you are on what they think is an established trail. This is crap. I strongly believe that laws cannot be enforced off of opinion. I'm telling you now, if i get an off the established trail ticket when I'm not off in a swamp or something, I will take the day off of work and fight it just as everyone else should. So to sum it up, every time you go into Wharton or the Pine Barrens in general you do not know if where you are going is legal or not and nor do the State Park Police or Conservation officers.
Solution??????? Maps are needed. They need to be available in Batsto and Wharton and any other public office. they need to be available on the Internet and available to load into your GPS. At this point it is easily identified if you are off the "established trail". If you are caught off of it , you should have the book thrown at you to where you will never want to leave the trail again or maybe never even want to come to the pine barrens again. I also believe these trails need a rating system. As much as you may not like it, this is a state park so Mr. Greenie needs to know where his Prius can and cannot make it. this would be a "green" trail. basically a Green would be 2wd accessible, such as Carranza, Burt mill, quakerbridge etc. next would be Blues, which would be 4x4 recommended such as some of the back trails that have sugar sand and mild waterholes. Finally reds. These would be the trails that modifications may be needed on. These Reds are a touchy subject, they can't have am environmental impact and basically if people mess up and don't abide by tread lightly, you can guarantee these trails would soon be off access.
Is this being done???? Yes!!! to an extent. currently the superintendent of Wharton State Forest is working on a map of Wharton. From what I understand , once he is finished it will be up for review, I'm hoping our group (NJTLC) are the ones that get to review it. At that point it will be observed from every hobbyist that uses the forest. After contacting quite a few environmentalists and higher ups in Wharton Staff they do all pretty much agree that there has to be a definition of the trails. The Green, Blue, Red system is something I'm still hoping for, i even have Mr. Albert Horner himself in agreeance with the system. At this point after a map comes out and is out for a little while no one can use the excuse "oh i thought this was a trail"
What should be done if you get caught off of the "established trail" first i think as long as you haven't blown a new set of ruts through a swamp or something or blew a new trail over trees you should get a written warning that stays filed on computer. If you get caught after that, then you get nailed with the fines. I know some of you are thinking"Oh, it's only a $100 fine after all said and done". You better start thinking different. we are pushing for the local judges NOT to drop down to the minimum. It's obvious the $100 fine don't cut it. When you start paying $500 for going off the trail and then on top of that you have to pay for any destruction that you may have caused then you have to pay the DEP fines on top of that. You could easily end up with a $10,000 fine.
If you keep it in your mind that this is not an Off Highway Vehicle Park you should be fine.
Tread Lightly!!!!!
There are alot of trails out there that where once accessible by smaller vehicles that are now not, due to *******s laying on the gas pedal. Don't get me wrong, i understand during heavily traveled times of the year ruts form without reasoning. After steady splashing dirt pushes aside and you have ruts. that is not what I'm talking about. What I'm talking about is when you see a hole and want to see if you can do it In 2 wheel drive and just lay down on the skinny pedal. This is also not acceptable and is breaking the law. It's considered property damage.
Once again this is not a OHV park it's a national Preserve and you have to get it in your head that Jersey sucks for actual "Wheeling". Tons of trails to go on trail rides, but actual wheeling, you are sort of beat.

To some all of that up, Don't go off the map once it is available and don't tear up the puddles purposely and you will be fine. If you do it you're gonna get screwed.
I'm actually going to go into a part 3
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Unread 12-02-2010, 06:56 AM   #5
mudboy
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Part 3: Laws

State Park Laws including Wharton:
http://www.nj.gov/dep/rules/rules/njac7_2.pdf
Subchapter 3 is Motorized Vehicle Use

Title 39
All the same laws that are used for the highway are also used within the Preserve, so yes that means you must be preoperly insured, registered, lincensed and INSPECTED or otherwise your vehicle can be impounded and not available for release until your fines are paid in full

DEP Laws:
These are the trciky ones. One thing I want to due is get the ones that would pertain to motor vehicles and make them more commonly available
NJDEP Land Use Regulation Program (DLUR) - Laws & Regulations

OHV state specific bills
NJDEP - Policy Directive 2002-001 - Off-Road Vehicle Use
We are all Class1 ORV operaters
Heres the new one that was just passed at the beginning of this year, be prepared to read for a while
http://www.njleg.state.nj.us/2008/Bills/AL09/275_.PDF

Part 4 to come
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Unread 12-02-2010, 07:03 AM   #6
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Part 4: What does all of this mean for us?

Well in order for the last bill that I posted to be able to be enforced ,progress of ORV Parks has to be shown. This is a good thing on our part because the greenies want to see these laws enforced and maximized. Will we ever get a park within the Pine Barrens???? Hell no!!!!!. But thats alright, there are alot better areas anyways, esp, the area that has been brought up in Southern Jersey.
We really all need to put the stubborness aside and unite with one another and push for the DEP to move along with purchasing land.
As of right now there is a group that is formed thats is all for resonsible use of the pine barrens. This is not technically a group for pushing for an ORV park, but I'm sure alot of it's members would in a heart beat. The name is NJTLC the forum is:
NEW JERSEY TRAIL LOVERS COALITION - Home
the website is:
www. NJTLC.org
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Unread 12-02-2010, 07:06 AM   #7
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Please feel free to comment what I have posted, ask questions, bash me whatever. I will answer any question to my fullest capability and will go out of my way to find the answer. In Previous posts I know I have come across as an ******* but hopefully these long *** posts will explain why I have been the way I have
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Unread 12-02-2010, 03:27 PM   #8
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HOLY MACKEREL!! You put a lot of work in there for us! Thank You! This is the best post I've read on the matter. I especially loved the history in part one. You mentioned old photos, airials I believe, do you have them to post or a link we can check out? Thanks again for the work you put in, great job.
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Unread 12-02-2010, 04:00 PM   #9
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Flat out in some posts you have come across as a dick but you have every right to be. I think you said you have been visint the pines since before the 90s. Hell I wasnt even born yet. You dont want to see something you got to enjow your whole life, just get taken away because of some *******s that go out and trash the place.

If you need any help I'll try my best.

And I agree that we need a map of all the "trails". a level system and a hefty fine system.

I would add "staking out" trail heads to catch the drunk people that come out of there on 44+ rubbers.

I once saw someone floor it in 2wd through high crossing, then I saw them later at 1/4 mile tossing a can of beer out the window. I picked up that and some other oil cans I found where people normally burn stuff.

People(including me and probably everyone that goes out at one point) have tried something stupid whether it was going in too fast, 2wd, or whatever. We(the police/rangers/DEP/whoever) just have to get the laws and trails straight and start cracking down.
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Unread 12-02-2010, 07:11 PM   #10
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Maps are the answer and I mean it. They would give the users of the state forest true direction. From an F350 on 44s to a Pirus. You should be required to have one in your vehicle (paper or gps) if you are in the state forest. They would also give they enforcers of law a tool for explaining why you are getting a fine for being axle deep in an area you "got lost" getting to. Keep the news coming Mudboy and thanks for your time on this site and others.

Mike
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Unread 12-03-2010, 04:42 AM   #11
mudboy
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Quote:
Originally Posted by shadyvito View Post
HOLY MACKEREL!! You put a lot of work in there for us! Thank You! This is the best post I've read on the matter. I especially loved the history in part one. You mentioned old photos, airials I believe, do you have them to post or a link we can check out? Thanks again for the work you put in, great job.
I myself have some photos of a few areas in the 90s but not specifically of 1/4 mile. I will see if I can get a few off my buddy. Once you see the pics you'd realize that Mike Hogan (PinesLover) isn't lying when he states the area used to be a grassy wetland.
Heres the link for the older areial shots. Remember that in 1930 there was no satellite, tehse shots are just from overhead photography so the quality is obviously not what it escalated to 80 years later.
No problem for the work, this **** means alot to me. I know your one of the people I got pissed off at. Hopefully you sat back and have though about what i have said and learned something. Alot of these greenies have very good info, hell it's where I learned alot, they just ain't all that good at communicating lol.
http://www.historicaerials.com/
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Unread 12-03-2010, 04:47 AM   #12
mudboy
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BriansCJ View Post
Flat out in some posts you have come across as a dick but you have every right to be. I think you said you have been visint the pines since before the 90s. Hell I wasnt even born yet. You dont want to see something you got to enjow your whole life, just get taken away because of some *******s that go out and trash the place.

If you need any help I'll try my best.

And I agree that we need a map of all the "trails". a level system and a hefty fine system.

I would add "staking out" trail heads to catch the drunk people that come out of there on 44+ rubbers.

I once saw someone floor it in 2wd through high crossing, then I saw them later at 1/4 mile tossing a can of beer out the window. I picked up that and some other oil cans I found where people normally burn stuff.

People(including me and probably everyone that goes out at one point) have tried something stupid whether it was going in too fast, 2wd, or whatever. We(the police/rangers/DEP/whoever) just have to get the laws and trails straight and start cracking down.

I'm not out to turn peopel in, I'm just out to get a few problems fixed. As much as I don't like beer cans out there. They are a hell of alot easier to pick up compared to filling in a rut. If people join and unite together and there are more people out there that care than don't hopefully it will force them out or make them feel unwelcomed. As I said though I'm not law enforcement, I;'m not 100% legal myself 90% of the time that I'm not in work or in bed I have a beer can in my hand. I may be breaking the law but i'm not being an ******* all hammered up ripping around and cans flying everywhere. luckily my parents live on the corner of the forest so all beer cans go in their recycling bin lol.
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Unread 12-03-2010, 05:37 AM   #13
Onabudget3g
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Just leave all the bottles and cans on the floor or back seat at least they cant get you for littering. lol just kidding but I saw you tried gettin a clean up on the atco trails if your doing it again anytime soon give me a pm.
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Unread 12-03-2010, 05:51 AM   #14
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lol. I have been working on the powerlines in Atco across from the raceway. Last weekend I guess I put in 5 or 6 hours and still have a ways to go. I'll be out there this weekend too. i just don't know when. Out of 4 bags of trash I picked up in about a 1 acre area, about 3 bags where bud light bottles.
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Unread 12-03-2010, 05:54 AM   #15
mudboy
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Onabudget3g View Post
Just leave all the bottles and cans on the floor or back seat at least they cant get you for littering. lol just kidding but I saw you tried gettin a clean up on the atco trails if your doing it again anytime soon give me a pm.
Also on this I plan on putting 55 gallon drums near some of the main exits of the area. I have no problem maintaining them. IThis is in hopes that at least a few people will use them. I know alot of people drink while out there andfact of the matter is that it is not going to stop. I also know alot of people don't have the convienience of using my parents recycling bins, since they don't want to go on the road with emptys they end up going out the window. I'm hoping with the drums people will have some concideration to use them
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