Stakeholder and Public Meetings Regarding the MAP

Important update: The date of the public forum has been posted to the Wharton State Forest home page.  It will be on Thursday, November 5th at 6:30 PM at Hammonton High School.  Despite it being a “Public” forum, you still have to register by calling 609 704 1964 or email whartonmapcomments@dep.nj.gov before 10/28 to be able to attend.  It is critically important that folks register and attend this session.  Additionally, stakeholder sessions will be held at the end of October.  If you are the leader of a group (hunting, hiking, kayaking, 4×4, etc.) please call the same number above and register your group for the stakeholder forums.

Bass River Council Meeting

We continue to make progress in our fight for fair and continued access to Wharton State Forest. A resolution wasn’t passed, but about 100 outdoor enthusiasts attended the Bass River town council meeting last night and spoke up for what they believe in.  We went from the MAP being implemented with signs posted and roads blocked two months ago,  to it being called a proposal, to it being marked as draft, to it being pulled off the Wharton State Forest webpage altogether.  We cannot yet rest though, as we know that it took an incredible amount of pressure from the public to force the DEP to this position so far and we need to continue to maintain vigilance as the new plan is developed. Open Trails NJ will continue to stay involved, provide updates on progress and provide information on how you can help.  Stay tuned and please remember to register with us here.

 

 

Open Trails NJ presents at Medford Lakes Council Meeting

On Thursday, 9/10, Open Trails NJ was given an opportunity to present at the Medford Lakes Town Council meeting.  We made the following key points:

  • The Motorized Access Plan (M.A.P.) closes 58%, or 274 miles, of the road and trail network to motorized vehicles – many of which have been used for decades
  •  The MAP will be ineffective and will only impact law abiding outdoor enthusiasts and was developed with no public input
  • Federal Recreational Trails Funding was granted on the premise of creating a maintenance program for 600+ miles of roads, but was used to actually reduce milage to 202
  • The public must be engaged and we must start with a blank sheet of paper.  Scrap the MAP

Click her to view the Medford Lakes Presentation

Waterford Township becomes the fourth town to oppose the M.A.P.

More progress!! Last night, Waterford Township became the fourth town to pass a resolution in opposition to the M.A.P. plan! As those who attended the last meeting know, this was no slam dunk, however, the residents of Waterford spoke up and made themselves heard. Thanks for your hard and thanks to the council of Waterford for listening to their constituents and not bending to special interest groups!

Pemberton Township passes a resolution in opposition to the M.A.P.!

Tonight, Pemberton Township became the third town to pass a resolution in opposition to the M.A.P., following similar actions in Medford Lakes and Medford. This continues to demonstrate that you are being heard! Even in the towns where resolutions have not been passed yet, your attendance at recent township meetings has been meaningful and is helping to influence our cause for fair access to the forest for all outdoor enthusiasts. Thank you for the support and please continue to help us fight for the cause! Please continue to share our Open Trails NJ FB page and register with us here. We will continue to post news and updates on how you can help us in our mission to maintain decades old access to the forest.