Category Archives: Archive

Pinelands Commission Update

The Pinelands Commission held their Policy and Implementation meeting today and discussed a potential resolution to create a map using the USGS Topographical Maps as a baseline of roads. Learning the lessons of the DEP MAP, they instead decided to set up a sub-committee and solicit inputs from the stakeholders on next steps. OTNJ is satisfied with this result. While the USGS map is very comprehensive and would not restrict legal, legitimate motor vehicle access, OTNJ is concerned with how this map could be maintained over time considering the very limited resources the Pinelands Commission has. OTNJ will continue to monitor this situation and will alert our membership for action if we foresee a negative impact to legitimate motorized recreation.

 
 
 
 

ECO EGG HUNT – 4/15 Atsion Recreation Area

What a great way to for kids to spend the day on 4/15. . . in the outdoors.

Eco Egg Hunt Flyer
Click on graphic to open pdf in new window

Flyer says: Join us at Wharton State Forest’s Atsion Recreation Area for our first ever ECO EGG HUNT.

Children of all ages are encouraged to attend and enjoy the great outdoors. We are hosting a light litter clean up to EDUCATE youngsters about environmental stewardship, and along the way they might just find some candy egg SURPRISES.

Guided Nature Hikes and Atsion Mansion Tours will also be available to those interested.

So grab your baskets and your hiking shoes and come out to Wharton State Forest.

WHEN: April 15th at 10 am

WHERE: Atsion Recreation Area, 715 Route 206 in Shamong.

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Update on MAP Plan and Stakeholder Forum

The Stakeholder forum meeting went very well. There were lots of great ideas shared and great interaction with the DEP. Also, in a show of goodwill and commitment to his word, Commissioner Martin has ordered that ALL the newly posted no motor vehicles be removed by the end of the day.

HOWEVER, it is more important than ever that we show up on Nov. 5 to show our support for the DEP’s change in position on the MAP.  We have not won and the forces on the other side will stop at nothing to reverse this recent victory. The good news is that we have achieved a very important goal, but it will be taken away from us just as quickly if we let the loud minority drown out our voices on November 5th.

If you support this cause we NEED you to attend the November 5th public meeting. This cannot be stressed enough.  The meeting will be held on 11/5 at 6:30 PM at Hammonton High School. Please register by calling 609-704-1964 or email whartonmapcomments@dep.nj.gov before 10/28 to be able to attend.

Open Trails NJ to Participate in Stakeholder Forum, 10/22

Open Trails NJ will be participating in the Wharton State Forest Stakeholder Forum on 10/22.  We will be advocating continued responsible use of Wharton State Forest for all outdoor enthusiasts.  Some of of the key points we will be promoting are:

  • All USGS defined roads should remain open unless they meet objective, agreed upon, criteria to be closed
  • Enforcement of existing laws is paramount to solving problems in the forest
  • Need for community engagement-  education, transparency, clean up, volunteer labor/material

Closing Roads is a Failed Policy

In all the township meetings and newspaper articles,  the DEP has been quick to show pictures of Jemima Mount, using it as an example of why roads must be closed to prevent impact to the forest.  But did you know that Jemima Mt. has been closed to motorized vehicles for well over a decade?  Ironically, the DEP has been showcasing how the policy they are promoting has been failing for over 10 years!
Jemima.001

 

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.