How Will Wharton State Forest Road Closures Affect Me?

  •  New Jersey State Voters are losing another thing without their input. It was put in place without any notification.  This is already in the works for other State Parks, this NOT just a Wharton State Forest issue!
  • Hunters have now lost that road to favored hunting spot/s or even perhaps their own land and will most likely have to walk several miles to reach these once accessible areas.  As this may not seem bad to some, what about the elderly and/or disabled hunters who can’t walk that far?
  • Kayakers/Canoers will not have access to launch sites that they’ve been using for years unless you want to drag
    your kayak/canoe down a dirt road.  You will even have a hard time launching at sites from roads that are still open. We feel you are now being forced to use a company backed by a strong preservation society behind the road closures who just so happens to own a kayaking/canoeing livery/tour service near the Atsion ranger Station.  
  • Fishermen won’t have access to all of your favorite hidden little spots, quite areas to get away, relax; enjoy the beauty and peacefulness of the pinelands.
  • Horseback Riders have lost access to these roads as well which now put you and your horse on the main roads with all the newly formed condensed traffic.  This is a hazard to you and your horse which will lead to injuries and accidents.
  • Hikers will be losing locations as well because of loss of access; especially those who only like to get out for a short hike to a favorite area deep in the pines. If you are not a distance hiker you will be out of luck. But who really  suffers from this are the elderly and disabled hikers due to distance, not to mention the fact that if there’s an emergency  the response time for the Police/Fire/EMT will be longer because of no direct access.  
  • Enduro Riders (Riders of street legal motorcycles) will no longer be able to ride on less traveled roads and fire cuts where they could help the forestry service keep these fire lines open, creating less maintenance for them. Sadly, Enduro riders have been losing ground on their events through-out the years and this new plan will highly affect them and the revenue they bring into the State of New Jersey from the permits they purchase.
  • Elderly and Disabled get affected we feel the most, no matter what they enjoy doing they have had their rights and their forest taken from them. Some enjoyed just trail riding, parking near their favorite water spot for a break and some fresh air to enjoy the forest while others enjoy a wide range of outdoor activities.
  •  “Jeepers/4×4 enthusiasts” (legal, registered, insured, not to be confused with the term ORV) who enjoy going out and just exploring the dirt roads with their family and friends, exploring, picnicking and even making new friends along the roads.  Many of those roads they enjoy are now closed, and for what?The

    “4×4” community is one of the most active in doing cleanup events, for the last 13 years they have had annual organized clean ups to preserve the land the love so much. Without their support illegal dumping will likely pile up and become a problem.

  • Geocachers have already been  practically forced out of the forest and off the rivers, more than ¾ of the geocaches that once called the area home have been shut down, and the ones left still need permits to be approved and with severe restrictions to follow in order to stay in place. Many of the historic locations that once attracted and educated, enticing visitors to deeply appreciate the gem we call the Pine Barrens are now off limits soon to be forgotten and lost.
  • Local Residents are in danger of a fire emergency.  These roads that have been closed have been there for many years; many on maps dating back to early 1900’s and have been used by the firefighters all along. With fewer roads and no direct routes these homes become in jeopardy.  We are being told that these road closures will not affect response time but logically that’s impossible.
  • Local Businesses will see a large decline in revenue.  Many people who travel to Wharton patronize local establishments and often also use them for charity and group events. Restricting people’s rights and denying access to public land will encourage them to seek out alternative areas to enjoy their outdoor activities, maybe in other states, causing a reduction in business for surrounding establishments and lost tax revenue for the state.

Solving the Problems Facing our Forests while Maintaining Access for Responsible Recreation