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Who We Are

We are hikers, hunters, enduro riders, geocachers, 4×4 enthusiasts, kayakers, horseback riders, photographers and environmentalists who want help solve the problems facing the forest while keeping it open for responsible recreation.  We view this as a long term endeavor and are in it together

Our Mission

  • Lead an organization dedicated to maintaining access to Wharton and other state parks in New Jersey
  • Collaborate with other organizations and help keep the public informed about limited access initiatives
  • Engage with the State when it comes to proposals and initiatives that impact fair use of public areas
  • Advocate for plans that encourage responsible use and effective protection of outdoor resources
  • Volunteer for resource protection projects

Latest Posts:

  • Contact Your Representatives

    Concerned about new permits and roads being closed? So are we. Let’s ask our elected officials to help! We created this page to help you with finding and contacting your elected representatives. (Governor, State Senators, Mayors and the DEP) If we don’t ALL act, we shouldn’t be surprised by the results. Post below to let […]


  • Wharton Usage Survey Released

    The Wharton usage survey has been released! There are only 30 days to submit your input (Closes 10/28). PLEASE take your time and be as detailed as possible with your submission. Important Tips: Mark as many locations as possible but DO NOT just “circle the whole map” Do you record your tracks in a GPS […]


  • Recording of 9/27 Virtual Meeting has been posted

    The recording of the stakeholder meeting has been released. If you have not seen this, you need to watch it and get ready to provide feedback within 30 days. In the coming days, OTNJ will provide some guidance and resources on how you can help. Keep an eye on our page for details. We also […]


  • New Wharton State Forest Stakeholder Meeting Coming Up!

    As we have heard over the last several months, the State is beginning a stakeholder engagement process to evaluate changes to access to Wharton State Forest including a map and permit system. OTNJ is considered one of the stakeholders and we will be keeping everyone informed of what we learn and how the public can […]


  • New Pinelands Commissioners have been sworn in.


  • Wildlife Management Area Closures

    OTNJ is disappointed to hear about the recent actions by the DEP regarding closures within certain Wildlife Management Areas. OTNJ as well as other stakeholder groups have been in recent contact with the DEP, and in those discussions, they stressed they were planning to be open and transparent and to engage the public in their […]


  • Press Release from DEP

    FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE          December 11, 2017     Contact: Lawrence Hajna      (609) 984-1795                 Robert Geist            (609) 292-2994                 Caryn Shinske          (609) 984-1795     DEP […]


  • Volunteer Opportunity – 10/29/17

    Download a copy of the flyer by clicking on the graphic above or take this link!


  • Important – TAKE ACTION TODAY

    Please see our page regarding the resolution being taken up by the Pinelands Commission this Friday, July 14th.  The meeting starts at 9:30 am at the Richard J. Sullivan Center for Environmental Policy and Education, Terrence D. Moore Conference Room, 15C Springfield Road, New Lisbon, New Jersey OTNJ’s position on this resolution can be found […]


  • Open Trails NJ Participates in DEP Protection Project

    Open Trails NJ staff participated with other groups in a small volunteer activity to protect four sensitive intermittent ponds in Wharton State Forest. This activity furthers the protection of sensitive areas without requiring mass road closures. We are thankful to the DEP for continuing to forge relationships with the stakeholder groups in their mission to […]