Category Archives: Uncategorized

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.



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.

Please Register With Us! You are making a difference!

We are making progress! Have you noticed that the M.A.P. now has DRAFT written on it? We are forcing the DEP to backpedal a little on their plans. However, we still need more help. The DEP is not planning on backing down and are beginning new tactics to try to force their plans on the public.   If you support this cause and want to stop them, PLEASE REGISTER with us at  If you are on mobile, the register link is at the bottom of the page. If you are on a PC/Mac, the link is in the black side bar at the bottom left of the page.  Or you can click here to go directly to the registration page.

It will take 30 seconds! Thank you for your continued support!

58% or 274 Miles of Roads in Wharton Have Been Closed

In the press release from the DEP, it was almost spun as if the Motorized Access Plan (M.A.P.) expanded access.  In the FAQ, it was claimed that “the majority of the roads are open”.  However, the DEP has been less than honest about the extent of the road closures.  An assessment was done by Open Trails NJ and we found that 58% or 274 miles of roads have been closed to motor vehicles.  Please see the attached for a visual.  A KMZ file could be provided upon request for independent review.

Wharton Closures- Presentation JPG

Sign this Petition!!

Restore Fair Access to Wharton State Forest
Petition by Ben Ruset

To be delivered to Bob Martin, New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection Commissioner, Mark Texel, Director of the State Park Servuce, The New Jersey State House, and The New Jersey State Senate


The sand roads in Wharton State Forest have been open to motorized traffic even before the state purchased the tract from the Joseph Wharton estate. While there are serious concerns about the damage that illegal off-road vehicle traffic causes, the blanket closing of over 50% of the roads in the forest is not the answer. This action will only serve to keep law-abiding people out while doing nothing to curb the abuse from the minority who drive destructively. By and large the effect will be felt by citizens who do not even drive vehicles capable of creating the kind of damage that this policy attempts to address.

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