RETURN HOME

  • You are reading the Pine Barrens Blog.

Posts Tagged ‘ORV’

The Disappearing Mountain

Tuesday, November 14th, 2017
Facebooktwittergoogle_plusredditpinterestlinkedinmail

Gully at Forked River Mountain

There are a number of large hills in the Pine Barrens that some of us locals love to call mountains. Their names vary, from Jemima Mount, to Apple Pie Hill, Devious Mount, the Forked River Mountain, and Mt. Tabour. The chance to step out above the treeline and peer over the vast forests of the Pinelands National Reserve is an experience not to be forgotten. The peaks of these “mountains” were caused not by tectonic activity, but by the deposition of river gravel, laid down during the middle and late Miocene (between 15-million and 10-million years ago) by rivers that formed as sea levels declined and re-exposed much of what is South Jersey. (1) These rivers brought gravel and deposited those soils along much of the central and northern Pinelands forming what is known as the Beacon Hill Formation.

Erosion at Jemima Mount

Although these peaks have survived for millions of years, they are now experiencing anthropogenic impacts that dwarf the natural forces of erosion. Off-road vehicle drivers have begun tearing into the slopes at an increasing rate to challenge their machines against the land. This pernicious activity has cut deep gullies into most of the highest hills of the Pines and denuded large percentages of their slopes of vegetation which exacerbates the natural processes of erosion. These are places that offer an irreplaceable experience for Pinelands residents and visitors and the threat of their disappearance should be taken very seriously.

Unfortunately, this threat has not been broadly addressed by the State with two important exceptions. Rob Auermuller, the superintendent of Wharton State Forest, took action and with the help of volunteers gated and blocked off-road vehicles from entering Jemima Mount last year. Also in Wharton, former Lieutenant Ranger, Greg Langan, made the same effort for Apple Pie Hill in the 1990s to stop destructive ORV use at that iconic location.  Their efforts have paid off and both locations have been steadily improving and healing from the damage that was done. Soils have stabilized at Apple Pie Hill and vehicles have ceased all activity at Jemima Mount, leaving a chance for the slopes to naturally stabilize there as well.

©Albert Horner

We are asking the Director of Parks and Forestry, Mark Texel, to take this threat seriously as well. He should act quickly to implement the recent Pinelands Commission resolution for Wharton State Forest that would protect future areas from this type of degradation. This unanimously approved resolution will address one of the most serious threats to public land in the National Reserve, but it needs to be implemented first. The public’s land should never be left to fend for itself by those who are trusted and paid to protect it.


Contact Mark Texel and ask him to begin implementation of Pinelands Commission Resolution for Wharton State Forest in order to protect the critical natural and scenic resources of the Pinelands National Reserve.

Mark Texel – Director of Parks and Forestry – Mark.Texel@dep.nj.gov  

Links

Pinelands Commission Resolution for Wharton State Forest

http://www.pinelandsalliance.org/downloads/pinelandsalliance_1593.pdf

References

  1. http://www.state.nj.us/dep/njgs/enviroed/freedwn/psnjsurf.pdf

Balancing Use and Protection of Public Lands

Wednesday, January 13th, 2016
Facebooktwittergoogle_plusredditpinterestlinkedinmail
Tuckahoe Lake at Tuckahoe Wildlife Management Area

Tuckahoe Lake at Tuckahoe Wildlife Management Area. © Michael Hogan

The Pinelands Preservation Alliance supports and promotes the use of our state forests, parks, and fish and wildlife lands if done so in a responsible manner.  We also advocate for the preservation of lands specifically for wildlife and untouched by human disturbance.  Maintaining a balance between the two is always difficult, and we don’t claim to have all the answers.  What we hope to do is have an honest and open dialogue among public agencies, private entities and individuals so that we can reach a common ground.

This blog is our way of having this dialogue on a weekly basis.  We will share stories of problems, highlight successes, promote opportunities and ask that those who follow this blog do the same.  The end of 2015 highlighted the need for a continued dialogue about the balance between preservation and recreation.  The New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) plays a major role in this effort and has taken action to reduce the impact of off-road recreation in some wildlife management areas. (more…)

 

Log in

Copyright Pinelands Preservation Alliance

http://www.ourhealthissues.com/ http://www.mentalhealthupdate.com/