Take Action - Stop ORV Damage in the Pine Barrens
The Pinelands National Reserve suffers greatly from the damage brought by illegal Off-Road Vehicle (ORV) use. Wharton State Forest, located in the heart of the Pine Barrens, is ground-zero for this type of destruction. The state Pinelands Commission has identified over 220 sites in Wharton that have been damaged by unlawful ORV activity.
The New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection has struggled to implement the strategies necessary to better protect Wharton State Forest, as well as other state forests throughout the state. There is a solution for the state forests within the Pinelands boundary. The Pinelands Commission has the authority to ensure motorized vehicles are used appropriately.
Section 7:50-6.143 of the Pinelands Comprehensive Management Plan states the following:
The Commission shall from time to time designate areas which are inappropriate for use of motor vehicles.Such designation shall be based upon the following considerations and upon consultation with the New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection and other interested persons:
i. A need to protect a scientific study area;
ii. A need to protect the location of threatened or endangered plant or animal species;
iii. A need to provide a wilderness recreational area;
iv. A need to prevent conflicts with adjoining intensively used recreational areas;
v. A need to protect historic or archaeological sites;
vi. A need to protect critical wildlife habitats;
vii. A need to address a situation of public health and safety;
viii. A need to protect extensively disturbed areas from further impact; and
ix. The extent to which such road closure would substantially impair recreation access to and uses of surrounding resources.
Take Action Today
Attend a Pinelands Commission meeting and tell them how important it is to you that they take action to protect Wharton State Forest from ORV damage. Upcoming meetings are:
Send an email or a letter to the Commissioners and tell them about your own experience. Sample talking points can be found here.
Letter to Pinelands Commissioners
Letters can be mailed to:
PO Box 359
15 Springfield Road
New Lisbon, New Jersey 08064
Questions? Contact Jason at 609-859-8860 ext. 125 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.