Issue in Brief
This is of particular interest to lovers of the New Jersey Pine Barrens, but may set a precedent for other State Forests, where no Enduro events have been held.
New Jersey Dept. of Environmental Protection (DEP) Commissioner Bob Martin is weighing a State Parks suggestion to manage motorized recreation--in particular dirt bike racing (ie, enduro) Wharton State Forest. The plan aims to protect natural resources and help to minimize the staff time it takes to oversee these events.
This approach represents a significant improvement at Wharton State Forest, but Enduro Clubs are opposing it.
Dirt-bike clubs, also known as Enduro Clubs, enjoy a long tradition of holding organized races in Pine Barrens forests. (Regulations would have little apparent affect on North Jersey, where there has never been an Enduro race on state land.) They are required to obtain permits for this. But even permitted events come with problems such as illegal trail creation, damage to natural resources, and repeated riding after permitted events are finished on hundreds of miles of new trails every year. These events also require significant oversight by state park employees.
To deal with the costly management of recreation permits, the State Park Service has introduced a method for managing organized motorized recreation in New Jersey State Forests, by providing a map of pre-approved routes for this activity. Approved routes are comprised of plowed firebreaks, unimproved sand roads, and improved roads. Wharton State Forest is the first to implement this plan. Clubs interested in hosting events within Wharton State Forest are permitted to use any subset of these pre-approved routes. This has significantly reduced the staff time involved in reviewing these events, streamlined the permit process for applicants and balanced recreational use and critical natural resource protection.
The State Park Service may apply this model to the other state forests throughout New Jersey.
Now, the State needs to hear from the public. Please tell DEP Commissioner Bob Martin that you support this plan to manage motorized recreation in Wharton State Forest, because it protects natural resources and helps to minimize the staff time it takes to oversee these events. Please add that Enduro racing should not be introduced into other state parks.
What You Can Do
Please call or email Commissioner Bob Martin and let him know that you support the State Park Service plans for managing Enduro events at Wharton State Forest.
NJ DEP Commissioner Bob Martin - (609) 292-2885
If you have additional time, contact your state Assemblyperson and Senator to share your support for the State Park Service plan. You can find your legislator email and phone number by visiting http://www.njleg.state.nj.us/members/legsearch.asp .