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TAKE ACTION: NJDEP To Host Public Meeting About Wharton State Forest Motor Vehicle Access Plan

Updated: Sep 1, 2022

truck driving in the pine barrens
A driver navigates an illegal trail cut through the Pine Barrens. Illegal off-roading damages thousands of acres in Wharton State Forest and other state and private lands each year.

The Department of Environmental Protection will host the first in a series of virtual public stakeholder meetings at 6 p.m. Tuesday, Sept. 27, launching a Visitor and Vehicle Use Survey to develop an access and use plan for Wharton State Forest.

The Sept. 27 meeting will demonstrate a new web-based survey and mapping tool where park users will answer questions about their favorite recreational activities in Wharton State Forest, such as fishing, hiking, boating and scenic driving, among others. The survey will allow participants to mark areas of importance on an interactive mapping tool which may be of personal significance or natural or historic resource importance.

The results of the survey will be used to enhance Wharton State Forest’s map to clearly define designated safe and legal routes for vehicle usage, while protecting culturally and ecologically sensitive areas. Upon completion of the stakeholder process, these efforts to define safe and legal vehicle access routes on Wharton’s improved and unimproved roads will serve as the model for protection of other state-managed lands throughout the Pinelands.

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