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  1. #1
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    Upset The Destruction of Lewis Morris?

    Lewis Morris is my "go to" ride as I'm about ten minutes away. I went there on Wednesday, around midday and couldn't get in as there was "controlled burning" happening. I went back this morning and I'm really disappointed with what has been done. Firstly I don't understand the reason for the burning. I thought it is supposed to be natural unspoiled land with trails to walk and ride on. What about the birds and small animals who's habitat has been destroyed. Also, I don't know if it is because of the burn but half of the trails are now as wide as a highway. There are ruts from truck tires all over the place and places look like a bulldozer has been in there. I now may as well ride on Patriots Path. Does anyone know what's going on?
    The trouble with having an open mind is that people will insist on trying to put things in it.

  2. #2
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    Any idea what trails were affected by this burn?

  3. #3
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    When forests aren't allowed to burn they become very much unlike how they should be in their natural states. So it is good for habitat/environment to have controlled burns. I can see how it could mess up some trails though.

  4. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by rebel1916 View Post
    When forests aren't allowed to burn they become very much unlike how they should be in their natural states. So it is good for habitat/environment to have controlled burns. I can see how it could mess up some trails though.
    I'm no expert but I know that certain types of trees, like some conifers require fire to open their seed pods. However I don't believe that it a very common occurrence in the North East. Most of the natural forest here seems quite healthy with out people burning.
    The trouble with having an open mind is that people will insist on trying to put things in it.

  5. #5
    rzip
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    I cannot comment about the merits of burning or not but the bad storms in the fall left a lot of debris all over. Morris County was hit especially hard because the snow was plentiful and wet, unlike other areas west and north where the snow was not as heavy because of colder temperatures. I saw the superhighway the park personel made with their truck tracks when they were clearing the place out. Hopefully, if the trucks stay out, and as time passes, it will go back to singletrack.

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ronnie View Post
    I'm no expert but I know that certain types of trees, like some conifers require fire to open their seed pods. However I don't believe that it a very common occurrence in the North East. Most of the natural forest here seems quite healthy with out people burning.
    That's because virtually all of our forests are second growth, which you could argue is not healthy to start with. Fire cleans out the dense underbrush and allows for new growth. It's been a long time since my last environmental biology class, so I won't pretend to be able to quote the facts and figures, but it is pretty uncontroversial stuff.

  7. #7
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    Oh and it's not a common occurrence because before these things were understood managing to prevent fires was pretty much the number one goal of every land manager. The mindset continues still because housing is built so close to park land, and because burns piss off land users.

  8. #8
    it's just baby phat..
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ronnie View Post
    Lewis Morris is my "go to" ride as I'm about ten minutes away. I went there on Wednesday, around midday and couldn't get in as there was "controlled burning" happening. I went back this morning and I'm really disappointed with what has been done. Firstly I don't understand the reason for the burning. I thought it is supposed to be natural unspoiled land with trails to walk and ride on. What about the birds and small animals who's habitat has been destroyed. Also, I don't know if it is because of the burn but half of the trails are now as wide as a highway. There are ruts from truck tires all over the place and places look like a bulldozer has been in there. I now may as well ride on Patriots Path. Does anyone know what's going on?
    hey Ronnie. hope all is well. no need to worry. like others, i'm no expert but I've seen these burns in Ringwood and even down at Allaire. In a few weeks when everything starts to bloom you'll barely notice that there was ever a controlled burn. take care.

    nelson

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by phatbiker View Post
    hey Ronnie. hope all is well. no need to worry. like others, i'm no expert but I've seen these burns in Ringwood and even down at Allaire. In a few weeks when everything starts to bloom you'll barely notice that there was ever a controlled burn. take care.

    nelson
    Hi Nelson, it's not so much the burn that bothers me but the highway that looks like it has been bulldozed over the trail. Also all the truck tire ruts. That's not going away too fast.

    Haven't seen you in years. Hope you guys are well.

    Ronnie.
    The trouble with having an open mind is that people will insist on trying to put things in it.

  10. #10
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    Contact MCP

    Have you thought about contacting MCP and asking about the burn and the issue of truck damage to the trails? Might be good to do from several points, lets them know your are concerned about the park and that the damage shuld be repaired so the public can continue to enjopy the park. Just a thought..

    Oh yeah, we do have confirs in the north east that like/need fire to release seeds; Pitch Pines. These are common in the Pine Barrens of NJ and NY, locally. More info here:
    Pínus rígida Mí¡¡
    www.JORBA.org
    You Dig?
    "The rides to short to not kick against the pricks" M.F.

  11. #11
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    I rode the area yesterday and the effect of the fire and trucks brought in appears to be minimal. Jorba may want to assess these areas as part of the next scheduled trail maintenance. IMHO

  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by squeakyseat View Post
    I rode the area yesterday and the effect of the fire and trucks brought in appears to be minimal. Jorba may want to assess these areas as part of the next scheduled trail maintenance. IMHO
    You have got to be kidding! I'm not sure where you rode but some of the yellow trail for example is as wide as a truck's wheel base. I worked as a volunteer on building some of those trails. The trails were cleared by hand and were a foot or two wide.
    The trouble with having an open mind is that people will insist on trying to put things in it.

  13. #13
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    Yes the damage is noticeable but after a few weeks I bet the usual lines will be ridden back in and the undergrowth will start to reclaim the burnt land. There really wasn't much burnt besides the top layer of leaves. It really was a minimal burn...

  14. #14
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    @Ronnie: Are you talking about the wide truck ruts near the side where all the parking lots, and picnic/barbecue areas are?

    I remember months ago, likely sometime in early 2012 I went riding and it was a mess there far before this controlled burn was planned. But I don't know if it was always like that or if it just happened recently, since I don't ride Lewis Morris much.

  15. #15
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    I've rode the area a couple of times. The transition of small trails to access roads is a shame. Seems to have been unnecessary for accessing the burn areas. Perhaps it might be a good time to looking at rerouting some of the trails into single track in some of the more technical areas.

  16. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by RoyFokker View Post
    @Ronnie: Are you talking about the wide truck ruts near the side where all the parking lots, and picnic/barbecue areas are?

    I remember months ago, likely sometime in early 2012 I went riding and it was a mess there far before this controlled burn was planned. But I don't know if it was always like that or if it just happened recently, since I don't ride Lewis Morris much.
    No, I mean the actual trails in the park. For example the yellow trail just after the long climb over the ridge. It used to be single track. Now it's an access road. Another example is on the end of the red trail where it snakes down to meet the green. I helped to build that section a few years ago. Anyway, it looks like they simply bulldozed a straight path to avoid the switchbacks, straight up the hill.
    The trouble with having an open mind is that people will insist on trying to put things in it.

  17. #17
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    Lewis Morris is a great trail network. I have not been in a while but have fond memories.

  18. #18
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    I live right down the street from this and was gonna use this trail as my first. As you guys said the destruction isnt too bad.

  19. #19
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    Having worked with the Nature Conservancy they burn off and yes at first it look like a moonscape but it comes back stronger and maintains the natural plants of the area better.

    Just like a bad haircut, it will grow back.

  20. #20
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    Quote Originally Posted by NEPMTBA View Post
    Having worked with the Nature Conservancy they burn off and yes at first it look like a moonscape but it comes back stronger and maintains the natural plants of the area better.

    Just like a bad haircut, it will grow back.
    I never complained about the burn per sé, not that the vegetation has really come back yet. These guys were driving around the park with trucks and some trails that were single track are now fire roads.
    The trouble with having an open mind is that people will insist on trying to put things in it.

  21. #21
    'Tis but a scratch
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    I've never ridden Lewis Morris, although I've heard good things. It has been on my radar to go check it out.

    Anyway, I recalled a thread earlier this year about maintenance there. Seems others share your desire to focus on "narrowing a number of sections and remediating trail damage that has occurred".

    2 upcoming dates:
    2012 Lewis Morris Trail Maintenance Dates

    Also, saw some notes on JORBA about the last session state (6/16/12):

    "Just a reminder that this Saturday June 16th will be the Third TM date for Lewis Morris this year. We will continue to narrow trails that have widened over time and from the controlled burn. Also general clean up from past storms."

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