Thirty persons from neighborhoods around Reedy Creek in Brick shared their management concerns about the Edwin B. Forsythe Refuge on Sept 8 at VFW Post 8867. Many results pertain to the whole federal refuge system. Have a look…
Notes on Reedy Creek Management Topics
September 8, 2005
Below are notes taken by Willie deCamp at the informal neighborhood meeting regarding the woods and water around Reedy Creek in the Forsythe National Wildlife Refuge in Brick Township, which is managed by the US Fish & Wildlife Service. The meeting was held at VFW Post 8867 in Brick on Thursday, September 8, 2005.
More material than is in these notes was covered. These are some highlights. Any errors are Willie’s.
Many thanks to the Barnegat Division Refuge Division Manager Brian Willard and to USFWS Biologist Vinny Turner, whose participation made the meeting useful.
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Off Road Vehicles
To do enforcement, it is not necessary for a law enforcement officer to know whether an offender is on public or private property. If there is an ordinance, the vehicle operator is in violation — unless he has the express permission of the property owner. [“proprietary jurisdiction”]
Federal refuge managers can enforce cases in such a way as to send them to federal court in Trenton, but the federal prosecutors are understandably more interested in having more serious offenses brought to their attention.
Cases can also be prosecuted in local court, either by having the federal refuge managers hand off the cases to local law enforcement, or by the Brick Police enforcing the law themselves.
The penalty for off road violations is generally a fine. Vehicles are not confiscated except temporarily as evidence. Persons prosecuted, or even merely stopped, by law enforcement tend not to reappear.
There is a place in Chatsworth designed for off road vehicles to go.
Local law enforcement could do more. Local residents would have to request this.
Pedestrians could take photos of off road vehicle offenders and send them to refuge managers or to the local police to advise them as to who is causing problems.
Bicycles on Refuge Trails
Although the sign at the trail head says no bicycles, it is generally conceded that non-motorized bikes are not very damaging to the environment on sandy pinelands trails, and that the trails at Reedy Creek are sufficiently wide that bikes do not pose a safety hazard to pedestrians.
Perhaps the posted rule against bicycles on the trail could be changed, at least on a trial basis.
Only waterfowl hunting is allowed (in season) at Reedy Creek. Discharge of a weapon is not allowed within 450 feet of a residence. Blinds aren’t legal on federal land at Reedy Creek, but much land along the Creek is still privately owned. Upland game hunting is not allowed at RC.
It is agreed that years ago there were no deer in the Reedy Creek woods, but that today there are a lot of deer. They do not seem to be afraid of people.
A hunting season is out of the question – there are too many hikers and too many suburban boundaries. Contraception and/or removal are very expensive.
One participant feels certain that deer were deliberately introduced into the Reedy Creek woods by an individual whom he knows.
The permissible burning season runs from November 15 to March 15. But the needed weather conditions are so exacting in an area as populated as Reedy Creek that it is difficult to find suitable windows of opportunity. As a result, most activity has been hand clearing, which is not as effective as burning. FWS is looking for burning opportunities at Reedy Creek.
Paintball occurs in the woods in back of Preston Street. The paint is supposedly environmentally friendly. It occurs less often during the summer.
Paintball is basically a trespassing issue.
The Brick Police can be called, but first it may be wise to speak to elected officials in order to establish that this is an offense worth enforcing against.
There is currently a surveying project underway for certain larger segments owned by the federal government.
Some people seem to be taking liberties along Alameda Drive with regard to parking, pavement, and launching commercial craft.
External boundary signs tend to get ripped down by miscreants.
In the past the township has put up barriers both at the main trail entrance near Al’s Auto and at the end of Adamston Drive.
Refuge managers will check out whether they own all the way up to the road along Alameda Drive in Baywood.
It is possible that gates could be installed in certain places in order to discourage illegal access, such as at the bend Drum Point Road or in the cul-de-sac at the end of Preston Street. The township has occasionally done this in the past. But fire access has to be considered.
CLICK HERE FOR PART TWO
[PART TWO TOUCHES ON: Health of the Reedy Creek Tidal Marsh; Jetskis; Ospreys Towers; and Cleanups.]