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LBT WANTS MINOR EARLY CLOSURE – ONLY; TOE OF DUE ISSUE STILL THERE, THOUGH:

There was a stir created when Long Beach Township (LBI) commissioners proposed a shortening of the beach buggy season. Word got out, through some inaccurate media info, that something like 6 weeks was to be pared off our buggying time – including the removal of time on the famed fall end of things. I, like many, leaped up in fear and protest that we could lose nearly a month of our prime autumnal angling period.

Turns out it just ain’t so.

I had an informative conversation with Commissioners Ralph Bayard and it turns out the only beach closure action being considered by the commissioners is a two week “early closure” this year (May 15 instead of June 1) due to what is, in fact, an increasing ‘early arrival” of beachgoers anxious to get back to the beach. That May 15 closure is already in place in other LBI municipalities.

I had to explain to the commissioner that mobile anglers – and all saltwater anglers in general – are very tensed right about now with draconian cuts being made by fishery management. The prospect of any buggy or beach-use restrictions would be one of those proverbial needles that explode the camel, or something like that.

I sure feel a lot better regarding those proposed beach buggy constraints. And, no, I don’t want to give up those couple weeks but I sure can’t argue the fact that conflicts between buggies and beachgoers increase exponentially after mid-May.
Since I had him on the phone, I even made a case for opening the Holgate section of the township, from where the township and Beach Haven meet (Osborne Avenue) down to parking lot area near the entrance to the wilderness area beachfront. He said the matter could be considered. Bayard in no way shape or form was anti-mobile angling.

I did not get into the issue of a proposed ordinance change to “No vehicle shall be operated within 25 feet of the toe of the sand dune …”

Admittedly, that is a sticky issue – if it were to be enforced. It’s an issue that should get anglers attending next month’s meeting. Being forced that far from, essentially, dune fencing would close many areas of the township, particularly Brant Beach during high tide. Unacceptable. It's a dangerous concept, state-wide.

The so-called “toe” of the dune has been a bugaboo for decades, impacting everything from beach replenishment to where we can drive on the Holgate beachfront. While there is a formula for establishing a dune’s toe, it’s seldom fully applicable. That one-size formula does not fit all.

While the township’s asserting where dune toes are located could all but exclude driving a number of beach areas during high tide, I think the move is simply an effort by LBT to indicate concern for its beaches prior to a possible beach restoration project. I doubt it could be heavily enforced. That still doesn’t mean the issue can hangs over buggyists. Clarification is compulsory.

PLEASE: Those fired up over this issue can safely tune it down a bit, though not completely. I fully believe the township commissioners are willing to listen to sincere and sensible input. Please offer opinions in just that way.
 

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Jay:

when it comes to access, the likely hood of "tuning it down" isnt gonna happen. we've all been screwed too many times. although Im glad to hear the initial reports were un-true.

I can handle the May 15th date in the spring, but Loveladies & North Beach should remain open. Since they dont provide the same level of public access, the beach front owners shouldnt get the extra 2 weeks to themselves ;) . And as you said, an area down south should be left open as well, up to the refuge property.

If LBT is worrying about safety, then maybe they could consider putting signs at the street ends letting the public know what the beach driving seasons are. Maybe make it known that this type of fishing is allowed only during a certain period of time and has been around for many decades. Ask people not to set up in the tracks, be as courteous to the fisherman as we try to be to them, etc.

Also, how about those big azzz mirrors for the few ramp areas. So that you can see whats just over the hill before trying to access or leave the beach. How many times have you started to get a head of steam to get back on the street only to have another buggy appear, or worse, a family coming over the dune :eek: .

When it comes to the toe of the dune........why does our safety go out the window???? The safest place to drive is the flat area above the high tide line in the tracks adjacent to the toe. I doubt either of us think that the truck traffic has any effect on the actual dune, but its probably a tough sell to those who arent out there all the time.

The fact is mother nature, and possibly global warming (if you believe in such), is the biggest enemy of the dune. Keeping trucks 25ft away would only endanger the fisherman. Most of those beaches arent 25ft wide and thus would equate to a closure of the beach. Maybe not enforced immediately, but it would be on the books and ready for implementation at the drop of a hat.

Guys trying to drive along a fence, get around jetty ends, avoid washouts............it could be ugly. I think we have to fight this. Put a fence at the base. No one should be on the actual dune, anything more shouldnt fly.
 

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Jay,

Thank for the update. Good to hear and bad. Frankly, I do not like the 25 from toe idea at all.

First of all there is an ordinace in place prohibiting dune use under any circunstances and is violated more by people than trucks. If a truck were to go up on a dune it more than likely would get stuck and have to be towed off. Very expensive. We drivers avoid it.

Also , we of the fishing community ahve more respect for the enviroment than most others do.

The commimtee should keep the following in mind:

1-Less permits purchased or in fact returned. ( easy money for them).
2-Keep the 200-300 trucks off the beach and where do you think they will park.
Yes, you guessed right. We are now on the streets in front of the people's homes who don't want us on the beach driving.
3-Do you really think that the amount of driving we do really disrupts the enviroment. Compare that to 1,000 people walking on the beach. Better yet let see the commintee stop mother nature from taking out chunks aftr 1 strom surge. Regualte that.

Yes I am pissed. And will be polite at the meeting and make my point if ALLOWED. But enough is enough. Nobody tells them they can't do their favorite hobby or sport. Maybe we should. No more long walks on the beach. You will dsitrub the sand.
 

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underdogg said:
good info there Jay
keep us posted on meeting times and any other related issues

maybe in regards to the toe/dune distance that 25' can be trimmed down to maybe half the distance (12') and might satisfy everyone involved
Second reading on this ordinance will be on Friday, April 4th, at 4:00pm.
 

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Sample letter add name and email before 04/04

To: Mayor Diane Gove
Comm. Robert Palmer
Comm. Ralph Bayard

Re: Ordinance 0806C

This letter is to express my opposition to the proposed ordinance to prohibit the operation of vehicles within 25 feet of the toe of the dune.

As a mobile surf fisherman I see no benefit to LBT or the dune system with the passing of this ordinance. In fact I see it possibly creating dangerous situations for mobile surf fisherman by forcing them to drive to close to the surf zone. This may also cause for more conflicts between user groups if the vehicles do not have the legal mobility to steer clear of other groups utilizing the beach.

Respectfully,
 
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