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View Full Version : Effect of Government Shutdown on USFS Wilderness Areas



Sawfish
10-03-2013, 03:26 PM
This is posted on the U.S. Forest Service website:

Due to the lapse in agency funding, the sale of all types of permits (i.e., recreation, firewood, forest products, mineral materials for example) are suspended, recreation.gov reservations are suspended, and all federally owned recreation sites are closed. All offices are closed. These services will be available once funding is restored.

Law enforcement, fire suppression, and other essential services will continue without interruption.

This web site will remain available for public safety announcements and updates such as for wildfire, floods, and so forth. We will attempt to make timely updates about public health and safety on these web pages as appropriate. We sincerely regret this inconvenience.


Question: What effect does this have on Wilderness Area access. I discussed this with another member yesterday, and we reasoned that if USFS has no one to sell/issue you a permit, they have no one to enforce that requirement. After thinking about this, I can envision an over zealous game warden issuing a citation for hunting in a closed area. Any thoughts on this problem?:confused:

Colorado Cowboy
10-03-2013, 04:29 PM
If it were me, I'd go anyway. Let then try to catch me!! I don't think a game warden isgoing to go into the backcountry w/o someone from the USFS with them. I've only seen wardens a couple of time in wilderness areas and they were with USFS Rangers.

BOHNTR
10-03-2013, 06:22 PM
For those wildernesses that require a permit.....yeah that can be an issue. However, CA DF&W (state game wardens) can/will not issue a citation for this violation (wilderness permit), as it is a federal statute. There is no state statute (to my knowledge) that governs this on federal land. However, the USFS law enforcement division can, and as their website documents, the government shutdown does not affect them (law enforcement division). I would call that division and see what their intention is for this issue???

Musket Man
10-03-2013, 07:37 PM
Unless the gates are locked and its posted you cant walk in I would go! You bought the tag and they sure aint gonna give you a refund.

shootbrownelk
10-03-2013, 09:06 PM
Unless the gates are locked and its posted you cant walk in I would go! You bought the tag and they sure aint gonna give you a refund.

Agreed Musket Man, I'm going on BLM.....USFS lands are OURS (the taxpayers) as well. Go hunting!

Kevin Root
10-03-2013, 09:16 PM
Pretty raw deal. Even wilderness areas that have permits online are down. I got the below response when trying to buy one. Even if you bought one before the shutdown.... Pretty raw deal I say.

Our Apologies...

The Recreation.gov website is not available due to a lapse in funding for the federal government.

If you already have a reservation which is either partially or fully impacted by facility closures, we will automatically cancel that reservation and issue a full refund to the credit card used for the initial purchase transaction. No additional cancellation fees will be charged to the customer for reservation cancellations as a result of facility closures.

We invite you to return to this site as the situation evolves in order to obtain additional information about how services and reservations may be affected.

If you are not automatically redirected to a U.S.D.A. site with links for additional information, please click here (http://www.usda.gov/fundinglapse.htm) now.

JMSZ
10-04-2013, 06:49 AM
I'm interested to know, too, as I'm planning on going back out next week into a wilderness area. I'm hoping it won't matter by then.

I'm currently thinking it's going to depend - some of the areas just require a pass that you can self-issue so they know that somebody is in there. In places, like around Whitney, they have quotas for how many people can be back there and have to be issued by a person, so those would obviously be affected.

I would think that self-issue passes with no charge wouldn't be affected.


This is posted on the U.S. Forest Service website:

Due to the lapse in agency funding, the sale of all types of permits (i.e., recreation, firewood, forest products, mineral materials for example) are suspended, recreation.gov reservations are suspended, and all federally owned recreation sites are closed. All offices are closed. These services will be available once funding is restored.

Law enforcement, fire suppression, and other essential services will continue without interruption.

This web site will remain available for public safety announcements and updates such as for wildfire, floods, and so forth. We will attempt to make timely updates about public health and safety on these web pages as appropriate. We sincerely regret this inconvenience.


Question: What effect does this have on Wilderness Area access. I discussed this with another member yesterday, and we reasoned that if USFS has no one to sell/issue you a permit, they have no one to enforce that requirement. After thinking about this, I can envision an over zealous game warden issuing a citation for hunting in a closed area. Any thoughts on this problem?:confused:

tonytrim
10-06-2013, 09:05 AM
So, a group of us went out to D19 this weekend at a yellow post site that rangers have never even visited while the group has been using for the last 20 years. We received 3 visits and notice to vacate because of govt shutdown. When we refused, they gave us 24 hrs or $10, 000 fine and or 6 mths in jail. Total bs.hopefully the funding happens before this weekend in D14.

Colorado Cowboy
10-06-2013, 10:33 AM
What is a "Yellow Post" site?

Sawfish
10-08-2013, 01:36 PM
So, a group of us went out to D19 this weekend at a yellow post site that rangers have never even visited while the group has been using for the last 20 years. We received 3 visits and notice to vacate because of govt shutdown. When we refused, they gave us 24 hrs or $10, 000 fine and or 6 mths in jail. Total bs.hopefully the funding happens before this weekend in D14.

So you cannot spend the night on land owned by the taxpayers (you), which costs the government nothing. Yet, they are threatening to incarcerate you for up for six months of room and board at taxpayer expense. Pretty much a microscopic view of what is wrong with the reasoning of the current administration. I would like to see the statute authorizing that procedure. Probably another "executive order". I hope you notify your congressman.

Colorado Cowboy
10-08-2013, 03:48 PM
What is a "Yellow Post" site?

Still wondering what this is.

Sawfish
10-08-2013, 03:48 PM
So, a group of us went out to D19 this weekend at a yellow post site that rangers have never even visited while the group has been using for the last 20 years. We received 3 visits and notice to vacate because of govt shutdown. When we refused, they gave us 24 hrs or $10, 000 fine and or 6 mths in jail. Total bs.hopefully the funding happens before this weekend in D14.

tonytrim, Were you hunting in the San Bernardino National Forest, or on BLM Land? Thanks.

Sawfish
10-08-2013, 04:07 PM
BLM is allowing access on unimproved lands for all activities. Forest Service is different!

FISH AND WILDLIFE SERVICE
CONTINGENCY PLAN FACT SHEET
September 27, 2013
The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (Service) works with others to conserve, protect and enhance
fish, wildlife and plants and their habitats for the continuing benefit of the American people. The
Service manages nearly 150 million acres of land and waters in the national wildlife refuge
system, operates 73 national fish hatcheries and is responsible for implementing and enforcing
some of our Nation’s most important environmental laws, such as the Endangered Species Act,
Migratory Bird Treaty Act, Marine Mammal Protection Act, The Lacey Act, and international
agreements like the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species.
In the event of a lapse in appropriations and pursuant to law, the Service will close most
operations, but certain excepted activities will continue.
• National Wildlife Refuges will be closed to public access. Visitor Centers and other
buildings will be closed.
• All activities will be canceled on federal lands and public buildings until the government
reopens. This includes hunting and fishing activities on public lands.
• No permitting work or consultations will occur with respect to the Endangered Species
Act, Bald and Golden Eagle Protection Act, the Convention on Trade in Endangered
Species, the Lacy Act or the National Environmental Policy Act.
• Employees and others may not volunteer their services on behalf of Service functions or
on federal lands.
Services and Programs that would remain operational
The Service has designated the following exempted categories:
• Programs financed by other than annual appropriations.
• Activities expressly authorized by law.
• Necessary activities to protect life and property.
NAME OF SERVICE/PROGRAM
REASON
Federal Aid in Wildlife Restoration Non-lapsing funding sources available
Sport Fish Restoration Non-lapsing funding sources available
Natural Resource Damage Assessment
Fund
Non- lapsing funding sources available
Refuge Law Enforcement Emergency and/or excepted activity
Law Enforcement Emergency and/or excepted activity
Firefighting Emergency and/or excepted activity
Care and feeding activities at hatcheries
and captive breeding facilities
Emergency and/or excepted activity

Colorado Cowboy
10-08-2013, 04:44 PM
I think confusion is about Fish & Wildlife managed lands vs USFS National Forests. They are completely different. Havn't seen anything that says the Nat forests are closed, only the improved campsites and other IMPROVED areas they manage. What you posted is a directive from the USF&W and says nothing about USFS and the National forest.

I just Googled "National Forest closures-Shutdown" and all thats closed is "Improved sites".

tdub24
10-08-2013, 04:57 PM
I think confusion is about Fish & Wildlife managed lands vs USFS National Forests. They are completely different. Havn't seen anything that says the Nat forests are closed, only the improved campsites and other IMPROVED areas they manage. What you posted is a directive from the USF&W and says nothing about USFS and the National forest.

I just Googled "National Forest closures-Shutdown" and all thats closed is "Improved sites".

This is how I am understanding it too CC. I hunted a national forest this past weekend, only thing closed were the campsites managed by the forest service.

dzlfarmboy
10-08-2013, 10:09 PM
I called the Meeker office yesterday and the lady said you can still hunt the Forrest service land. Just that the public facilities/campgrounds would be closed. Which I'm guessing is for like RV's/campers with plumbing/electric services.

BossBrott
10-09-2013, 12:40 AM
"Big brother" can kiss my ass!

JMSZ
10-09-2013, 02:45 PM
We were up in the Sequoia National Forest this past weekend and the bigger campgrounds along the Kern River and the Troy Meadow/Troy Meadow Overflow were still open and still in use. I didn't stop to see if the toilets, etc, were still opened up, but people were in using the campsites.

The Kernville paper said they did close down a bunch of the smaller campgrounds for the winter.

Cazador
10-09-2013, 06:05 PM
I too was out hunting last weekend on D19, San Bernardino national forrest land. The gates were open so we went in, camped and hunted as normal. Saturday afternoon a forrest ranger went by every campsite telling everyone camping was not allowed due to the government shutdown and had till the end of the day to leave. Colorado Cowboy, a yellow post site is an official federal campground. There is a post on those where u are allowed to camp, under normal circumstances...I believe u can hint but just can't camp or stay over night. It really sucks and hopefully this shutdown ends soon...

Colorado Cowboy
10-09-2013, 06:36 PM
I guess every NF has their own rules. Here in Co you can set up a hunting camp (or for that matter any camp) almost anywhere in the NF and are allowed to stay for 2 weeks. I guess that the rules are different there as there are really way more people and they (the NF) need more controls.

I will say this tho...if I were camped there and the site had no improvements (eg. tables, bbqs, fire rings or pit toilets), I would have told the him to write a ticket and I'd see him in court! But thats just me!

The real curious thing is that all the improved NF campgrounds here in Co have camp hosts. These are people (mostly retired) who stay at the camp all season. They are basically in charge and clean eveyrhing, collect fees, empty trash and do everything. The FS Rangers are usually nowhere to be found. They get free camping (and maybe a small amt of $$) and it costs the gov't almost nothing. As long as they are there, it doesn't make a lot of sense to close the campgrounds, especially during hunting season and lots of fees coming in. Studid is as stupid does!!!

JMSZ
10-10-2013, 01:02 PM
I guess every NF has their own rules. Here in Co you can set up a hunting camp (or for that matter any camp) almost anywhere in the NF and are allowed to stay for 2 weeks. I guess that the rules are different there as there are really way more people and they (the NF) need more controls.

I will say this tho...if I were camped there and the site had no improvements (eg. tables, bbqs, fire rings or pit toilets), I would have told the him to write a ticket and I'd see him in court! But thats just me!

The real curious thing is that all the improved NF campgrounds here in Co have camp hosts. These are people (mostly retired) who stay at the camp all season. They are basically in charge and clean eveyrhing, collect fees, empty trash and do everything. The FS Rangers are usually nowhere to be found. They get free camping (and maybe a small amt of $$) and it costs the gov't almost nothing. As long as they are there, it doesn't make a lot of sense to close the campgrounds, especially during hunting season and lots of fees coming in. Studid is as stupid does!!!

The developed campsites SHOULD be the only ones affected, but that and a lot of other things seem to be subject the politically-motivated decisions of the agency head concerned.

Gotta love the attitude of so many in this country who really believe that the federal government is free to create or ignore laws on a whim and whatever the federal government decides to do trumps all legal, moral and ethical standards.

I'm heading out again today, so I'll see what happens.

JMSZ
10-10-2013, 01:28 PM
In case anybody else is heading for the Sequoia National Forest, I just talked to somebody at the Kennedy Meadows General Store.

She said that since last weekend the FS has since gone through and closed all of the campgrounds and all of the road gates, including Monache Meadows.

Sawfish
10-10-2013, 04:03 PM
Matt,

Sorry about this development. It is hard enough to get a tag. Now you have to deal with this BS. Have you seen a lot of dirt bikers in the area. Probably gone now, if the campgrounds are locked. Stopped at that place last year to get a hamburger, and she told me they only have them during the tourist season (summer), but they left the sign up all year because it was too much trouble to take down! :confused:

JMSZ
10-10-2013, 04:52 PM
It is what it is. I only saw a couple of dirt bikers up there when I was there last week, mostly hunters, all over the place.

Going to guess the guys with the toy-haulers won't be there, but they may get creative. I'll be interested to see what the hunters w/ the trailers are doing, I can't believe they'll stop going just because of this.

I called the store late this morning, I should have called yesterday, I'm reassessing where I'm going to go and holding off until tomorrow, can't do a lot with 5ish hours of daylight left and a 2+ hour drive in.

I was also hoping that the system that went through yesterday might have pushed the deer down the mountain a bit, but the lady there said there wasn't any snow at Kennedy Meadows and she couldn't see any in the mountains around there.

I can see up the 395 north of Little Lake and I don't see any snow at all.


Matt,

Sorry about this development. It is hard enough to get a tag. Now you have to deal with this BS. Have you seen a lot of dirt bikers in the area. Probably gone now, if the campgrounds are locked. Stopped at that place last year to get a hamburger, and she told me they only have them during the tourist season (summer), but they left the sign up all year because it was too much trouble to take down! :confused:

bigshot
10-10-2013, 11:10 PM
Yea guess they closed the Mohave Preserve too...my buddy is stressed out because his Cali Bighorn Sheep hunt is in the Mohave Preserve. He heard from a deer hunter buddy of his, that has a D-17 deer tag, will not be able to hunt this weekend opener, due to being warned by Rangers to stay out or be cited with a $10,000 fine if he is caught hunting in the Mohave Preserve.