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percious
09-02-2004, 05:12 PM
Did you guys realize you can camp above 4000 feet during the winter according to regulations?!! I think its all good, as long as you are 150 feet away from the "trail." Summit camp, here we come!

-percious

mavs00
09-02-2004, 05:26 PM
My understanding is that the DEC regulations cited are in violation of the the Adirondack Park State Land Master Plan (APSLMP) which dictates and governs ALL management/usage of the park lands.

I think it's illegal now, if not, it will be soon enough. I found it on pages 151-152 of the HPWA-UMP.

The DEC is mandated to follow the APSLMP, is it not? Anyone know for sure?

rhihn
09-02-2004, 05:34 PM
I don't know for sure, and the many levels of regulations seem confusing. I'll just note that the 13th edition of the ADK Trails guide (High Peaks region), for whatever it's worth, says "no camping is permitted above 4000 feet (11219 meters) at any time of the year." Seems clear to me.

Dick

mike1889
09-02-2004, 05:38 PM
It used to be legal to camp above 4000' in winter, but no more, since the APSLMP went into effect around 4 years ago.

NYBRAD
09-02-2004, 07:00 PM
I thought my Avatar was from the last legal camping day above 4ooo feet in the HighPeaks. Dec 31st 1999 Wright Peak.

Woodspirit
09-02-2004, 07:19 PM
This raises an interesting question which also happens to be one of my pet peeves. DEC’s position is that it does not have the enforcement power over provisions in the APSLMP, provisions of a UMP or even in the Environmental Conservation Law itself until DEC adopts its own enforcement regulations. Examples of “thou shall not” provisions in the APSLMP and in approved UMPs that DEC is not enforcing until it adopts regulations are the ban on motorboats at Lows Lake (UMP approved in early 2003), storage of personal property on Forest Preserve lands (provided in the Environmental Conservation Law) and the ban on use of motorized equipment in Wilderness Areas (chainsaws and generators provided in the APSLMP for 30 years). DEC does have the adoption of enforcement regulations on its 2004 Regulatory Agenda but here it is September and there is no visible action.

I do not know if the ban on Winter camping above 4000’ is presently contained in the regulations but if I have a moment tomorrow I will check and post the results along with a suggested course of action to encourage DEC action on these long overdue regulations.

Meo
09-02-2004, 11:24 PM
Actually, 4000' = around 1212 meters, not 11219...;)

rhihn
09-03-2004, 07:26 AM
Actually, 4000' = around 1212 meters, not 11219...
__________________


I knew someone would jump on that!:) Yep, my fingers went slap-happy while typing. The quoted figure should have been "1219".

Woodspirit
09-03-2004, 08:00 AM
The 1999 UMP prohibits camping above 4000' at anytime of the year. The APSLMP itself does not prohibit camping above 4000', it only prohibits camp sites which presumably means "designated sites" above 4000' in all Wilderness Areas.

However, DEC regulations provide as follows: "d. Except in an emergency, or during the period December 15 to April 30 each year in the Adirondack Park, or during the period December 21 to March 21 each year in the Catskill Park, no person may camp on lands under the jurisdiction of the department which are located at an elevation in excess of 4,000 feet above sea level in the Adirondack Park or in excess of 3,500 feet above sea level in the Catskill Park. "

Looks like DEC is pretty slow at its regulatory function.

percious
09-03-2004, 09:35 AM
hmm... This is both interesting, and disheartening. Why no camping above 4000 feet? I dont see the problem in the winter. First of all, the impact on the environment would be minimal at worst. Secondly, the only people camping above 4000 feet would have to be die-hards, and usually these people tread pretty lightly. Does anyone know why this rule came into effect in 1999? Was there some incident that caused it?

-percious

spencer
09-03-2004, 10:09 AM
Originally posted by percious
First of all, the impact on the environment would be minimal at worst.


What makes you say that?

there are huge differences between plant communities that occur at lower elevations and those that occur in alpine zones. Set your tent up in your backyard for two days. What happens to the grass? and that's just a prolific, resilient plant.

Imagine what happens to species that take decades to reach 6 inches.

Of course, there are places at 4,000 feet that still consist of taller spruce-fir that is at relatively low risk, but can you imagine how long the regulations would be if they had to publish an acceptable camping elevation for every separate area where plant communities diverge?


spencer

paul ron
09-03-2004, 11:08 AM
I kinda remember the law for camping above tree line being alowed during winter if there was a foot or more of snow on the ground as someone mentioned for NH.

Grumpy
09-03-2004, 11:30 AM
Rather than looking for loopholes in the regs, why not just go along with the spirit of the thing and be done with it? In the Adirondacks that means no camping above 4,000 ft at all, and none above 3,500 ft except at specifically designated sites. Simple enough.

G.

percious
09-03-2004, 11:33 AM
Its not that I am interested in finding a loop-hole. I would like to camp above 4K to simulate conditions I would have hiking larger peaks like Denali. All this 46ering I'm doing should lead somewhere...

-percious

TomEske
09-03-2004, 11:38 AM
With all due respect to all the posters here, I think you comparing apples and oranges.
A UMP (UNIT Management Plan) is for a specific area (such as the High Peaks area, or any other wilderness area within the park).
A SLMP (State Land Master Plan) covers the entire park or land area such as the Adirondaks or the Catskills.
The SLMP will have regulations regarding the park in general (camping above 4,000 feet allowed only between these dates...).
A UMP will have specific regulations above and beyond the SLMP which apply specificly that that area.
So therefore, the way I read it, in GENERAL (in the Daks) you can camp above 4,000' between certain dates. Howeever, in certain UMPS you MAY NOT camp above 4,000' at anytime. Now I'm not sure which UMP is being quoted or refered to above, but perhaps those posters can clear that up.
In the Catskills, camping above 3,500' is still permissable between December 20th and March 20th. This willl remain true even if they adopt that new (abominable) master plan they proposed last year.
Happy Hiking,
Tom

Grumpy
09-03-2004, 03:39 PM
This link (http://www.dec.state.ny.us/website/regs/part190b.html
) will take you to NY State land use regulations, Part 190.13, “Wilderness Areas in the Adirondack Park.” While I suggest reading the thing at length, for a quick answer you might want to scroll down to subsection 190.13.b.5, which describes the High Peaks area to which the regulatons apply; and 190.13.d., which covers camping restrictions in that area.

190.13.d says:

d. Camping restrictions. In the High Peaks Wilderness Area, no person shall:

1. erect or use any tent platform or camp structure other than tents, tarps, lean-tos, or those composed of snow;

2. camp at any location above 4,000 feet in elevation;

3. camp at locations which are greater than 3,500 feet in elevation but equal to or less than 4,000 feet in elevation except at a primitive tent site; or

4. erect a tent in a primitive tent site at a distance greater than fifteen feet from the official department sign or disk.

So the questions (and perhaps hopes) raised here pertaining to camping above 4,000 ft in the Adirondacks is pretty well answered in the actual regulations. No loophole, no special exceptions for the particularly experienced among us, etc., evidently.

G.

(Edited trying to make the link work. If it won't for you, find the NY DEC website and use its search feature to find "Part 190.")

rhihn
09-03-2004, 05:41 PM
This URL seems to work:

http://www.dec.state.ny.us/website/regs/part190b.html

paul ron
09-03-2004, 07:53 PM
I e-mailed the DEC to clear this up and asked if there are any restrictions for camping above tree line during the winter months since Part 190 doesn't mention anything about snow on the ground. It just states "EXCEPT" for an emergency or the dates listed (when winter rules go in effect) and never mentions any other rules for these exceptions.

Part 190, as quoted by the DEC...

http://www.dec.state.ny.us/website/regs/part190a.html#190.3

"d. EXCEPT in an emergency, OR during the period December 15 to April 30 each year in the Adirondack Park, or during the period December 21 to March 21 each year in the Catskill Park,

No person may camp on lands under the jurisdiction of the department which are located at an elevation in excess of 4,000 feet above sea level in the Adirondack Park or in excess of 3,500 feet above sea level in the Catskill Park. "

It says nothing about snow or any rules for above tree line during winter season or for that matter, for an emergency. Not a loop hole, not a trick, not a miss understanding, not an interpretation. AS written it says you are allowed to camp during winter season under any condition, these are the only exceptions.

Perhaps as a conservation minded camper, you might want to impose a personal restriction to a foot of snow so as not to damage the delicate environment. This is what i was taught and respected in my 40 years of backpacking.

Peakbagr
09-03-2004, 08:22 PM
Good information.

For me, it really isn't about loopholes. The regs were finally enacted because camping up high is unsound in the winter. People leave toilet paper pennants for Spring, deposit slowly-decomposing waste, and there is the inevitable harvesting of treeline firewood.

If you love the mountains, you may miss the fun of waking up high on the mountain, but the tradeoff is more kindness for the mountains we love.

Grumpy
09-03-2004, 10:30 PM
Originally posted by paul ron
I e-mailed the DEC to clear this up and asked if there are any restrictions for camping above tree line during the winter months since Part 190 doesn't mention anything about snow on the ground. It just states "EXCEPT" for an emergency or the dates listed (when winter rules go in effect) and never mentions any other rules for these exceptions.

Part 190, as quoted by the DEC...

http://www.dec.state.ny.us/website/regs/part190a.html#190.3

"d. EXCEPT in an emergency, OR during the period December 15 to April 30 each year in the Adirondack Park, or during the period December 21 to March 21 each year in the Catskill Park,

No person may camp on lands under the jurisdiction of the department which are located at an elevation in excess of 4,000 feet above sea level in the Adirondack Park or in excess of 3,500 feet above sea level in the Catskill Park. "

It says nothing about snow or any rules for above tree line during winter season or for that matter, for an emergency. Not a loop hole, not a trick, not a miss understanding, not an interpretation. AS written it says you are allowed to camp during winter season under any condition, these are the only exceptions. . . .

BUT . . .

Read this before reaching any conclusions about winter camping above 4,000 ft in the Adirondack High Peaks:

§190.13 Wilderness Areas in the Adirondack Park

a. Applicability. Unless otherwise specified, sections 190.0 through 190.6 and sections 190.8 through 190.9 of this Part apply to all units of state land in the Adirondack Park which are classified as wilderness by the Adirondack Park State Land Master Plan. In addition, specific regulations for individual wilderness areas in the Adirondack Forest Preserve are set forth in this section. In case of a conflict between a provision of this section and a provision of sections 190.0 through 190.6 and sections 190.8 through 190.9 of this Part, or a provision of Part 196 of this Title, the provision of this section shall apply.


Note that the above cite states unambiguously that regs in section 190.13 supercede those in 190.3, if there is a conflict between the two.

Now, with that information go back (scroll up to my earlier post) and read the Part 190.13.d regs covering camping in the High Peaks area.

This is why I said, above, it is a good idea to read section 190.13 in its entirety. I'll amend that to suggest a more thorough reading of all Part 190 provisions, which will give you a better feel for how the regs are structured. And I'll amend that further to suggest you are better off checking things out yourself, and thoroughly, than relying on me or anybody else to do it for you.

I will concede that if you can find a site at elevation above 4,000 ft outside the areas covered by 190.13 then you may be able to camp there. But I believe they will be very few and very far between, indeed, and not in what we generally know as the Adirondack High Peaks District.

BTW, rhihn -- Dick -- thanks for straightening out that link to the regs. Very helpful and useful. Evidently I am a techno-booby of some sort. :p

G.

Warren
09-04-2004, 06:35 AM
I just breezed through the regs and I thought I'd mention a few things:

The no camping at all above 4,000' anytime of the year applies to the East and West High Peaks wilderness areas. It's been my understanding that the Dix and Giant areas do allow this (unless the new management plan for the dixes changes this) as they fall outside the High Peaks Wilderness area though they are considered the High peaks by us hikers as they are 4000 footers and are geographically close. I would check on this with the DEC or more closely pursue the regs to confirm, you may find you can do what you need to there.

If you're looking to prep for mountaineering conditions you can seek out the Whites in the winter where you would get much more of that sort of experience and where there are camping opportunities. You can also camp legally traveling in alpine style, seeking out bad weather for that sort of experience.

For me, I avoid hiking in the High Peaks outside of winter, saving my visits for special occasions. I'm mixed on winter peak camping as I'm not yet adjusted to poop tubing or wag bagging everything out, a true Denali experience.

Hmmm. Just read further: From 190.13

"5. High Peaks Wilderness Area means those lands in the Towns of Keene, North Hudson, Newcomb and North Elba, Essex County; Harrietstown, Franklin County; and Long Lake, Hamilton County described in the most current copy of the"Adirondack Park Land Use and Development Plan Map and State Land Map" on file in the offices of the Adirondack Park Agency. The High Peaks Wilderness Area shall include the Adirondack Canoe Route Zone, the Western High Peaks Zone, and the Eastern High Peaks Zone."

Seems like that could include the Dix and Giant wilderness areas. Couldn't find the map in a search.

Grumpy
09-04-2004, 07:05 AM
. . . about the Dix and Giant wilderness areas. But wait; there’s more!

According to info at this link (http://www.dec.state.ny.us/website/regs/regagenda.html), Part 190 regs covering these areas are up for amendment this year (in 2004), to wit:

6 NYCRR Part 190, Use of State Lands. Amend Section 190.13, Wilderness Areas in the Adirondack Park. These regulations will protect the natural resources in the Giant Mountain Wilderness Area from overuse by applying restrictions to camping. Contact: Robert Messenger, NYS Department of Environmental Conservation, Bureau of Forest Preserve Management, 625 Broadway, Albany, NY 12233-4254. Telephone: 518-473-9518, E-mail rwmessen@gw.dec.state.ny.us

6 NYCRR Part 190, Use of State Lands. Amend Section 190.13, Wilderness Areas in the Adirondack Park. These regulations will protect the natural resources in the Dix Mountain Wilderness Area from overuse by applying restrictions to camping and rock climbing. Contact: Robert Messenger, NYS Department of Environmental Conservation, Bureau of Forest Preserve Management, 625 Broadway, Albany, NY 12233-4254. Telephone: 518-473-9518, E-mail rwmessen@gw.dec.state.ny.us

If my link doesn't work, go to the NY DEC web site and use the search function to find "regulatory agenda 2004."

As we await the proposed amendments, I re-pose the question: Why not just go along with the spirit of the thing (no camping above 4,000 ft, etc.) rather than quibble over possible loopholes in the Adirondack regs?

G.

paul ron
09-04-2004, 10:43 AM
I really don't understand why these regulations have to be so contradictory to themselves and ammend amendments with more ammendments that have exclusions that cover the entire range with small over lapping blocks of exclusions and no maps available showing exactly what they are talking about.

I am waiting for a more official e-mail from the DEC in Albany. I did get one from a local ranger friend, he says it's ok to camp above 3500 in the Cats during winter as long as there is snow on the ground. He says if you are stupid enough to do it, be his guest but don't call him out for help, they'll find you in the spring.

Thanks for that extra information, it only confuses things further. Perhaps you are right Grumpy, we should just stay off the tops anytime of year, I can't do that anymore anyway so why argue.

tgoodwin
09-07-2004, 02:27 PM
Enough has probably been posted already that this post is redundant, but just to add to what has been said the ban on camping over 4,000 feet in winter is intended to extend to Dix and Giant once the regulation is amended. For simplicity, the 13th edition of the ADK's High Peaks guide anticipated that the regulations would indeed be amended as proposed by the DEC. This saved several instances of having to say, "...and soon to be extended to....". The intent of the Dix and Giant UMPs was to extend most High Peaks restrictions to these areas as well, so it did not seem likely that the regulations would not be amended.