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Thread: No, pet dogs are not allowed in Baxter State Park.

  1. #91
    Senior Member TJsName's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Becca M View Post
    Well, I have never used a fire ring, created one, nor set a fire in such an area,,,, NOR would I dismantle one (could dismantling one be considered destroying a historic artifact?). The reality is, people are going to use the forest, whether it fits with rules we agree with or not.....
    This is a common argument in the, 'Why do we bother to have rules?' debate'. The first question is, are people aware of the rule? While 'ignorantia legis' is not a legal defense, it's often a reasonable explanation. When it comes to the back country campingrules , sadly lots of people are unaware of all the rules. Some of those people who follow the rules if they knew them, so education is important.

    The next question is, if they are aware of the rule, do they understand why it exists? Is it fore safety? For preservation? Is it antiquated? Once someone understands the rule, they can decide for themselves if they agree with it or not. They can also become aware of the penalties for breaking the rule (fines, jail, injury, etc.), and the risk of being assessed a penalty. With that information they decide if they'll follow the rule (or to what degree they will). Following a law could be viewed as a moral choice, but we've seen time and again in this country where people from across the political spectrum have openly violated laws they believe are immoral.

    Someone who advocates for complete obedience to all rules may not have all of these considerations and may think that 'rules are rules', or 'Befehl ist Befehl'. I'll always encourage thoughtful consideration, despite the fact that I tend to follow rules, as most rules to seem to have good reason for being. Some rules are debatable, and fall into areas where philosophy, morality, and the law intertwine and arguments for and against are numerous, be it dogs, campfires, or any of the other contentious issues that crop up from time to time.

    For the sake of moderation, I think additional topics (like the campfire issue, or backpacking rules in general) should go in a new thread.
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  2. #92
    Senior Member Becca M's Avatar
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    re: TJsName - good ideas - lots to think about!!!!
    Yay for winter!!!!!

  3. #93
    Senior Member Raven's Avatar
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    TJ makes some well reasoned points. Nice work.

    To add to it, I see laws/rules/regulations/mandates in three categories:

    1. Rules which I follow. These rules lead us to a more fair society, do not unjustly elevate one group or individual in society above another, and are written and expected to be followed by all. These laws move the human condition to a more positive place and do no harm to the Earth. For example: the rules which prohibit the dumping of oil into waterways. They protect the very water people need for life and the environment and exceptions are not made based on perceived power or wealth.

    2. Rules which I ignore. These are simply unhelpful, poorly written, or outdated blue laws. They're generally not hurting anyone either way and those who write them did not do well. Try again. Example: If two trains meet on a track in Kansas, neither can proceed until one has passed. Well done folks. Now we're all stuck. Pay no attention here. Don't waste your energy fighting it.

    3. Laws which require active, public, and loud civil disobedience. Without this, women would not vote and blacks would be in the back of the bus. These were laws once folks. Take care that they don't come back. These were laws to which many turned a blind eye with the phrase, "rules are rules." Currently some states are looking to enact laws allowing for legal vehicular manslaughter of peaceful protesters on road ways (source: National Geographic).

    "One has a moral responsibility to disobey unjust laws." (MLK)

    "Civil Disobedience becomes a sacred duty when the state becomes lawless and corrupt" (Gandhi)

    "Unjust laws exist; shall we be content to obey them, or shall we endeavor to amend them?" (Thoreau).

    Or I can look to my clan's crest on my wall and be reminded that when other peaceful, reasonable avenues fail, it is time to "bide and fecht!"....stand and fight!

    I think the BSP dog rules are reasonable, fair, and helpful. I follow them and agree with them. But never blindly.

    Freedom begins between the ears.
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    We are but one thread within it.
    Whatever we do to the web, we do to ourselves.
    All things are bound together.
    All things connect.
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  4. #94
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    I think if we go back to the public statements attributed to the person who started this issue at baxter, her approach is "no dog" rules in general such as the Baxter rules are in her opinion either category 2 or 3. I don't think there has been any clarity supplied to date on what exactly transpired for her to obtain "special permission" for what apparently was a non service animal. Until that happens its down to either a BSP employee electing to ignore the regulations of the park or the dog owner deliberately misrepresenting that her dog was a service animal instead of some other category. Given the background on the individual IMHO its the latter but expect others will choose the former.

    Like it or not the Baxter rules are not laws enacted by a legislature in a traditional sense, they are an agreement by the State of Maine that they will defend the Deeds of Trust in exchange for the gift of the Park and its endowment to the people. The rules are an administrative mechanism put in place to manage the park to comply with the Deeds. The BSP commission has the right to interpret and pass administrative rules to enforce the Deeds and in some cases add clarification for circumstances that Baxter did not anticipate but they fundamentally are not allowed to change the Deeds. In some cases Baxter was not specific but he was quite specific even though he was dog lover that pets were not allowed in the park. I expect it would be an interesting legal case to break the control of the Deeds of Trust over the park as Baxter spent decades and multiple legislative sessions setting it up that the state would defend the Deeds.

  5. #95
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    Quote Originally Posted by Becca M View Post
    And yet, if you bushwhack along ALMOST any stream in or near the Pemi & Sandwich Range Wildernesses, THAT's where you find camping and fire ring evidence!!!! Those DEFINITELY are the best spots - I have been mentally collecting those spots for years!!!! I have also seen a LOT of people camping/making fires in those places!!!!
    When I look at the rules, they seem to prohibit camping and fires within 200 feet of trails and only a few streams. Are you sure the spots you mention are illegal?

  6. #96
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    Quote Originally Posted by jfb View Post
    When I look at the rules, they seem to prohibit camping and fires within 200 feet of trails and only a few streams. Are you sure the spots you mention are illegal?
    FWIW, the blanket 200 foot from trail rule only applies to trails in the Pemi, Dry River, and Great Gulf. The Sandwich Range, Caribou, and Wild River do not have any 200 foot rules. None of them have blanket regulations prohibiting camping on water bodies, just specific streams and ponds.

  7. #97
    Senior Member alexmtn's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by JoshandBaron View Post
    FWIW, the blanket 200 foot from trail rule only applies to trails in the Pemi, Dry River, and Great Gulf. The Sandwich Range, Caribou, and Wild River do not have any 200 foot rules. None of them have blanket regulations prohibiting camping on water bodies, just specific streams and ponds.
    If you're an especially inquiring mind, you can find the official WMNF backcountry camping rules here.

    Alex

  8. #98
    Senior Member Becca M's Avatar
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    ooops - I guess I haven't camped within 200' of the specified streams/trails/bodies of water, nor have others I've met there - I was just assuming within 200' of anything fun was not legit!!!!
    Yay for winter!!!!!

  9. #99
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    Quote Originally Posted by Becca M View Post
    ooops - I guess I haven't camped within 200' of the specified streams/trails/bodies of water, nor have others I've met there - I was just assuming within 200' of anything fun was not legit!!!!
    Any trails with camping restrictions are usually pretty well marked with the FPA signs. Several trails that as soon as your are past the FPA, you can find a stealth site on a brook. There is a really nice one on the Wild River trail that I remember. 40 feet the other way, is illegal.

  10. #100
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    Quote Originally Posted by egilbe View Post
    Any trails with camping restrictions are usually pretty well marked with the FPA signs. Several trails that as soon as your are past the FPA, you can find a stealth site on a brook. There is a really nice one on the Wild River trail that I remember. 40 feet the other way, is illegal.
    Those bastards marked my favorite Wild River site as a reveg area last year! Finding that out at 1am isn't a fun way to start a trip.

  11. #101
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    Quote Originally Posted by egilbe View Post
    Any trails with camping restrictions are usually pretty well marked with the FPA signs. Several trails that as soon as your are past the FPA, you can find a stealth site on a brook. There is a really nice one on the Wild River trail that I remember. 40 feet the other way, is illegal.
    Those bastards marked my favorite Wild River site as a reveg area last year! Finding that out at 1am isn't a fun way to start a trip. Near the Spruce Brook FPA, I think.

  12. #102
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    Quote Originally Posted by JoshandBaron View Post
    Those bastards marked my favorite Wild River site as a reveg area last year! Finding that out at 1am isn't a fun way to start a trip. Near the Spruce Brook FPA, I think.
    I know that place. Keep walking a little bit and you will find another one. They marked up blue brook tentsite with reveg signs, too.

  13. #103
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    Quote Originally Posted by egilbe View Post
    I know that place. Keep walking a little bit and you will find another one. They marked up blue brook tentsite with reveg signs, too.
    They came by while I was staying at the Wild River Trail site and the next day there was a no camping sign.

  14. #104
    Senior Member Ed'n Lauky's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by TJ aka Teej View Post
    Just want to clear something up regarding recent social media posts and photos of a hiker and her dog on Baxter Peak. Only service dogs are allowed in the Park, There is no "interview process," no "applying", no "special exception," no "legitimate reason." Either the dog is a service animal, or not. Pets are not allowed.
    I never saw the original Facebook post and I don't know what claims were made. But that being said, I thought a recent article by the Embrace Pet Insurance company was of interest in the current discussion whether they apply to that person or not, especially points one and four. https://www.embracepetinsurance.com/...e-service-dogs
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  15. #105
    Senior Member sierra's Avatar
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    I find it interesting to hear someone say " I always follow the rules". I'm not criticizing you, just saying it's a unique concept to me. I have in my travels broken some rules. I do not lose sleep over it to be honest. Take LNT for example, principle 4, Leave what you find. I collect natural items that I like. In Yosemite, it's clear that taking of any natural object in against the law, I have several. I also collect certain rocks I like, from anywhere I find them. Principle 5, Respect wildlife. While I certainly respect and love wildlife, I feed Grey Jays, that's a violation of that principle. Sorry but it doesn't hurt them and it's fun, so I'm doing it. I'm really not an outlaw and I don't break many laws in general. But I have camped in certain areas out west where it's illegal, to save time on long ascents, I am careful and leave little if any trace that I was there. I guess, I've always had the thought that frankly, the earth is for us to use and I don't mind using it.

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