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Thread: Tenting near Galehead Hut

  1. #31
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    Quote Originally Posted by Will View Post
    That's an issue for the lawyers. Is the language there about "within 200 feet" talking about trails within the Pemi? That would seem logical as the regulation is about the Pemi so a trail outside the Pemi would seem not covered at that point; why would a Pemi regulation be talking about trails outside the Pemi?

    Or does it mean, as you and most people think, within 200 feet of a trail whether or not that trail is inside the Pemi? But if that were what was meant wouldn't the language have been more specific: "whether such trail is inside or outside the Pemi Wilderness"?
    The map clarifies the language.

  2. #32
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    Quote Originally Posted by JoshandBaron View Post
    The map clarifies the language.
    I have lost my source link to this text about the footage offsets of the Pemi Wilderness from its perimeter trails therefore, as is, it obviously has no authority:

    * 66 feet from Osseo, Franconia Ridge, Garfield Ridge Trails
    * 100 feet outside Galehead Hut permit area
    * 66 feet from Twinway to Bondcliff Trail
    * 33 feet from Bondcliff Trail to point 100 feet S of Guyot Shelter spur, then 100 feet from spur and shelter returning 33 feet from other side of Bondcliff Trail
    * 66 feet from Twinway and Whitewall Brook
    * 66 feet from Ethan Pond Trail to ridge S from Mt Willey
    * follows ridgeline all the way to East Side Road with 100' deviation at summit of Mt Carrigain - no such deviation at Mt Hancock so apparently part of Hancock Loop Trail is in Wilderness although not signed as such
    * 66 feet from East Side Road to 66 feet beyond gate
    * across to Wilderness Trail and back to 33 feet from Franconia Brook
    * up Franconia Brook to E of northern tip of Black Pond, then over to pond
    * follow pond shore (which not specified but presumably W to connect below)
    * 33 feet SW from Black Pond Trail
    * 66 feet from Wilderness Trail back to Osseo Trail

    Let's, for discussion, take the 66 feet as the offset between the Garfield Ridge Trail and the actual Pemi immediately South of Garfield Pond, as an example in the area, though that seems high according to the map you reference (more like 30-40 feet as I eyeball it). The common view is that camping is legal to the South of the Pond within 0-66 feet from the Trail but then illegal from 66 to 200 feet and then legal again beyond 200 feet.

    The other, minority interpretation is that the regulation language about the Pemi, when it talks about trails, is obviously talking about trails within the Pemi (i.e. the subject at hand) and that if trails outside the Pemi were meant to be included the language would have specified that. Thus, since the Garfield Ridge Trail is not within the Pemi, it is NOT one of "any trail" meant in a section of regulations regarding the Pemi; it is not relevant. So camping is legal in that 66 foot to 200 foot buffer, where most of the hardened sites are that every Ranger I have ever talked to agrees are legal.

    Personally, I sleep on those sites at times, usually around 150 feet in and with my small low tarp (if deployed and I'm not cowboyed) pretty much out of sight of the Trail. If you get in much past 150 feet the open sewer area begins. I think the regulation language allows an interpretation that makes me legal and Rangers seem to think the sites are legal.
    Last edited by Will; 08-11-2022 at 09:12 PM.

  3. #33
    Senior Member B the Hiker's Avatar
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    Why are people splitting hairs about how far off the trail one must go? We’ve all seen the illegal sites—they’re usually fifteen feet off the trail, at best.

    Last night, bears rolled the bear boxes upside down at 13 Falls. No one was harmed, no food was taken. All those humans sleeping near each other were perfectly safe.

    If there is going to be an incident where things get ugly, I would bet it will be with individuals camped illegally.

  4. #34
    Senior Member maineguy's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by B the Hiker View Post
    If there is going to be an incident where things get ugly, I would bet it will be with individuals camped illegally.
    I don't think this is true. Bears are going to be attracted, and habituated to camping areas that are full of people and food on a steady and continual basis. That's where the pickings are easy. If you just walk off the trail a ways and camp, unless it is a place that is used a lot, if think the odds of encountering a bear are almost nil, especially at higher altitudes.
    Last edited by maineguy; 08-13-2022 at 01:08 PM.

  5. #35
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    Bears will go where the food is but they do roam quite a large territory and would definitely hit an easy food source along the way. That used to happen with the bears working the Pemi. My guess is if the bears have a likely reliable food source they will head up to high elevations like Garfield campsite.

    BTW the managing organization for the AT just came out with a recommendation that all thru hikers carry bear cans.

    The WMNF does lend then out but their office hours on weekends make return of them problematical. Not sure if the log cabin at Lincoln Woods had them but its only staffed by a volunteer in the early day so returning a cannister could be an issue. IMHO, unless the FS makes it mandatory to use bear cans in the Pemi and enforce it I do not see the program being effective.

    BTW, by any Wilderness regulation 13 falls is an illegal campsite. Unlike Guyot, there is no exclusion zone around it. Just one of those things the FS just conveniently ignores.
    Last edited by peakbagger; 08-13-2022 at 04:20 PM.

  6. #36
    Senior Member maineguy's Avatar
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    Only used a bear canister once, at Flowed Lands in the ADKS where they were required. Each morning we found the canister about 25 feet from where it had been placed, but it was unopened.

  7. #37
    Senior Member skiguy's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by peakbagger View Post
    Sorry to bring up a repeated subject but the WMNF published regulations do not agree with your statement. The website states a blanket 200 foot rule but the referenced Backcountry Document https://www.fs.usda.gov/Internet/FSE...rdb5363715.pdf does not. As I have stated before the backcountry document is an exercise in obfuscation either intentionally or unintentionally. Page 2 of the document is Leave no Trace "guidelines" that have no legal standing currently in the WMNF, yes Kharma and good practice calls for maintaining a minimum 200 foot, but as you will see on Page 3 the 200 foot regulation is only to called out in specific areas (copied below from the FS backcountry document).

    o Camping, Wood or Charcoal
    Fires within 200 feet of:
    The following bodies of water:
    • Black Pond
    • Black Mountain Pond
    • East Branch of the Pemigewasset River from
    the Wilderness boundary to its crossing with
    Thoreau Falls Trail, including islands
    • The stream along the Smart’s Brook Trail
    from Rte. 49, 1.5 miles to the log landing
    The following trails:
    • Ammonoosuc Ravine Trail
    • Appalachian Trail corridor from the summit
    of Mt. Moosilauke to the Connecticut River
    (except at shelters)
    • Intersection of Cedar Brook and Hancock
    Notch Trails to the junction with Hancock
    Loop Trail
    • Champney Falls Trail from the trailhead to
    Champney Falls
    • Falling Waters Trail
    • Franconia Falls Trail
    • Liberty Springs Trail
    • Lower Falls Trail
    • Old Bridle Path
    • Valley Way from its intersection with the
    Scar Trail to Madison Hut
    • Wild River Trail from Wild River
    Campground to 1 mile south


    Note the AT is specifically referenced south of Mt Moosilaukee but not north. and the OPs intended route is not in any of the listed areas.

    Feel free to start another thread on if the WMNF backcountry regulations need to be changed and I will gladly participate in it but realize at this point in time the 200 foot rule is the exception on most non wilderness trails in the whites.
    Please refer to the next to last bullet item in document 5363715.

    • TRAVEL AND CAMP ON
    DURABLE SURFACES
    Stay on the trail while hiking. Camp
    at sites that have already been heavily
    impacted (but be sure it’s a legal site),
    or 200 feet from trails and water
    sources. Avoid moderately impacted
    sites where your visit could create
    more damage.
    "I'm getting up and going to work everyday and I am stoked. That does not suck!"__Shane McConkey

  8. #38
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    As I mentioned previously if the "or" was and "and" there would not be discussion.

  9. #39
    Senior Member skiguy's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by peakbagger View Post
    As I mentioned previously if the "or" was and "and" there would not be discussion.
    I disagree. The language seems quite clear IMO.
    "I'm getting up and going to work everyday and I am stoked. That does not suck!"__Shane McConkey

  10. #40
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    Using the grammatical definition of the conjunction used in the cited regulation for and or. If and is used, both clauses of the regulation has to be true for a legit site. I.E. hardened site and 200 feet from trail. And was not used

    Now the use of or changes the intent, only one clause must be true, the status of other clause is not important, it could be true or false as the or was satisfied once one clause was true. I.E. a hardened site (regardless of distance) or 200 feet from trail. In this case hardened site makes it a legal site.

    I do agree the modified "but be sure its a legal site" confuses the issue but since the regulation is defining a "legal site" its circular logic.

    I do not claim to be a lawyer but as a licensed engineer, I have to read and interpret codes and standards for my profession. Should, shall,and or are all used regularly and its very important to know the difference
    Last edited by peakbagger; 08-14-2022 at 04:53 PM.

  11. #41
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    Hike with a Lawyer AND a Surveyor

    I do not claim to be a lawyer
    Never go on a multi-day trip in the Whites without a lawyer AND a surveyor in your party.

    OR just camp 1/4 of a mile away from everything: you'll be safe from the marauding-ticketing Rangers, plus you'll feel virtuous.

    OR (for the un-virtuous), know the exact letter of the regs, including all the AND's and OR's, and then when you near the end of your day do the best you can, with • common sense, • respect for the experience of others (e.g. out of sight), • care for the land and water, and • regulation compliance.
    Last edited by Will; 08-14-2022 at 07:48 PM.

  12. #42
    Senior Member skiguy's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by peakbagger View Post
    Using the grammatical definition of the conjunction used in the cited regulation for and or. If and is used, both clauses of the regulation has to be true for a legit site. I.E. hardened site and 200 feet from trail. And was not used

    Now the use of or changes the intent, only one clause must be true, the status of other clause is not important, it could be true or false as the or was satisfied once one clause was true. I.E. a hardened site (regardless of distance) or 200 feet from trail. In this case hardened site makes it a legal site.

    I do agree the modified "but be sure its a legal site" confuses the issue but since the regulation is defining a "legal site" its circular logic.

    I do not claim to be a lawyer but as a licensed engineer, I have to read and interpret codes and standards for my profession. Should, shall,and or are all used regularly and its very important to know the difference
    Again I disagree. You seem to want to change the definition of the established rhetorical to fit your definition when that definition is really quite clear. “Be sure it’s a legal site” is most evident and just what it says and what it means. I find it rather futile to even infer that some dichotomy exists to support and/or as either being a precedent in the language already established. That is only a waste of everyone’s time here as being anything plausible for discussion.
    "I'm getting up and going to work everyday and I am stoked. That does not suck!"__Shane McConkey

  13. #43
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    Quote Originally Posted by skiguy View Post
    Please refer to the next to last bullet item in document 5363715.

    • TRAVEL AND CAMP ON
    DURABLE SURFACES
    Stay on the trail while hiking. Camp
    at sites that have already been heavily
    impacted (but be sure it’s a legal site),
    or 200 feet from trails and water
    sources. Avoid moderately impacted
    sites where your visit could create
    more damage.
    I'm sure you're not under the mistaken impression that this bullet item is a regulation. That can't be, so I'm a bit confused as to where you're heading with this.

    The whole "Leave No Trace" section of which this bullet item is a part, is a simply a statement of some familiar and admirable "Leave No Trace" principles, and clearly indicates that "legal site" is defined elsewhere. The regulations themselves are specifically stated in those other appropriate sections of the document.

    e.g. "Stay on the trail while hiking" from your above bullet item - You obviously don't believe bushwhacking is forbidden by a regulation. I'm sure you understand this "Leave No Trace" section is a broad general statement of ideals that drive and explain, holistically, the driving principles behind the actual regulations. So, again.I'm confused about your point.

  14. #44
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    "That is only a waste of everyone’s time here as being anything plausible for discussion". At least we agree to disagree

  15. #45
    Moderator David Metsky's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Will View Post
    The whole "Leave No Trace" section of which this bullet item is a part, is a simply a statement of some familiar and admirable "Leave No Trace" principles, and clearly indicates that "legal site" is defined elsewhere. The regulations themselves are specifically stated in those other appropriate sections of the document.
    The intro to the LNT section even says the following:

    No amount of regulation will preserve the backcountry unless each of us makes a personal
    effort to lessen our impact. Always plan your trip well enough in advance to be prepared
    for whatever you might encounter and learn to be a “no-trace” hiker.
    You have brains in your head. You have feet in your shoes. You can steer yourself, any direction you choose. -- Dr. Seuss

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