Forest order stating 200 foot rule in certain Wilderness areas ONLY. If there were a 200 foot rule for everything, there's no point in pointing it out here. https://www.fs.usda.gov/Internet/FSE_DOCUMENTS/stelprdb5229052.pdf
I would like to see a definitive answer to this question. That should probably come from the Forest Supervisor and not someone who answers questions on the phone. PB, you live right down the road from the Androscoggin District Ranger Station. I know that is not the headquarters, but someone there might be able to initiate an inquiry into this question.
I will let the folks who want to hold to the hard 200 foot rule fight that battle. The easy part is just say 200 foot no if ands or buts but unless there is lot of education and realistic planning to provide alternative options to deal with the real usage along the AT and then real ridgerunning to reinforce the education and enforce the rules I dont think it goes anywhere.
I totally agree. Anyone here that has hiked for a long time which is many, know there are rules about LNT whether in print or tacit that are not always followed. Certainly increased enforcement and education would help but hikers are going to do what they are going to do. The term "Stealth" has become common verbiage among backpackers with Social Media feeding the fire. It is unfortunate situation and almost seems analogous at this point to pissing in the wind. The lack of man power and money to change this situation is a huge price tag not to mention disconcerting.
This 200 foot blanket rule, all trails and all water sources, applies to everyone but the elite. If you have to ask, you're not.IMPORTANT: Camping is PROHIBITED within 200 feet of a trail or water source in the White Mountain National Forest REGARDLESS of whether or not you are in a Wilderness.
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?Tenting is legal within the first 66 feet of the trail [at which point the Pemi Wilderness begins]
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"?
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:The map clarifies the language.
If there is going to be an incident where things get ugly, I would bet it will be with individuals camped illegally.
Please refer to the next to last bullet item in document 5363715.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_DOCUMENTS/stelprdb5363715.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
• Champney Falls Trail from the trailhead to
• 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.