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Old 07-19-2013, 09:45 AM   #1
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Public land & boondocking clampdown?

Interesting article on seemingly new interpretations of use of public land laws. Doesn't really apply to me but will keep it in mind when out there.

http://cheaprvlivingblog.com/2013/06/ke ... oondocker/
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Old 07-19-2013, 01:19 PM   #2
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Re: Public land & boondocking clampdown?

I guess there's some logic to the ranger's position but I'd like to know if it has been challenged. A non-lawyer here but I know there's seldom a simple answer; however, the Code of Federal Regulations says this about resident camping under its list of prohibitions:

"(b) Construction, reconstructing, improving, maintaining, occupying or using a residence on National Forest System lands unless authorized by a special-use authorization or approved operating plan when such authorization is required." (36 CFR - Title 36—Parks, Forests, and Public Property)

I guess you could say the person was "occupying" a residence--his RV--but I'd argue the rest of the language implies a permanent structure. The USDA offers these definitions that I'd take to support that interpretation:

"Camping means the temporary use of National Forest System lands for the purpose of overnight occupancy without a permanently-fixed structure.

Camping equipment means the personal property used in or suitable for camping, and includes any vehicle used for transportation and all equipment in possession of a person camping. Food and beverage are not considered camping equipment." (http://www.fs.usda.gov/Internet/FSE_DOC ... 054750.pdf)

As a full-time wanna-be, I have to admit some sympathy for rangers dealing with a flock of folks wandering from site to site in the forest. I expect it's localized as I've seen plenty of places with 5th wheels parked in out-of-the-way places and vehicles leaving for work in the morning, or so I presume.
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Old 07-19-2013, 07:09 PM   #3
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Re: Public land & boondocking clampdown?

I'm not going to worry about it too much. A second hand story about one butt head cop does not equal government policy.
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Old 07-30-2013, 12:45 PM   #4
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Re: Public land & boondocking clampdown?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Viejo
I'm not going to worry about it too much. A second hand story about one butt head cop does not equal government policy.
Plus you have a residence which seems to be the issue. And "Have an expensive looking vehicle."

It does disturb me that the yardstick in this story is the concept that you have to be a "have" to warrant use of the land- regardless of the boondocking issues, the idea that residential property ownership is used as a criteria raises my bile. Kick them out, let them stay, enforce the 14-day limit, just don't use "own/rent" as a measure of rights!

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Old 07-30-2013, 01:07 PM   #5
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Re: Public land & boondocking clampdown?

What about visitors to the US? Are they allowed to stay?

Someone in Forest Service/BLM must be a frustrated lawmaker.


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Old 07-30-2013, 02:26 PM   #6
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Re: Public land & boondocking clampdown?

There are groups that abuse the public lands and live on them for extended periods in large numbers - they have caused a problem and this is the result.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rainbow_Gathering
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Old 07-31-2013, 06:03 PM   #7
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Re: Public land & boondocking clampdown?

It seems like every time I go somewhere I find some of these people but in the spirit of the article I do not understand why if you don't have a personal residence you can't go camping. Really? That part seems like BS to me. I understand the "homeless" aspect though and IMO think a homeless bill of rights is also BS. Sorry if that offends others...just my view.
A little common sense goes a long way on both sides. A ranger that constantly sees the same person move from CG to CG in a circle throughout the year is going to show raised eyebrows and I understand that. I don't care if the campers are driving a $200K diesel pusher or a 67 VW bus, it doesn't look right. Violation of the law...I don't know. As long as they don't bother me I don't really care but I can possibly see this becoming a future issue. As for the ranger, some of them think it is their forest and sometimes that pisses me off more. I think each circumstance is its own so it's hard for me to judge.
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Old 07-31-2013, 07:08 PM   #8
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Re: Public land & boondocking clampdown?

What daveb said.

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Old 07-31-2013, 10:02 PM   #9
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Re: Public land & boondocking clampdown?

My parents and their RV club ran afoul of the camp host at Vallecitos Lake in Colorado many moons ago. Various members of the crew would leave for a day or two every two weeks (a good chance to wash clothes) and return to a different campsite. They got encouraged to find a different site after a couple of summers. Something about using so much space in a popular site.
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