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hatchetation
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hatchetation
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PostWed Oct 25, 2017 11:05 am 
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Simple question about the best way to understand what is allowed/prohibited in particular national parks.

If one reviews the most recent Superintendent's Compendium for a park (eg here's the one for Rainier) , as well as 36 CFR, are they missing anything?

Reviewing the compendia for several specific rules in specific parks I'm familiar with (eg, no hammocks in Joshua Tree), it seems to be the most comprehensive source for this information, and covers everything I'd expect to see.
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treeswarper
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PostThu Oct 26, 2017 5:19 am 
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Sometimes I get the feeling that fun is prohibited.

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hatchetation
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PostThu Oct 26, 2017 11:38 am 
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Heh, exactly! That's why I'm so confused.

When it comes to tree climbing, the general rule I've always heard is that climbing is allowed in national forests, but disallowed in national parks.

Doing some research, I can't find a general rule like this. Climbing Sequoias in Sequoia & Kings Canyon NP is not allowed. Climbing Redwoods in Redwoods National Parks is not allowed. Otherwise, most parks don't seem to have any specific prohibition. (eg, Olympics, Rainier, North Cascades.)

Pleasantly surprised, and want to make sure I'm not missing something.
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Ski
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PostThu Oct 26, 2017 12:03 pm 
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MRNP: 360 569 2211
ONP: 360 565 3000

Why not just call and ask them?

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RodF
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PostThu Oct 26, 2017 12:05 pm 
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You're right, no prohibition on climbing trees.  Be aware ESA prohibits disturbing listed murrelets or owls.  This would probably prohibit climbing any tree they're nesting in during the entire nesting season, and perhaps any adjacent trees during early nesting season?

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"of all the paths you take in life, make sure a few of them are dirt" - John Muir
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PostThu Oct 26, 2017 12:13 pm 
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^ Funny you said that, because that's exactly what I thought about and mentioned it but edited it out of my post.
I would imagine that any restrictions on tree-climbing are for resource protection. Climbing gear (carabiners, ropes, and other accoutrements) might dislodge some piece of something that would be "suitable habitat" (i.e., nesting site) for the murrelet.
I think it might be a good idea to check with the management beforehand.

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"I shall wear white flannel trousers, and walk upon the beach. 
I have heard the mermaids singing, each to each."
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RodF
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PostThu Oct 26, 2017 12:32 pm 
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Ski wrote:
Climbing gear (carabiners, ropes, and other accoutrements) might dislodge some piece of something that would be "suitable habitat" (i.e., nesting site) for the murrelet.

Check out murrelet nesting habitat.  Old growth Doug fir over 4 feet in diameter with open crown structure and open views are attractive to climb, but one isn't likely to break a horizontal limb >14 inches in diameter!  Reason the crown is open is a 70+ mph gust in a past winter storm snapped the leader right off.  No worry any climber can hurt it.  No need to ask permission.

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"of all the paths you take in life, make sure a few of them are dirt" - John Muir
"the wild is not the opposite of cultivated.  It is the opposite of the captivated” - Vandana Shiva
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Ski
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PostThu Oct 26, 2017 12:39 pm 
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^ I wasn't thinking about breaking off limbs - more about dislodging the moss that they nest on.

The only "tree climbing" I've ever observed was up on the old Carbon River Road, where a crew was going up into the trees (using ropes) to check for murrelet nesting sites. I'd think that whether or not that's going to "damage" something is a question for the botanists and ornithologists.

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I have heard the mermaids singing, each to each."
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hatchetation
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PostFri Oct 27, 2017 1:04 am 
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The point about disturbing nesting sites is a good one, it's definitely something that should always be taken into consideration, especially during breading.

LNT principles for climbing are much like anything else. Modern SRT techniques put the climber in a good position to preserve the tree and it's flora. Recreational climbing of champion trees is generally accepted as a bad thing. Same for identifying individual trees.

Like so many other backcountry experiences, descending through the multiple layers of a mature forest is one of those things that leaves one with a profound sense of appreciation and responsibility.

Right now I'm just trying to get a general lay of the land, it could certainly make sense to consult with park authorities on more concrete plans.

Thanks all, this is helpful.
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drm
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PostTue Oct 31, 2017 4:09 pm 
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Ski wrote:
Why not just call and ask them?

People who answer phones are a wildcard. Some know a lot, some definitely don't. And when they don't know they seem more inclined to tell you not to do something.
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Ski
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PostTue Oct 31, 2017 7:31 pm 
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^ It helps to know who to ask. wink.gif

I'm still waiting for an answer to the OP's question from ONP.

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I have heard the mermaids singing, each to each."
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Chico
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PostTue Oct 31, 2017 7:37 pm 
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Ski wrote:
It helps to know who to ask

Top down seems to always work!

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Humptulips
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PostTue Oct 31, 2017 7:44 pm 
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Ski wrote:
MRNP: 360 569 2211
ONP: 360 565 3000

Why not just call and ask them?

Because they will always say no. It is always easiest for someone to say no because their is no chance they will get in trouble or create more work for themselves by saying no.

NPs are the most unfriendly places to go. Stay on the trail, Only stop in their campground and for gods sake don't touch anything.
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Ski
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PostTue Oct 31, 2017 7:58 pm 
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^ That has not been my experience during the last three decades I've interacted with the staff up at ONP. Not even close.

I hear anecdotal stories about seasonal staff members around the Park - rookies who act like complete jackasses - but I've never encountered that sort of thing myself.

Sounds like maybe you've been visiting the South Shore Quinault Ranger Station?

At any rate, I sent an inquiry with the OP's question to the correct staff member and am awaiting a response. They don't always respond right away - sometimes they have better stuff to do than answer my silly questions. Sometimes it slips through the cracks and I don't get a response at all.

Best way to get an answer about "is this okay?" is generally to get ahold of the Chief Ranger, who should know most of the rules. If not, contacting the Superintendent's office will usually get you led to the right person.

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"I shall wear white flannel trousers, and walk upon the beach. 
I have heard the mermaids singing, each to each."
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RodF
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PostFri Nov 03, 2017 11:54 am 
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hatchetation wrote:
Like so many other backcountry experiences, descending through the multiple layers of a mature forest is one of those things that leaves one with a profound sense of appreciation and responsibility.

Deserves to be quoted!

No need to ask permission to climb a tree, or a mountain, in Olympic.  Just do it.

Ask permission?  Gosh, people!  It is your Park.  It is his Park.  Not grampa's apple tree.

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"of all the paths you take in life, make sure a few of them are dirt" - John Muir
"the wild is not the opposite of cultivated.  It is the opposite of the captivated” - Vandana Shiva
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Forum Index > Stewardship > Understanding prohibited activities in National Parks
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