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Hogxtz
11-01-2009, 3:11 PM
Does anyone know where I can obtain/print a copy of the U.S.F.S. policies on public use of AR's on Forrest Service controlled lands? I carry the BLM one with me but the mountains where I live have Forrest Service Rangers patroling and I need to educate myself on their specific laws before I take my AR into the woods. We unfourtantley have some Rangers up here that are very aggressive.

CavTrooper
11-01-2009, 3:31 PM
The forest service is federal, they dont have a policy on using ARs.

***are you talking RAWs or OLLs?

MudCamper
11-01-2009, 3:38 PM
See the thread Firearms in Forests and Parks (http://www.calguns.net/calgunforum/showthread.php?t=186457).

And here is a brief synopses (http://www.fs.fed.us/recreation/programs/trails/welcome.shtml) of Forest Service policy.

Librarian
11-01-2009, 3:45 PM
and 1 more from FS (just Tonto, but I believe the policy is consistent):
http://www.fs.fed.us/r3/tonto/LawEnforcement/FAQs/index.shtml#CarryFirearm3

Hogxtz
11-01-2009, 5:32 PM
Mudcamper and Librarian thank you very much.

MudCamper
11-02-2009, 7:56 AM
Wow. I just reread the FS link (http://www.fs.fed.us/recreation/programs/trails/welcome.shtml). It's changed since I last read it. Now it says this,

If you are planning on visiting a designated Wilderness Area, the Regional Forester or Forest Supervisor has the option to implement a special local order which additionally prohibits the mere possession of a firearm within that Wilderness Area.

This is totally bogus. It is not within their authority to ban possession, only shooting. I will email that site admin and ask about it.

Southwest Chuck
11-02-2009, 9:14 AM
Wow. I just reread the FS link (http://www.fs.fed.us/recreation/programs/trails/welcome.shtml). It's changed since I last read it. Now it says this,



This is totally bogus. It is not within their authority to ban possession, only shooting. I will email that site admin and ask about it.

I would be very interested in what you find out on this "NEW" authority/power to ban possession, Mudcamper. Keep us updated!


:)

MudCamper
11-02-2009, 9:27 AM
I would be very interested in what you find out on this "NEW" authority/power to ban possession, Mudcamper. Keep us updated!


:)

I've got an email in to Jamie Schwartz, the Shooting Sports Liaison for the FS. Waiting for a reply...

M1A Rifleman
11-02-2009, 9:33 AM
Wow. I just reread the FS link (http://www.fs.fed.us/recreation/programs/trails/welcome.shtml). It's changed since I last read it. Now it says this,



This is totally bogus. It is not within their authority to ban possession, only shooting. I will email that site admin and ask about it.


I know what you mean, I caught that statement some months ago when "guns in the NF" was asked, and I thought it was a new change.

ilbob
11-02-2009, 9:41 AM
Wow. I just reread the FS link (http://www.fs.fed.us/recreation/programs/trails/welcome.shtml). It's changed since I last read it. Now it says this,



This is totally bogus. It is not within their authority to ban possession, only shooting. I will email that site admin and ask about it.

It not unusual for government officials to lie about things. just because they say they can do this does not make it true.

Southwest Chuck
11-04-2009, 8:30 AM
I've got an email in to Jamie Schwartz, the Shooting Sports Liaison for the FS. Waiting for a reply...

Any update on this, Mudcamper ?

MudCamper
11-04-2009, 9:00 AM
Any update on this, Mudcamper ?

No response. If I don't hear back by tomorrow I will try calling. If that fails I will resort to snail mail.

LarryC
11-04-2009, 10:18 AM
MudCamper - If you don't get an answer check with your Congressperson. In the past when I've hit bureaucratic walls I've had the staff of my Congressperson cut through the crap and get me an answer. Doesn't always work but sometimes you hit paydirt.

MudCamper
11-09-2009, 7:36 AM
UPDATE

I was wrong. I received an email back from Mr. Shwartz. It merely stated the following:

In regards to your question please reference 36 CFR 261.57 (c). Thank-you for your interest in National Forest Mangement

I'd always known of 36 CFR 261.58 which authorizes banning shooting. Just one section away 36 CFR 261.57 (c) states the following:

261.57 National Forest wilderness.

When provided by an order, the following are prohibited:

(a) Entering or being in the area.

(b) Possessing camping or pack-outfitting equipment, as specified in the order.

(c) Possessing a firearm or firework.

(d) Possessing any non-burnable food or beverage containers, including deposit bottles, except for non-burnable containers designed and intended for repeated use.

(e) Grazing.

(f) Storing equipment, personal property or supplies.

(g) Disposing of debris, garbage, or other waste.

(h) Possessing or using a wagon, cart or other vehicle.

There you have it. They can ban guns outright in wilderness areas if they choose. Be sure never to visit such areas.

I will update the Firearms in Forests and Parks (http://www.calguns.net/calgunforum/showthread.php?t=186457) thread accordingly.

M1A Rifleman
11-09-2009, 8:53 AM
The next step will be for them to designate all the NF as a wilderness. :TFH:

Hogxtz
11-09-2009, 12:25 PM
Please excuse me for my question but I live in Pollock Pines, near Sly Park lake. So, if I wanted to shoot my AR in National Forrest up at Pevine Ridge in the crystal basin area or off of highway 88 up behind Sly Park Lake, as long as it's not "wilderness area" or has "no firearms" posted I am good to go? Or would it be wise to always check with a local F.S. office first?

M1A Rifleman
11-09-2009, 12:29 PM
Please excuse me for my question but I live in Pollock Pines, near Sly Park lake. So, if I wanted to shoot my AR in National Forrest up at Pevine Ridge in the crystal basin area or off of highway 88 up behind Sly Park Lake, as long as it's not "wilderness area" or has "no firearms" posted I am good to go? Or would it be wise to always check with a local F.S. office first?


There are several good areas up your way off the Mormon Imigrant Trail such as the quarry off North-South Rd. As long as your within the NF and shooting within a "safe" place your good. Checking-in with the Forrest Sup is not a bad idea, but it is not required.

bubbagump
11-09-2009, 1:23 PM
So basically, if there is a wilderness area closure...your not allowed to camp or possess firearms?

As long as the wilderness area is not closed...your good to go with firearm/camping equipment?

Ford8N
11-09-2009, 4:25 PM
Does anyone know where I can obtain/print a copy of the U.S.F.S. policies on public use of AR's on Forrest Service controlled lands? I carry the BLM one with me but the mountains where I live have Forrest Service Rangers patroling and I need to educate myself on their specific laws before I take my AR into the woods. We unfourtantley have some Rangers up here that are very aggressive.

Somewhere in the CalGuns archives there is a copy of a letter from the regional forester to the Eldorado NF allowing the use of registered AW on National Forest land. I have a crappy copy that I carry when up in the hills to taunt "The Man" if I get harassed. Best thing to do is keep a low profile and avoid being to obvious when up in the Forest. This is California after all, where ALL gun owners are treated like quasi-criminals.

IrishPirate
11-09-2009, 4:36 PM
the only laws that are always standing for any NF in reguard to shooting are:

can't shoot from or across a road
can't shoot through, or in a campsite
can't shoot at or "near" historic landmarks within the NF

other than that, you just need to watch out for the Rangers who are hard asses and think they have powers that they dont....cuz they'll still enforce those powers and you'll be screwed.

Bud Fox
11-09-2009, 5:33 PM
the only laws that are always standing for any NF in reguard to shooting are:

can't shoot from or across a road
can't shoot through, or in a campsite
can't shoot at or "near" historic landmarks within the NF

other than that, you just need to watch out for the Rangers who are hard asses and think they have powers that they dont....cuz they'll still enforce those powers and you'll be screwed.

OT, but I remember going up to Angeles Crest pulling over in certain areas and just shooting. It very much bums me out that kids can't grow up the way I remember California. Now they grow up shooting at each other on the street over nothing.

Anyways, thanks for sharing the information. ;)

MudCamper
11-09-2009, 5:38 PM
So basically, if there is a wilderness area closure...your not allowed to camp or possess firearms?

As long as the wilderness area is not closed...your good to go with firearm/camping equipment?

No. You are misreading 36 CFR 261.57, which is merely a list of things that the FS can prohibit. They can prohibit any one or more of those things if they choose to do so. This code section just grants them the authority to prohibit those things.

TerryC
11-09-2009, 6:04 PM
UPDATE

I was wrong. I received an email back from Mr. Shwartz. It merely stated the following:



I'd always known of 36 CFR 261.58 which authorizes banning shooting. Just one section away 36 CFR 261.57 (c) states the following:



There you have it. They can ban guns outright in wilderness areas if they choose. Be sure never to visit such areas.

I will update the Firearms in Forests and Parks (http://www.calguns.net/calgunforum/showthread.php?t=186457) thread accordingly.

If you have given up, you lose. Keep in mind that the Code of Federal Regulation (CFR's) was not written by Congress, it was written (in this case) by the Department of Agriculture. CFR's don't always conform to congressional law nor do they conform to the Constitution. Now do you really think a CFR can trump the second amendment?

Do a freedom of information act request (FOIA) Also, keep in mind that "Wilderness" area's are designated by congress not the forest service or BLM. Any rules implemented need to published in the federal register.

You need to dig and use snail mail with return reciept request. They have 30 days to repond to your letters and FOIA's. The Forrest service and BLM are masters of deception. If at first you do not get results, go on a letter writing campagne. One letter to the forest supervisor every other day. Get a couple other people involved. You will keep them to busy answering your letters, they will not get anything done.

About ten years ago, I gave the Los Padres National forest the largest headache they ever had until they finally admitted that Panning, sluicing and dredgeing in Piru Creek was not prohibited. If they want to play games with you, so be it. They hope you will be satified with some BS statement or paper work. Be prepared and in it for the long haul.

bubbagump
11-09-2009, 6:08 PM
No. You are misreading 36 CFR 261.57, which is merely a list of things that the FS can prohibit. They can prohibit any one or more of those things if they choose to do so. This code section just grants them the authority to prohibit those things.

Thank you for the clarification.

So who do I contact to find out whether a specific wilderness area is good to go for firearms? Should I get it in writing?

bubbagump
11-09-2009, 6:09 PM
If you have given up, you lose. Keep in mind that the Code of Federal Regulation (CFR's) was not written by Congress, it was written (in this case) by the Department of Agriculture. CFR's don't always conform to congressional law nor do they conform to the Constitution. Now do you really think a CFR can trump the second amendment?

Do a freedom of information act request (FOIA) Also, keep in mind that "Wilderness" area's are designated by congress not the forest service or BLM. Any rules implemented need to published in the federal register.

You need to dig and use snail mail with return reciept request. They have 30 days to repond to your letters and FOIA's. The Forrest service and BLM are masters of deception. If at first you do not get results, go on a letter writing campagne. One letter to the forest supervisor every other day. Get a couple other people involved. You will keep them to busy answering your letters, they will not get anything done.

About ten years ago, I gave the Los Padres National forest the largest headache they ever had until they finally admitted that Panning, sluicing and dredgeing in Piru Creek was not prohibited. If they want to play games with you, so be it. They hope you will be satified with some BS statement or paper work. Be prepared and in it for the long haul.

Very interesting...

JBird33
11-09-2009, 6:17 PM
I work for the USDA FS. If you guys ever have some sort of request that you think I could help you out with, please let me know in a PM. We are for the most part an organization filled with good people. However, as with many places, the people with all the power and political sway don't tend to agree with those they represent.

MudCamper
11-09-2009, 11:19 PM
Thank you for the clarification.

So who do I contact to find out whether a specific wilderness area is good to go for firearms? Should I get it in writing?

They are required to post the information at ranger stations and the effected areas at entrances or other reasonable places. Calling the ranger station that manages the wilderness area will get you the answer. FYI it is very rare for this authority to be used. (Actually, I've never known of a possession prohibition actually occurring in a NF wilderness. Shooting restrictions, yes. But possession, no.)

MudCamper
11-09-2009, 11:29 PM
If you have given up, you lose. Keep in mind that the Code of Federal Regulation (CFR's) was not written by Congress, it was written (in this case) by the Department of Agriculture. CFR's don't always conform to congressional law nor do they conform to the Constitution. Now do you really think a CFR can trump the second amendment?

Do a freedom of information act request (FOIA) Also, keep in mind that "Wilderness" area's are designated by congress not the forest service or BLM. Any rules implemented need to published in the federal register.

You need to dig and use snail mail with return reciept request. They have 30 days to repond to your letters and FOIA's. The Forrest service and BLM are masters of deception. If at first you do not get results, go on a letter writing campagne. One letter to the forest supervisor every other day. Get a couple other people involved. You will keep them to busy answering your letters, they will not get anything done.

I have not given up on anything. I am merely researching the law to find the legal limits. Have you read my thread on the subject (http://www.calguns.net/calgunforum/showthread.php?t=186457)? And yes, that CFR section is likely unconstitutional given Heller, but that's a fight for an attorney, an only if the code is actually used, which I have never seen yet.

And do a FOIA on what? There is nothing being hidden. The FS informed me of the section. I looked it up. The text I posted wasn't emailed to me. There's no big conspiracy. See for yourself: 36 CFR 261.50 (http://law.justia.com/us/cfr/title36/36-2.0.1.1.18.2.html), 36 CFR 261.57 (http://law.justia.com/us/cfr/title36/36-2.0.1.1.18.2.29.8.html), and 36 CFR 261.58 (http://law.justia.com/us/cfr/title36/36-2.0.1.1.18.2.29.9.html).

Ford8N
11-10-2009, 4:09 AM
I work for the USDA FS. If you guys ever have some sort of request that you think I could help you out with, please let me know in a PM. We are for the most part an organization filled with good people. However, as with many places, the people with all the power and political sway don't tend to agree with those they represent.

This is why we have permission to use AW's on FS land. Those people spoke up when that decision was made.;)

GrizzlyGuy
11-10-2009, 6:22 AM
So who do I contact to find out whether a specific wilderness area is good to go for firearms? Should I get it in writing?

You can often find the forest ordes online. For example, if you were going to Desolation Wilderness or other wilderness areas managed by Eldorado National Forest, you can go to their Rules and Regulations/Forest Orders page here:

http://www.fs.fed.us/r5/eldorado/about/regs/orders/

Over on the right are "Orders - Firearms" and "Orders - Wilderness" links. Those lead to these pages:

http://www.fs.fed.us/r5/eldorado/about/regs/orders/firearms/

http://www.fs.fed.us/r5/eldorado/about/regs/orders/wild/

Most forests have similar listings of forest orders online. I've found that the people at the front desk of ranger stations sometimes aren't aware of all the forest orders. But they can usually put you in touch with someone that does.

MudCamper
11-10-2009, 6:58 AM
This is why we have permission to use AW's on FS land. Those people spoke up when that decision was made.;)

No. There is no federal assault weapons bill anymore. And the FS cannot ban weapons (except on wilderness areas, which in CA they currently do not do). And all State laws apply. In CA you either own a registered AW or you don't. Perhaps you are confusing BLM with FS, where the BLM LEO often confuse OLL rifles for AW and assume CA PC is being violated.

Hunter158
11-10-2009, 7:52 AM
Couple of points here...

Please remember that WILDERNESS areas are designated by Congress/The President, and they are NOT the entire Forest. They are generally inside a Forest, or can sometimes be part of a Forest Boundry. With that thought, Wilderness areas are supposed to be free of "modern" tools and implements. IOW, the FS generally cannot fight fire in a wilderness area with anything more than hand-tools. No chain-saws, no trucks, etc... The public can use the land, (as long as it is not closed) but with limitations. It will not have Dirt-bike or Jeep trails. Generally they do not have roads though they may have reminants from roads that have been deactivated. Please don't beat up on the FS for having to enforce Wilderness Rules... Most of them are on the books because of lawsuits, or congressional/presidential rule. We also get frustrated especially when we cannot protect a Wilderness area the way we would like to because of these same restrictions.

There are generally designated shooting areas within each Forest. Some allow shooting throughout the Forest, others are fairly strict about where you can shoot. It depends on the Forests proximity to urban areas, and the uses and users of that Forest. IOW, if 10million people are in that Forest every weekend, they will restrict shooting to designated areas (understandable?)... If the Forest sees 10 visitors a weekend, they may offer open shooting. (Just please DO NOT SHOOT THE TREES!!!)

The last thing to remember... While most people only see the Forest Rangers, there are also Forest Service Law Enforecement Officers, that do have Federal enforcement authority. As said, most are very good people.

I work for the FS also, but unlike the other poster, have no standing to help anyone with specific questions or to influance policy. My suggestion: If you have specific questions, See the web page for or contact the ranger station for that part of the Forest you wish to use.

MudCamper
11-10-2009, 1:33 PM
Couple of points here...

Yes. Perhaps some people are confusing the very small Wilderness areas with the otherwise very large National Forests. And to repeat, I know of no Wilderness area where this rule has actually been ordered. It's a bit of a non-issue.

I will now make a generalization. In almost all of the National Forest lands in California, it is legal to possess firearms and to shoot those firearms. Don't try and correct me. I said it was a generalization. For the nauseating details, see my other post (http://www.calguns.net/calgunforum/showthread.php?t=186457).