Hikers required to have permits in Anaconda-Pintler Wilderness

2012-06-02T05:10:00Z 2012-06-03T14:53:11Z Hikers required to have permits in Anaconda-Pintler WildernessBy ROB CHANEY of the Missoulian missoulian.com
June 02, 2012 5:10 am  • 

Entry remains free, but the U.S. Forest Service wants to know who’s using the Anaconda-Pintler Wilderness and for how long.

Rangers will check hikers for completed permits when they travel the popular backcountry area south of Georgetown Lake. While there are no restrictions on campsite use or duration, the permits serve a couple of functions, according to Forest Service spokesman Brandan Schulze.

“It’s to give us an idea of trends in the area, so we can refine management to minimize impacts,” Schulze said. “But it’s primarily to reach out to people about leave-no-trace principles.”

The backcountry ethic of protecting sensitive ground cover, removing all trash and other evidence of a visit and keeping noxious weeds from invading the wilderness is essential to maintaining the quality of remote areas.

“It’s a beautiful wilderness, and we’d just like to keep it that way,” Forest Service backcountry program manager Deb Gale said. “The A-P is small and narrow and surrounded on all sides with bigger places, and weeds and more people.”

Most Forest Service wilderness trailheads have boxes with registration forms. In Montana, the forms are voluntary and don’t require a name or address. They do ask for the size of a party, expected campground stops and duration of trip. The forms are deposited in a locked box so others can’t find out who’s in the woods or how long they’re away from home.

Gale said a public comment session back in 2000 supported the voluntary permit forms in the Anaconda-Pintler Wilderness. But since then, wilderness rangers had reported growing numbers of people ignoring the permit, or disregarding warnings about backcountry abuse.

Rangers may cite people for failure to have a permit in the wilderness, with an accompanying fine of $50 or $75. No other Montana wilderness areas are actively enforcing the permit requirement.

“Often when you get to this point, you already have big problems in your wilderness areas,” Gale said. “And lots of those times you don’t have the opportunity to do anything about it. We wanted to be more proactive than reactive.”

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(33) Comments

  1. USFS Northern Region
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    USFS Northern Region - June 04, 2012 3:52 pm
    Good afternoon. Thank you for following up on my comment from yesterday. I want to preface my response by saying the registration requirement was implemented as a way to help get anonymous information that can help with the management of the Wilderness. The intent of the registration requirement is not to fine people who don't register, but instead the intent is to get information to assist with Wilderness management.

    Also, it may be a subtle difference, but the Forest Service really isn't "permitting" anything in this case. None of your Wilderness areas in Montana require a permit to hike into. The difference here is between a voluntary registration versus mandatory registration, and that difference allows the Forest Service to collect more accurate information regarding the use of this area.

    Because you asked about the enforcement, I want to make sure that I address it. There is a special order that was signed by the Forest Supervisors for the Bitterroot National Forest and the Beaverhead-Deerlodge National Forest back in September 2001 to require registration. The authority for issuing and enforcing these kinds of special orders comes from Title 36 of the Code of Federal Regulations, part 261, section 50. The authority for creating regulations to help protect the National Forests comes from Title 16 of the United States Code, section 551.

    If you're interested, you can find more information on Forest Service law enforcement at http://www.fs.fed.us/lei/.

    Regards,
    Brandan Schulze

  2. madtaxpayer
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    madtaxpayer - June 04, 2012 1:25 pm
    no, we shouldn't have to pay for a permit, but do you have any other solutions? We can't get the FS to babysit the idiots in the woods, and if we just keep picking up after them, they'll just keep throwing more trash everywhere. the only way to make someone stop disobeying the law is to take their money. time to start fining the scum in this state.
  3. madtaxpayer
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    madtaxpayer - June 04, 2012 1:20 pm
    I do agree with you, people did it to themselves. they are pigs. although I really don't want to touch someone else's garbage, I'd much rather our taxes are used to make the forest service employees get out there and monitor popular spots for camping, hiking etc and fine those that are caught trashing the area.

    As for WA and OR, there are popular hiking trails in the cascades that do charge people, in fact I suggest you stay away from the trails that do not charge, you're likely to get your windows busted and your car robbed and trashed. After all it is WA state, YUK!
  4. madtaxpayer
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    madtaxpayer - June 04, 2012 1:15 pm
    well, as I walk through town, I notice many of you allow your dogs to deficate on the sidewalks or bike trails and do not pick it up. maybe there should be a permit for walking your dogs also. If people cannot be responsible then they should have to pay for their ignorance.
  5. madtaxpayer
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    madtaxpayer - June 04, 2012 1:13 pm
    many of you brought this on yourselves. I'm tired of seeing beer cans, toilet paper, garbage EVERYWHERE I go in Lolo Nat. forest! EVERYWHERE! you people are filthy pigs, maybe if you have to buy a permit, you'll learn to be responsible, oh, wait, no that won't happen.

    It's time for FS employees to hide in the trees when they see someone packing up to leave and fine them a hefty amount if they're caught leaving any trash.

    Maybe monitor the local hot spots in the forest where the kids party and leave beer cans everywhere. time to start making the filthy pigs pay.
  6. DVanVorous
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    DVanVorous - June 03, 2012 7:03 pm
    I see that more than a few folks have their tin foil on a touch tight in a number of the LTE on this topic...

    Fact is iffen folks get outside of ID and MT they just may find the same-similar thing being done in other Rocky Mt states like CO or UT for similar reasons, NOT some ultra-left clandestine agenda to close off the trails as suggested by the chicken little types.

    The one fact mentioned in the article along with a couple of LTE writers hit the nail on the head, i.e. the infamous 1% of slobs that muck the whole deal up for everybody because they feel thai its perfectly OK to leave a mess for others including "Ranger Rick" and his staff to pick up; most times its Ranger Rick and his staff that has to deal with it. Iffen you really want to help out so as to avoid this, when you find garbage PICK IT UP don't just tsk-tsk and wander off on your way. That little action will help avoid the whole permit debacle if everybody helps.
  7. GaryTinkSanders
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    GaryTinkSanders - June 03, 2012 6:29 pm
    As you may be well aware of policy does not dictate law, before the service starts talking about fines for not having permits I want you to post the legislation where this became law. These are public lands and the service has a good number of employees in the wilderness at all times so there is no need for special permits to watch over bad campers. I ask that the service quit trying to implement their will before the people are forced to take action. Your actions on this subject will be addressed in the 2013 legislature for sure. Thank you and awaiting your response.
  8. USFS Northern Region
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    USFS Northern Region - June 03, 2012 4:46 pm
    Good afternoon. First, I want to thank Rob and the Missoulian for reporting on this story and passing the word along. After reading some of the comments, I wanted to address a couple concerns in particular that have come up.

    Because the idea of the free registration is to get an idea on the numbers of hikers, days of use, and outreach on Leave No Trace -- putting your name and address on your registration is completely optional. The same goes for any of the Wilderness areas that have voluntary registration.

    The article says that no other Montana wilderness areas are actively enforcing the permit requirement. However, there are no permit requirements for entry into any Montana Wilderness areas, and the Anaconda Pintler is the only one with the registration requirement.

    Again, registration is free and anonymous. If there are any other issues I can help address, post it here or send an email to r1_comment@fs.fed.us.

    Regards,
    Brandan Schulze
  9. Snowcrest
    Report Abuse
    Snowcrest - June 03, 2012 2:22 pm
    Bearpaws says: "no ID? Go to jail,idiots"
    This is your classic far-left wing radical. This type of left-wing radical wants our citizens to go to jail when they dont have ID but will fight tooth and nail to protect illegal aliens from even being asked for ID.
    Just more self-identification from Bearpaws.
    Keep it coming Bearpaws, you are a revealing what your party stands for, which is especially helpful in this election year.
  10. The_Boneshackler
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    The_Boneshackler - June 03, 2012 11:57 am
    Many trailheads DO require the payment of a fee just to park your car. The Forest Circus has a comprehensive list here:
    http://www.fs.fed.us/passespermits/rec-fee.shtml
  11. bearpaws
    Report Abuse
    bearpaws - June 03, 2012 6:25 am
    Thanks again for the self-identification, snowcrest.
  12. Mister 2 U
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    Mister 2 U - June 03, 2012 5:52 am
    I'm for this idea being as I have to pay to hunt the land, fish the land, and ride my OHV on trails in the land. About time the hikers should have to start paying some of the land management bills.

    That being said NO ONE should have be required to have permits for land or park usage! That is why we pay taxes. That is why it's called public land!

    @bearpaws... really? I'm mean... REALLY?
  13. GaryTinkSanders
    Report Abuse
    GaryTinkSanders - June 02, 2012 10:37 pm
    Well, well, well, looks like we got us a real problem here! People reading these comments please vote smart this election cycle and remember code words of the people who want to lock us out of our wilderness. I am not a conspiracy theorist but this seems like agenda 21 regulations, combined with the extra 12,000 acres of immediate wilderness in the Missouri breaks for the Buffalo, the millions of acres of new land proposed to go into wilderness under Tester's wilderness bill. The czars that have been appointed by Obama, The power of Fema. The power and subversive methods of DOJ, I used to be under the mentality that we would need to give up a little freedom for our public safety, I was wrong, more freedom leads to greater public safety. I will say that if I run across a mess in the wilderness that someone else left behind I will clean up the mess, complain about it and go on my way, if I see someone leaving a mess I will reiterate their responsibilities. The Govt seems to get bolder every time they pull one of these stunts, pretty soon they will just come out and tell us that we are not wanted in the forests.
  14. Snowcrest
    Report Abuse
    Snowcrest - June 02, 2012 9:47 pm
    @ bearpaws,
    If the USFW needed real money to help with resource damage like you say, they can get it from the budget like they do on all expenses.
    What's going on here is pure surveilence.
    Bearpaws is our far left-wing radical that only has the freeman situation to compare all things to that he disagrees with.
    A small man with a distorted vision for this country.
  15. hellgatenights
    Report Abuse
    hellgatenights - June 02, 2012 8:07 pm
    For Bearpaw, Reason and orthers who "Don't get it".........tune in.


    The permits are a harbinger for things to come. The state and feds nearly always have an alternate agenda.......one that they cannot be forthright about because us hicks are just to stupid to get it.

    We saw this in Deer Lodge last year and the "Spotted Dog" land acquisition wherein I had to correct Mike Thompson, the Region 2 manager, and I insisted on a retraction my Mr. Dickson, editor of Montana Outdoors.

    Thompson told a reporter that their are wolves, grizzlies and lynx on the Spotted Dog. The wolves are fairly new, as we know. Grizzlies may migrate out of the scapegoat and Bob for a short season.......but there are NO lynx. None.

    So why did Thompson say there are lynx there?

    Answer: He was planting seed for future plans.....plans you and I do not know about.

    As we saw....the ink was barely dry and here comes governor pinhead with a plans to plant buffalo. Not once......in all the meetings held in Deer Lodge.....did Thompson or any of the other state stooges mention plans for buffalo.

    Lynx get an instant rise out of me........some of us recall the disgusting details of bogus lynx reports, doctored data and flat out lying by federal and state biologists. they were caught red handed........no dispute. They are all liars and nearly go millions of acres locked up to protect a phantom cat.

    I suspect Bearpaw is one of these zealots........probably has a membership to the "Garrity Club."

  16. c
    Report Abuse
    c - June 02, 2012 7:11 pm
    So we would be intruding on the government's land? And we would go to jail for not carrying ID while walking on public land? It's worse than I thought.
  17. bearpaws
    Report Abuse
    bearpaws - June 02, 2012 5:34 pm
    "Intrusive government"? That's what the Jordan Freeman said. Tell me, how does the government intrude on intruders? There's an enormous price to pay for resource damage. And it is escalating to the point where we all have to pay, even for those of us who leave minimal trace. No ID? Go to jail, idiots.
  18. Voice of reason
    Report Abuse
    Voice of reason - June 02, 2012 2:55 pm
    Have any of you read the WHOLE article? The point I am getting from this is people are not following the "Leave NO Trace" policy and if you don't want the area to look like a dump something needs to be done..so instead of complaining why not support the effort and call people on leaving a mess when you see it happen. Volunteer to do trail and camp site clean up..DO SOMETHING BESIDES COMPLAIN!
    To the_ Boneshackler..I have hiked in Oregon, Washington and Idaho, I have NEVER had to pay to hike a national forest trail..Show proof of your facts instead of trying to cause a bigger issue.
  19. Flip Wilson
    Report Abuse
    Flip Wilson - June 02, 2012 2:50 pm
    I'm glad to see so many of us have the same ugly feeling I got when I read this article this morning. Ever-more-intrusive government. How about if we have a new comment period? A real one? Any Ranger Rick stops me, my name is Bob Smith; 101 Smith Lane; Smithtown, MA and no sir/ma'am, I don't carry ID in the wilderness and no, I don't have a car in the parking lot - a friend dropped me off and his name is Tom Smith. See ya. Don't tread on me.
  20. birch tree
    Report Abuse
    birch tree - June 02, 2012 10:46 am
    Looks like all the comments are negative on this! Good, this is how it started in California now you can't even shoot in the national forest down there, and you have Forest Service personnel asking questions like what's in the ice chest. During this downturn in the economy the Forest Service has continued to add personnel. Watch out folks here it comes......
  21. The_Boneshackler
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    The_Boneshackler - June 02, 2012 10:38 am
    Just wait until they start charging $5-6 per day to hike on any Forest Service trail. Like they do in Oregon Washington, California, and on some National Forests in Idaho. The long-term goal, of course, is the gradual privatization of public land, one cut at a time.
  22. mcbp
    Report Abuse
    mcbp - June 02, 2012 10:03 am
    This is how bureaucracies operate, new rules, require a new fine and of course new employees to enforce and collet the fine, then the fine's not enough to pay for the new employees so they have to tax and fine more... Wash Rinse Repeat a few times and you get what we have here. Bureaucracies don't solve anything, it wouldn't be good for the bureaucrats, all they do is find more things to justify their existence.
  23. mcbp
    Report Abuse
    mcbp - June 02, 2012 10:00 am
    Complete BS. Good luck getting a permit out of me.
  24. Waltzing Matilda
    Report Abuse
    Waltzing Matilda - June 02, 2012 9:23 am
    And now Senator Tester and Senator Baucus want more wilderness? Get ready people. the time is coming when you will have to get a permit to go into any wilderness.

    Can you say CARMA?
  25. Iben
    Report Abuse
    Iben - June 02, 2012 8:46 am
    The camel's nose has been in the tent for a long time. Watch out...here comes the rest of the camel! Very predictable...give these guys an inch and they eventually take the whole thing! I'll bet Brandon Schulze and Deb Gale think they personally own the A-P and are doing the rest of us a favor by "letting" us use it...with their permission of course! These two should become new additions to the unemployment stats!
  26. BobbyLee
    Report Abuse
    BobbyLee - June 02, 2012 8:42 am
    Ihre Papiere Bitte

    Same old political BS used to justify this:

    "Gale said a public comment session back in 2000 supported the voluntary permit forms in the Anaconda-Pintlar Wilderness"

    A 12 year-old survey, taken under a completely different situation, and under different management, no doubt, which then, to satiate some useless administrator's personal agenda, turns into...

    "Rangers may cite people for failure to have a permit in the wilderness, with an accompanying fine of $50 or $75."

    Absolutely priceless, but typical, bucking BS.
  27. msonelson
    Report Abuse
    msonelson - June 02, 2012 8:15 am
    More federal nonsense. I'm going to hike the AP and I'm not getting a permit. I've hiked the wilderness in Montana my whole life and I'm not about to start asking for your permission. You think you need to fine me - go ahead. I'm not paying your stinking fine either!
  28. Got concrete
    Report Abuse
    Got concrete - June 02, 2012 7:57 am
    Hopey/ changey isn't quite what you thought it would be? Wait till they require permits to harvest your patchouli. Better shave your legs and go to court.
  29. c
    Report Abuse
    c - June 02, 2012 7:21 am
    whoever came up with this idea should have been fired on the spot
  30. Roger
    Report Abuse
    Roger - June 02, 2012 7:20 am
    This policy carries micromanagement too far, it's too intrusive and overreaching. The Forest Circus should lose the Little Hitler attitude and back off.
  31. Kojack
    Report Abuse
    Kojack - June 02, 2012 5:57 am
    glad to see the a-nal micromanagement stemming to hikers as well. The off road world is use to this kind of behavior. Get ready for more of this hikers and especially horsey people. Someday I fear this im in control mentality will go so far as to put a booth at the bottom of the hill and let you go in and observe nature but do not go past. Im sure this is only the beginning.
  32. Glacier X
    Report Abuse
    Glacier X - June 02, 2012 3:08 am
    When will I need a permit to walk my dog down the street? How many layers of bureacracy must there be everywhere?? I fully agree with all aspects of wilderness and all rules and laws that apply, but why do I have to go get approval and then wait for all the processing , just to go enjoy nature?
  33. hellgatenights
    Report Abuse
    hellgatenights - June 02, 2012 12:25 am
    “It’s to give us an idea of trends in the area, so we can refine management to minimize impacts,” Schulze said. “But it’s primarily to reach out to people about leave-no-trace principles.”

    Typical fed parasite.........lying about the permit while having another agenda.

    Here's the thing buttercup/ It's not YOUR land, you are a visitor on the AP just like I am......and I do not have to report to you on my activities in the AP. It is none of your business.

    Do I make myself clear? Crystal Clear?
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