Big Bend Chat

Big Bend National Park Q&A => Campgrounds => Topic started by: EmilyP on December 14, 2018, 12:05:05 PM

Title: How would a gov't shutdown impact campgrounds at Big Bend
Post by: EmilyP on December 14, 2018, 12:05:05 PM
I've been planning a Christmas trip to Big Bend for months.  I have my campground reservations all set, getting the gear together for this bucket list trip.  And now what's all this about a government shutdown?  I'm not trying to start a political debate about the merits of a shutdown or the reasons behind it.  Please don't go there.  I know that it may or may not happen, but can any of you help me thing through the what if's?  I'm planning to leave on the 22nd (and get to the park on the 23rd), the current deadline for coming to some sort of agreement seems to be the 21st.  The only things I can find online seem to indicate that the parks won't be closed, but I'm afraid that the bathrooms will be padlocked and that our reservation, the one I made in JUNE won't be enforced and someone will take my site.  Speaking of enforcement, is there reason to think the campgrounds would be less safe due to fewer rangers???  If the park is open I'd still like to come, but what extra things might I need to plan for?  Anyone know anything???? Anyone else having similar thoughts????  It's a 20 hour drive for me each way so it's not like I can just turn around and come back later.
Title: Re: How would a gov't shutdown impact campgrounds at Big Bend
Post by: elhombre on December 14, 2018, 12:31:22 PM
Depends on.  Back when the government "shut down", the liberal progressives were in charge.  They went out of their way to make the public feel their anger by shutting down stupid stuff, and make the Republicans look bad.   The best example of this that I remember was the pull out area that a tourist would use to view Mt. Rushmore. 
http://michellemalkin.com/2013/10/06/scenery-shutdown-of-the-day-roadside-access-to-mt-rushmore-coned-off/

Different people in charge now.  The NPS knows that all employees are guaranteed their back pay when the government "shuts down".  They actually just get a paid vacation.  If that translates into the campground being left open is, unfortunately, unknown.  Last time, many people just went into the park, and did what they wanted on our public land.  I would advise you to bring your backpacking stuff, and just plan on spending time out in the back country if the campgrounds are shut down.  That's what I'm going to do.   :great:
Title: Re: How would a gov't shutdown impact campgrounds at Big Bend
Post by: marufo on December 14, 2018, 12:35:03 PM
If the Interior Dept is not funded, the park will be closed and you will not be able to get in. Yeah, that sucks. Can't go any further without getting political, but don't worry - others on this board will.
Title: Re: How would a gov't shutdown impact campgrounds at Big Bend
Post by: badknees on December 14, 2018, 03:27:39 PM
During the government shutdown in 2013, the previous administration closed park entrances and put up barriers around national monuments.
Title: Re: How would a gov't shutdown impact campgrounds at Big Bend
Post by: Al on December 14, 2018, 04:15:21 PM
Yup, the park will be closed.
Title: Re: How would a gov't shutdown impact campgrounds at Big Bend
Post by: congahead on December 14, 2018, 05:02:01 PM
If BIBE is shut down and you canít get in, consider Big Bend Ranch State Park.

Even more rugged and remote.
Title: Re: How would a gov't shutdown impact campgrounds at Big Bend
Post by: wigfall on December 15, 2018, 07:25:58 AM
big Bend an other parks stayed open in the schumer shut down of '18
Gates open, buildings closed
Title: Re: How would a gov't shutdown impact campgrounds at Big Bend
Post by: badknees on December 15, 2018, 09:36:53 AM
Give them a call?
Title: Re: How would a gov't shutdown impact campgrounds at Big Bend
Post by: presidio on December 15, 2018, 08:07:55 PM
Yup, the park will be closed.

I don't know that will be the case. In the infamous attempted closure of pull-outs on state highways at Mt Rushmore and sidewalks in front of DC monuments, the NPS took a more than well-deserved beating in negative publicity (especially when WWII vets took down the closure of the WWII Memorial in DC and the NPS stood by, absurd and feckless, looking even more petty and ridiculous than usual.

The more recent closure left sites open but without services. Those able to function without NPS handholding had a great time. The NPS had the willies and debilitating anxiety that the public was able to use their (which "their" is left to your perception) public land unsupervised. I am not aware that any great (or even minor) calamities befell either the tourists or the resource (though, undoubtedly, the sycophants fawning over NPS control will disagree and produce examples).

The biggest issue is whether you will be allowed in the park; if so, you will be on your own (as you are on ALL other federal public land at all times). Enjoy.
Title: Re: How would a gov't shutdown impact campgrounds at Big Bend
Post by: Al on December 15, 2018, 08:36:01 PM
Yup, the park will be closed.

I don't know that will be the case. In the infamous attempted closure of pull-outs on state highways at Mt Rushmore and sidewalks in front of DC monuments, the NPS took a more than well-deserved beating in negative publicity (especially when WWII vets took down the closure of the WWII Memorial in DC and the NPS stood by, absurd and feckless, looking even more petty and ridiculous than usual.

The more recent closure left sites open but without services. Those able to function without NPS handholding had a great time. The NPS had the willies and debilitating anxiety that the public was able to use their (which "their" is left to your perception) public land unsupervised. I am not aware that any great (or even minor) calamities befell either the tourists or the resource (though, undoubtedly, the sycophants fawning over NPS control will disagree and produce examples).

The biggest issue is whether you will be allowed in the park; if so, you will be on your own (as you are on ALL other federal public land at all times). Enjoy.

It has been every time I can remember.  We wanted to back into the Sierra del Carmen's in December 1995 and we couldn't get in the park to cross into Mexico.  Ended up going to what's now called Lonesome Ridge Wilderness Study Area and boy oh boy is it lonesome!  I would have run out of gas if I hadn't had two gas tanks in the truck.
Title: Re: How would a gov't shutdown impact campgrounds at Big Bend
Post by: presidio on December 15, 2018, 11:03:09 PM
It has been every time I can remember.

Well, the solution is to go to BBRSP or drive a bit farther and use the BLM/USFS lands in NM. Those agencies simply do not attempt to close access (there is no practical way to do so), nor do they care that you are out there on your own.

The agency that does not trust the public is spelled NPS.
Title: Re: How would a gov't shutdown impact campgrounds at Big Bend
Post by: marufo on December 16, 2018, 09:56:54 AM
EmilyP, it looks like the good news is that the park probably wonít be closed, per the Washington Post:
Quote
The Statue of Liberty, for example, closed to thousands of visitors during a brief government funding lapse in January. National parks across the country stayed open, though without visitor centers and fees and with only minimal emergency staff.
National Park Service officials confirmed Friday that parks would stay open this time ó but they declined to say whether the Statue of Liberty would again close.
There will probably not be any staff to make sure nobody takes your reserved campsite, but I doubt that will be an issue since the prospect and uncertainty of a shutdown will prompt a lot of folks to change their plans. Whether or not the restrooms will be locked, I have no idea Ė but there wonít be anybody cleaning or resupplying TP etc. And although when it very rarely happens it gets a lot of attention, the chance of danger from other campers is so miniscule that itís not worth worrying about.

Besides perhaps looking into human waste disposal alternatives, I would suggest that the best thing you can do to prepare for a possible shutdown is to learn as much as you can about the park before you get here, because the visitor centers will not be open to provide advice and suggestions.

Lastly, I would like to apologize for the few on this board whose authority issues and political self-righteousness apparently make them incapable of respecting your polite request to keep politics out of the discussion. In fact, although it may be understandably hard for you to believe at this point, most of the folks here are glad to help first-time visitors with advice and suggestions.

Hope you enjoy your trip!
Title: Re: How would a gov't shutdown impact campgrounds at Big Bend
Post by: presidio on December 16, 2018, 10:50:41 AM
There will probably not be any staff to make sure nobody takes your reserved campsite, but I doubt that will be an issue since the prospect and uncertainty of a shutdown will prompt a lot of folks to change their plans.

You may find virtually no one in the parks, as the majority clientele typical of NPS areas likely will be terrified at the prospect of not having someone to look after them.

Quote
Hope you enjoy your trip!

Quite likely, you will have one of the best experiences possible in an NPS area.
Title: Re: How would a gov't shutdown impact campgrounds at Big Bend
Post by: mule ears on December 16, 2018, 02:41:19 PM
EmilyP, it looks like the good news is that the park probably wonít be closed, per the Washington Post:
Quote
The Statue of Liberty, for example, closed to thousands of visitors during a brief government funding lapse in January. National parks across the country stayed open, though without visitor centers and fees and with only minimal emergency staff.
National Park Service officials confirmed Friday that parks would stay open this time ó but they declined to say whether the Statue of Liberty would again close.
There will probably not be any staff to make sure nobody takes your reserved campsite, but I doubt that will be an issue since the prospect and uncertainty of a shutdown will prompt a lot of folks to change their plans. Whether or not the restrooms will be locked, I have no idea Ė but there wonít be anybody cleaning or resupplying TP etc. And although when it very rarely happens it gets a lot of attention, the chance of danger from other campers is so miniscule that itís not worth worrying about.

Besides perhaps looking into human waste disposal alternatives, I would suggest that the best thing you can do to prepare for a possible shutdown is to learn as much as you can about the park before you get here, because the visitor centers will not be open to provide advice and suggestions.

Lastly, I would like to apologize for the few on this board whose authority issues and political self-righteousness apparently make them incapable of respecting your polite request to keep politics out of the discussion. In fact, although it may be understandably hard for you to believe at this point, most of the folks here are glad to help first-time visitors with advice and suggestions.

Hope you enjoy your trip!

marufo beat me to it.  +1 to all of the above.
Title: Re: How would a gov't shutdown impact campgrounds at Big Bend
Post by: RichardM on December 17, 2018, 09:30:16 AM
I wonder if the campground host will hang around if the shutdown happens.  :eusa_think:

Bring your own toilet paper and hope the bathrooms aren't locked. ;)
Title: Re: How would a gov't shutdown impact campgrounds at Big Bend
Post by: BlindWilly on December 17, 2018, 01:25:01 PM
I would look into the state park, which is just to the west.  Friendlier staff, less crowds, etc.
Just don't take the camp sites I already reserved!  HAHA
Title: Re: How would a gov't shutdown impact campgrounds at Big Bend
Post by: CC on December 17, 2018, 02:32:54 PM
Here is the NPS contingency plan for a funding related shutdown .

https://www.doi.gov/sites/doi.gov/files/2018_01_nps_contingency_plan.pdf

Visitor Services
- Park roads, lookouts, trails, and open-air memorials will generally remain accessible to
visitors, but there will be no NPS-provided visitor services, including restrooms, trash
collection, facilities and roads maintenance (including plowing), and public information.
- As a general rule, if a facility or area is locked or secured during non-business hours
(buildings, gated parking lots, etc.) it should be locked or secured for the duration of the
shutdown.
- The NPS will not operate parks during the shutdown Ė no visitor services will be
provided. The NPS will not issue permits, conduct interpretive or educational programs,
collect trash, operate or provide restrooms, maintain roads or walkways (including
plowing and ice melting), or provide visitor information.
4
- If visitor access becomes a safety, health or resource protection issue (weather, road
conditions, resource damage, garbage build-up to the extent that it endangers human
health or wildlife, etc.), the area must be closed. Parks may not bring on additional staff
to accommodate visitor access.
- The NPS will cease providing services for NPS-operated campgrounds, including
maintenance, janitorial, bathrooms, showers, check-in/check-out and reservations.
Visitors in campgrounds will not be asked to leave but should be advised that no services
will be available. In addition, visitors holding campground reservations for a later date
will be advised that the NPS is not operating campgrounds, including providing checkin/check-out services during a shutdown. There is no guarantee their reserved campsite
will be ready and available should they arrive during a government shutdown.
- Park websites and social media will not be maintained. Parks will not provide regular
road or trail condition updates. As a part of their shutdown activities, park staff will post
signs notifying visitors that no visitor services, maintenance or other management
activities will be conducted, and emergency and rescue services will be limited.
- At the superintendentís discretion, parks may close grounds/areas with sensitive natural,
cultural, historic, or archaeological resources vulnerable to destruction, looting, or other
damage that cannot be adequately protected by the excepted law enforcement staff that
remain on duty to conduct essential activities.
- At the superintendentís discretion and with approval of the Regional Director or Director,
parks may enter into arrangements with local governments, cooperating associations,
and/or other third parties (see below for concessioners and Commercial Use
Authorization holders) for donation of specified visitor services. The NPS will not
reimburse third parties (through payments, franchise fee relief or any other consideration)
who provide such visitor services. If NPS staff will be conducting the work using funds
from a third party, funds must be transferred and deposited before the NPS may continue
or resume providing visitor services. The Washington Office will provide template
agreements. Agreements should not be established for a period of less than three days.
Because a shutdown of park operations may take up to two days, parks should begin
shutdown when the balance in the donation account falls below a two-day balance.
- In general, enforcement actions should be reactive rather than proactive. Parks should
not take measures to keep visitors out of an area unless access presents a serious and
imminent threat to human life, safety, or health, or a serious and imminent threat to the
condition of a sensitive natural or cultural resource.
Title: Re: How would a gov't shutdown impact campgrounds at Big Bend
Post by: badknees on December 17, 2018, 03:12:11 PM
"If visitor access becomes a safety, health or resource protection issue (weather, road
conditions, resource damage, garbage build-up to the extent that it endangers human
health or wildlife, etc.), the area must be closed."

I suspect that this clause with be the impetus for closure.
Title: Re: How would a gov't shutdown impact campgrounds at Big Bend
Post by: RichardM on December 17, 2018, 04:08:59 PM
"If visitor access becomes a safety, health or resource protection issue (weather, road
conditions, resource damage, garbage build-up to the extent that it endangers human
health or wildlife, etc.), the area must be closed."

I suspect that this clause with be the impetus for closure.
A few years back the bathroom at Sotol Vista met this criteria...
Title: Re: How would a gov't shutdown impact campgrounds at Big Bend
Post by: presidio on December 17, 2018, 04:22:26 PM
Here is the NPS contingency plan for a funding related shutdown .

https://www.doi.gov/sites/doi.gov/files/2018_01_nps_contingency_plan.pdf

It appears the NPS learned something from their 2013 debacle.
Title: Re: How would a gov't shutdown impact campgrounds at Big Bend
Post by: presidio on December 17, 2018, 04:35:20 PM
"If visitor access becomes a safety, health or resource protection issue (weather, road
conditions, resource damage, garbage build-up to the extent that it endangers human
health or wildlife, etc.), the area must be closed."

I suspect that this clause with be the impetus for closure.

Unlike the caveat about the stock market, with the NPS past performance is a very reliable indicator of future performance. However, the January 2018 shutdown did not affect land access, camping or hiking. Facilities were closed but not the outdoors.

Closures under the above quote would take a number of days to reach levels prompting closure, if they did at all. There would be no justification for closing something under the premise it 'might'  eventually be necessary.

The needy tourist types mostly will stay home in the absence of hand-holding services. Those able to function without the NPS hovering about will find far fewer people in the parks and thus less pressure on facilities. After all, how is camping at RGV with locked restrooms and shut off water any different from backcountry roadside camping? It isn't but the needy won't be able to function without flush toilets so they won't be seen braving the newly 'wild,' scary, and inconvenient conditions.

As I've said before, if you can function without the NPS, it may be the best trip ever to Big Bend.
Title: Re: How would a gov't shutdown impact campgrounds at Big Bend
Post by: CC on December 17, 2018, 04:45:28 PM
As I've said before, if you can function without the NPS, it may be the best trip ever to Big Bend.

Precisely.  Drive to your favorite roadside campsite, and if it's unocupied, it's yours!  Arrive to the park after business hours and want to camp on the South Rim that night? No problem! 

-CC
Title: Re: How would a gov't shutdown impact campgrounds at Big Bend
Post by: presidio on December 17, 2018, 05:24:10 PM
Precisely.  Drive to your favorite roadside campsite, and if it's unocupied, it's yours!  Arrive to the park after business hours and want to camp on the South Rim that night? No problem! 

And that is what gives the NPS the willies. If the public learns the NPS does not add anything to the experience but, instead, detracts from that experience, public opinion as to their value is at risk of change.
Title: Re: How would a gov't shutdown impact campgrounds at Big Bend
Post by: EmilyP on December 20, 2018, 03:07:41 PM
Thanks everyone, your thoughts are helpful.  It seems like the stores and lodge are not run by nps.  So it seems they would likely stay open based on what I could find.  However, I called the park today and their answer was, ďwe have not been given any information about any plans for a shutdown.  If we know anything we will post it in the alerts section of the website.Ē  She sounded quite annoyed.  I was probably not the first to ask that question today.  So, if anyone else finds this thread, know that calling the park is futile and the best way to get information is to keep an eyes on the website.
Title: Re: How would a gov't shutdown impact campgrounds at Big Bend
Post by: RichardM on December 20, 2018, 04:03:32 PM
Thanks everyone, your thoughts are helpful.  It seems like the stores and lodge are not run by nps.  So it seems they would likely stay open based on what I could find.  However, I called the park today and their answer was, ďwe have not been given any information about any plans for a shutdown.  If we know anything we will post it in the alerts section of the website.Ē  She sounded quite annoyed.  I was probably not the first to ask that question today.  So, if anyone else finds this thread, know that calling the park is futile and the best way to get information is to keep an eyes on the website.
It usually takes them a while to get the NPS websites updated. Look for updates to appear on the Big Bend N.P. Facebook page (https://www.facebook.com/BigBendNPS/) first, as it's much easier for them to update.
Title: Re: How would a gov't shutdown impact campgrounds at Big Bend
Post by: bacon_on_top on December 20, 2018, 09:53:06 PM
So, in the event of a shut down, it's likely that no one will be issuing permits.  Are there any legal issues if people set out to do any camping in the backcountry zones or chisos sites?
Title: Re: How would a gov't shutdown impact campgrounds at Big Bend
Post by: presidio on December 20, 2018, 10:09:39 PM
So, in the event of a shut down, it's likely that no one will be issuing permits.  Are there any legal issues if people set out to do any camping in the backcountry zones or chisos sites?

Unknown (in the real world, where some common sense would apply, you likely would not have an issue...but this is the NPS you're dealing with).

Only way to find out is to do it.

I would suggest that if staying in a developed site, pay the usual fee. If in a backcountry site, you would be unable to obtain a permit or pay the fee (that shouldn't exist); however, if you read the regulations you are prohibited from backcountry camping without a permit in advance.

While you cannot get a permit and would clearly most likely be okay if you moved in and out before the shutdown expired, being in a site when the shutdown ends might prove interesting.

In your defense, since the park is not collecting entry fees (which also are 'required') while shutdown, the most they could do to folks driving around would be to require them to get an entry sticker on the day things reopened. Logic says that's when backcountry permits also would again be enforceable.

Lots of gray area. Be bold and be a test case. You might establish some case law.

Also likely, it would be at least a day or so after things reopen before the NPS got around to the non-paved places. All the tourist areas would have to be brought under control first. The backcountry camps along dirt roads would be first, hike-in sites would be longer still to check.
Title: Re: How would a gov't shutdown impact campgrounds at Big Bend
Post by: Ranger Tim on December 21, 2018, 10:43:28 AM
The last major shutdown resulted in the biggest SAR event BBRSP has ever seen. If you do come to BBRSP make good decisions and stay safe.

http://bigbend.arkansasonline.com/

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Title: Re: How would a gov't shutdown impact campgrounds at Big Bend
Post by: presidio on December 21, 2018, 02:55:41 PM
The last major shutdown resulted in the biggest SAR event BBRSP has ever seen. If you do come to BBRSP make good decisions and stay safe.

http://bigbend.arkansasonline.com/

Yes, but that event was precipitated by the NPS forcing their typical inept clientele out of the safety and comfort zone of hand-holding services. Between the NPS and folks completely out of their element (and not understanding their self-image of 'experienced' desert users...was anything but), they nearly died.

They were damned lucky.

They do get a gold star for telling their story, but the lesson likely was/is lost on those most in need of the cautionary tale.

However, reading their story does not instill confidence that even they actually learned the lesson.
Title: Re: How would a gov't shutdown impact campgrounds at Big Bend
Post by: wigfall on December 21, 2018, 06:37:23 PM
The last major shutdown resulted in the biggest SAR event BBRSP has ever seen. If you do come to BBRSP make good decisions and stay safe.

http://bigbend.arkansasonline.com/

Yes, but that event was precipitated by the NPS forcing their typical inept clientele out of the safety and comfort zone of hand-holding services. Between the NPS and folks completely out of their element (and not understanding their self-image of 'experienced' desert users...was anything but), they nearly died.

They were damned lucky.

They do get a gold star for telling their story, but the lesson likely was/is lost on those most in need of the cautionary tale.

However, reading their story does not instill confidence that even they actually learned the lesson.

Peshaw, this is an extreme reach even for you,
Title: Re: How would a gov't shutdown impact campgrounds at Big Bend
Post by: Al on December 21, 2018, 07:38:26 PM
https://thehill.com/policy/energy-environment/422487-under-shutdown-national-parks-to-stay-open-without-staff

We will see.
Title: Re: How would a gov't shutdown impact campgrounds at Big Bend
Post by: presidio on December 21, 2018, 09:30:33 PM
The last major shutdown resulted in the biggest SAR event BBRSP has ever seen. If you do come to BBRSP make good decisions and stay safe.

http://bigbend.arkansasonline.com/

Yes, but that event was precipitated by the NPS forcing their typical inept clientele out of the safety and comfort zone of hand-holding services. Between the NPS and folks completely out of their element (and not understanding their self-image of 'experienced' desert users...was anything but), they nearly died.

They were damned lucky.

They do get a gold star for telling their story, but the lesson likely was/is lost on those most in need of the cautionary tale.

However, reading their story does not instill confidence that even they actually learned the lesson.

Peshaw, this is an extreme reach even for you,

What exactly did I misstate?
Title: Re: How would a gov't shutdown impact campgrounds at Big Bend
Post by: Al on December 22, 2018, 09:48:54 AM
https://www.nps.gov/bibe/planyourvisit/government-shutdown.htm

The park will remain open but no permits will be issued so no backpacking or primitive camping.  I wonder about the Boquillas crossing?
Title: Re: How would a gov't shutdown impact campgrounds at Big Bend
Post by: mule ears on December 22, 2018, 10:25:54 AM
https://www.nps.gov/bibe/planyourvisit/government-shutdown.htm

The park will remain open but no permits will be issued so no backpacking or primitive camping.  I wonder about the Boquillas crossing?
I wonder why you can't just head into the Backcountry?

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Title: Re: How would a gov't shutdown impact campgrounds at Big Bend
Post by: Flash on December 22, 2018, 10:50:05 AM
https://www.nps.gov/bibe/planyourvisit/government-shutdown.htm

The park will remain open but no permits will be issued so no backpacking or primitive camping.  I wonder about the Boquillas crossing?
I wonder why you can't just head into the Backcountry?

Sent from my Nexus 6P using Big Bend Chat mobile app (http://r.tapatalk.com/byo?rid=88143)

Little known that there is a self-service kiosk at Persimmon Gap where one might make a stretch and issue themselves a River Permit and code it for back country instead. Essentially the same form. Fee gets paid. Rules get issued. Might actually work. Again might be a stretch.  ;)

Update: I learned the self-permitting at the Persimmon Gap Visitor Center is for the Lower Canyons only. Oh, well.
Title: Re: How would a gov't shutdown impact campgrounds at Big Bend
Post by: Al on December 22, 2018, 01:04:18 PM
https://www.nps.gov/bibe/planyourvisit/government-shutdown.htm

The park will remain open but no permits will be issued so no backpacking or primitive camping.  I wonder about the Boquillas crossing?
I wonder why you can't just head into the Backcountry?

Sent from my Nexus 6P using Big Bend Chat mobile app (http://r.tapatalk.com/byo?rid=88143)

You could but that would be a violation of the regulations unless your permit was already issued. But they will not be issuing any additional permits They conclude in all caps: ALL PARK REGULATIONS REMAIN IN EFFECT
AND WILL BE ENFORCED.
Title: Re: How would a gov't shutdown impact campgrounds at Big Bend
Post by: elhombre on December 22, 2018, 07:19:18 PM
If I am held to a standard that I must have a permit even though no one is being paid to issue me one, then I would say those rangers need to get the hell out of the public housing that no one is paying for also.  If I'm some how a squatter and need a ticket from LE, then the rangers are also trespassing on the same government property that is closed due to no oversight/ funding.

It's so chicken poop! 

Exactly how those rangers run the place.....

Count on it!
Title: Re: How would a gov't shutdown impact campgrounds at Big Bend
Post by: presidio on December 22, 2018, 08:51:05 PM
those rangers need to get the hell out of the public housing that no one is paying for also.

While there is much to dislike about the NPS method of operation, where provided federal employee housing is not free, but is charged at a rate approximating fair market value (a number perhaps harder to establish in a remote location like Big Bend where there is little comparable accommodations in the immediate area).

A quick search produced this document, which lays it all out: https://www.google.com/url?sa=t&rct=j&q=&esrc=s&source=web&cd=1&ved=2ahUKEwikst2F97TfAhXum-AKHfGhDvEQFjAAegQIChAC&url=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.whitehouse.gov%2Fwp-content%2Fuploads%2F2017%2F11%2FCircular-045.pdf&usg=AOvVaw1fsEk__wUzFSVl6ppVxxBe
Title: Re: How would a gov't shutdown impact campgrounds at Big Bend
Post by: Losthiker68 on December 23, 2018, 05:23:18 PM
If they have't re-opened the government by the time I'm planning on doing my BiBe trip, I may come anyway.

The roads will still be open so I can see most of the park.

I know LEGALLY doing my planned OML hike would be against the law. But, realistically, what are the odds I would get in trouble and what would the fine be?

My planned OML is from Jan 4-8. I was planning a day, maybe day and a half of dayhikes afterward. I cannot push the trip back by more than 4 days because of my work schedule.

 
Title: Re: How would a gov't shutdown impact campgrounds at Big Bend
Post by: Robert on December 23, 2018, 06:24:10 PM
Consider the rule on unattended property. They wouldn't necessarily have to see you in the back country to cite you. They could just look out for vehicles parked for over 24 hours. You might get away with leaving your vehicle in the lodge area but elsewhere it would be pretty obvious.

Quote from: https://www.nps.gov/bibe/learn/management/upload/2018-BIBE-Superintendents-Compendium.pdf
Leaving property unattended for longer than 24 hours is prohibited except for motor vehicles with displayed back country permit numbers parked at trailheads, along road side for zone camping or river access points.
Title: Re: How would a gov't shutdown impact campgrounds at Big Bend
Post by: nopainnogain on December 24, 2018, 12:51:32 PM
i would not want to take a chance violateing NP laws.  what if they blacklist you if they catch you.
what if you are banned from Big Bend NP for life. that would be terrible!
Title: Re: How would a gov't shutdown impact campgrounds at Big Bend
Post by: Losthiker68 on December 24, 2018, 01:02:19 PM
I'm not going to do the OML if there's a shut down, I was just speculating. Instead I'll do dayhikes and put in some time at BBRSP, maybe do the Ranchieras Loop.

I was planning to stop at Seminole Canyon on the way down but was only going to hike it and skip the tour. I may do the petroglyph tour if I don't have to worry about being at BiBe at a certain time for a permit.
Title: Re: How would a gov't shutdown impact campgrounds at Big Bend
Post by: dprather on December 24, 2018, 02:14:47 PM
I'm not going to do the OML if there's a shut down, I was just speculating. Instead I'll do dayhikes and put in some time at BBRSP, maybe do the Ranchieras Loop.

I was planning to stop at Seminole Canyon on the way down but was only going to hike it and skip the tour. I may do the petroglyph tour if I don't have to worry about being at BiBe at a certain time for a permit.

Head's up - the Rancherias Loop is a pretty tough hump and not appropriate for the less experienced, but there are other options at BBRSP.

Like you, I'm unwilling to take the risk of bucking the broken system. 

Give the good people at the Barton Warnock Center at BBRSP a call.  They helped me this AM make some decisions.
Title: Re: How would a gov't shutdown impact campgrounds at Big Bend
Post by: presidio on December 24, 2018, 03:24:38 PM
i would not want to take a chance violateing NP laws.  what if they blacklist you if they catch you.
what if you are banned from Big Bend NP for life. that would be terrible!

The NPS cannot ban you from anything. They can write you tickets. And their tickets (and especially permit violation tickets) are exactly like a parking or speeding ticket. Insignificant in the grand scheme of things: pay it, case closed.

While there are circumstances of being banned from public lands, it is exceedingly rare and it takes a federal judge to do it, not some employee wearing a funny hat.
Title: Re: How would a gov't shutdown impact campgrounds at Big Bend
Post by: Losthiker68 on December 24, 2018, 05:08:21 PM

Head's up - the Rancherias Loop is a pretty tough hump and not appropriate for the less experienced, but there are other options at BBRSP.

Like you, I'm unwilling to take the risk of bucking the broken system. 

Give the good people at the Barton Warnock Center at BBRSP a call.  They helped me this AM make some decisions.

Yeah, I read a trip report that I think was yours (got caught at the Reza in the rain?).  I saw its a tough hump so its just a thought. I'm just trying to plan an alternative if the shutdown is still in effect on Jan 4th. I was planning a quick hike at Seminole on the way down. If we still have the shutdown, I may extend about half a day there and do the petroglyph tour, then do BiBe dayhikes and maybe wander over to BBRSP.

I'll be going when there's no moon so I'm hoping for some awesome night photos. We even have a comet in the sky I can't find from Granbury (near FW) so I'm hoping I'll get a look at it as well. If I have to delay my OML until next year, so be it. I'm just crossing my fingers the gov't will get their heads out of their asses in time. If they are still shut down when I go, it'll be the 3rd longest so I hope history is with me.
Title: Re: How would a gov't shutdown impact campgrounds at Big Bend
Post by: dprather on December 24, 2018, 05:24:04 PM

Head's up - the Rancherias Loop is a pretty tough hump and not appropriate for the less experienced, but there are other options at BBRSP.

Like you, I'm unwilling to take the risk of bucking the broken system. 

Give the good people at the Barton Warnock Center at BBRSP a call.  They helped me this AM make some decisions.

Yeah, I read a trip report that I think was yours (got caught at the Reza in the rain?).  I saw its a tough hump so its just a thought. I'm just trying to plan an alternative if the shutdown is still in effect on Jan 4th. I was planning a quick hike at Seminole on the way down. If we still have the shutdown, I may extend about half a day there and do the petroglyph tour, then do BiBe dayhikes and maybe wander over to BBRSP.

I'll be going when there's no moon so I'm hoping for some awesome night photos. We even have a comet in the sky I can't find from Granbury (near FW) so I'm hoping I'll get a look at it as well. If I have to delay my OML until next year, so be it. I'm just crossing my fingers the gov't will get their heads out of their asses in time. If they are still shut down when I go, it'll be the 3rd longest so I hope history is with me.

Don't give up on BBRSP.  They have a Contrabando Loop that looks as if it might be a fun couple of days.
Title: Re: How would a gov't shutdown impact campgrounds at Big Bend
Post by: dprather on December 24, 2018, 05:33:07 PM
i would not want to take a chance violateing NP laws.  what if they blacklist you if they catch you.
what if you are banned from Big Bend NP for life. that would be terrible!

The NPS cannot ban you from anything. They can write you tickets. And their tickets (and especially permit violation tickets) are exactly like a parking or speeding ticket. Insignificant in the grand scheme of things: pay it, case closed.

While there are circumstances of being banned from public lands, it is exceedingly rare and it takes a federal judge to do it, not some employee wearing a funny hat.

If I am reading regs correctly, this is the potential cost: "Any violations of the rules and regulations issued in this part, except those in ß71.15, shall be punishable by a fine of not more than $100."
Title: Re: How would a gov't shutdown impact campgrounds at Big Bend
Post by: mule ears on December 24, 2018, 07:07:01 PM
I say go for it, let's see what actually happens, my guess is with the chaos of the restart nothing will happen

Sent from my Nexus 6P using Big Bend Chat mobile app (http://r.tapatalk.com/byo?rid=88143)

Title: Re: How would a gov't shutdown impact campgrounds at Big Bend
Post by: presidio on December 24, 2018, 08:47:34 PM
I say go for it, let's see what actually happens, my guess is with the chaos of the restart nothing will happen

Likely correct, but I don't see any volunteers lining up to test the theory.
Title: Re: How would a gov't shutdown impact campgrounds at Big Bend
Post by: dprather on December 24, 2018, 09:31:00 PM
I am right behind all of the volunteers.
Title: Re: How would a gov't shutdown impact campgrounds at Big Bend
Post by: austin gorpchomper on December 25, 2018, 09:13:19 AM
Dang, we're going next week and seeing y'all's contingency plans are the same as I've been thinking of for a while; sounds like Seminole and BBRSP may be jammed packed with BBC'ers.
Title: Re: How would a gov't shutdown impact campgrounds at Big Bend
Post by: EmilyP on December 27, 2018, 11:02:40 PM
OP here.  We decided to go.  Had a great time.  Until the ranger came by our first morning and told us we would need to leave on the 26th.  So we got 3 nights instead of the 8 we paid for. They said it was because the trash was getting too full.  And it was - some idiot threw a mattress topper in there.  Our last night one of the toilets overflowed and they werenít even allowed to clean it up. They have set up cones to block off all of the NPS campgrounds in the park (and are patrolling).  The road to Santa Elena Canyon was closed on the 25th (Merry Christmas) and will stay closed until the govt opens.  Basically when the trash in any location is full they will close that location off.  Iíd expect boquillas to be closed by now too.  You can walk down the road from where it is closed, but that gets old fast.  The rangers are still there issuing tickets.  They will kick you out of a backcountry site and ticket any cars parked overnight.  And for those of the ďitís just a ticketĒ mindset, I hope you consider being a decent human being.  The rangers didnít have a part in the shutdown, they didnít make the rules, and they arenít getting paid.  They were really nice.  Itís just a bad situation for everyone.
Title: Re: How would a gov't shutdown impact campgrounds at Big Bend
Post by: marufo on December 27, 2018, 11:20:47 PM
+1
Title: Re: How would a gov't shutdown impact campgrounds at Big Bend
Post by: mule ears on December 28, 2018, 06:03:00 AM
EmilyP thanks for that report and I am glad that you had a good time while you were able to.  Yes it's the folks who aren't being decent human beings that are always the problem.  Hopefully the idiots in Washington will get done with this but I am afraid it will be after the 3rd of Jan.
Title: Re: How would a gov't shutdown impact campgrounds at Big Bend
Post by: Jalco on December 28, 2018, 07:36:15 AM
Happening elsewhere as well,
https://www.latimes.com/travel/la-tr-canatparkshut-20181226-story.html
Title: Re: How would a gov't shutdown impact campgrounds at Big Bend
Post by: VivaTerlingua on December 28, 2018, 07:48:06 AM
Yes it's the folks who aren't being decent human beings that are always the problem. 

In this case that would be congress and the president.
Title: Re: How would a gov't shutdown impact campgrounds at Big Bend
Post by: Al on December 28, 2018, 08:47:45 AM
https://thehill.com/blogs/blog-briefing-room/news/423077-national-parks-facing-litter-illegal-activity-without-rangers
Title: Re: How would a gov't shutdown impact campgrounds at Big Bend
Post by: LagIrl on December 28, 2018, 09:44:50 AM
  And for those of the ďitís just a ticketĒ mindset, I hope you consider being a decent human being.  The rangers didnít have a part in the shutdown, they didnít make the rules, and they arenít getting paid.  They were really nice.  Itís just a bad situation for everyone.

Risking a ticket to take a backcountry trip does not preclude someone from being a decent human being. As was pointed out elsewhere, backpackers are (as a group) the most mindful of "leave no trace" principles and leave the least impact on the natural scene. They are not the ones throwing mattress toppers in trash cans...if it wasn't for their vehicles no one would even be able to tell they were there.

In fact, paying a ticket could be seen as a charitable act giving rangers a little bit of income during this chaotic time. At least that is the way I will view it if I come back to a ticket on my car ;)

I am looking forward to the park being less crowded than usual this new years!
Title: Re: How would a gov't shutdown impact campgrounds at Big Bend
Post by: rocketman on December 28, 2018, 10:34:21 AM
I wonder what the impacts are to wildlife of the trash buildup over weeks.  Pretty certain there will be unintended consequences due to the micro-pollution that is able to be cleaned up, but unfortunately not allowed by the government. Could good samaritans come in and do it?
Title: Re: How would a gov't shutdown impact campgrounds at Big Bend
Post by: dprather on December 28, 2018, 10:59:57 AM
Odd, isn't it, that the backcountry trail of National Parks have become the front lines of a nasty political struggle.
Title: Re: How would a gov't shutdown impact campgrounds at Big Bend
Post by: Quatro on December 28, 2018, 11:52:27 AM
  And for those of the ďitís just a ticketĒ mindset, I hope you consider being a decent human being.  The rangers didnít have a part in the shutdown, they didnít make the rules, and they arenít getting paid.  They were really nice.  Itís just a bad situation for everyone.

Risking a ticket to take a backcountry trip does not preclude someone from being a decent human being. As was pointed out elsewhere, backpackers are (as a group) the most mindful of "leave no trace" principles and leave the least impact on the natural scene. They are not the ones throwing mattress toppers in trash cans...if it wasn't for their vehicles no one would even be able to tell they were there.

In fact, paying a ticket could be seen as a charitable act giving rangers a little bit of income during this chaotic time. At least that is the way I will view it if I come back to a ticket on my car ;)

I am looking forward to the park being less crowded than usual this new years!

I think Emily was just saying if you go (thinking it's just a ticket), please don't take out your frustration with the situation on the park rangers.
Title: Re: How would a gov't shutdown impact campgrounds at Big Bend
Post by: presidio on December 28, 2018, 12:11:19 PM
The rangers are still there issuing tickets.  They will kick you out of a backcountry site and ticket any cars parked overnight. 

What you have here is a perfect example of inconsistent enforcement.

Hammer the backcountry users for not having a permit, but ignore the others who are driving around without the also required entry permit for the park. Anyone ticketed for a backcountry violation would be advised to contest it on the basis of unequal treatment under the law.

The 14th Amendment requires States to ensure equal protection under the law.

While the Equal Protection Clause itself applies only to state and local governments, the Supreme Court held in Bolling v. Sharpe (1954) that the Due Process Clause of the Fifth Amendment nonetheless imposes various equal protection requirements on the federal government.

Therefore, by not enforcing the entry fee requirement the NPS clearly is ignoring (for their convenience, or otherwise) a regulation affecting every entrant to the park, in favor of apprehending a tiny percentage of overall users (who are far less of an impact than anyone not in the backcountry). The other issue to be explored is whether any of the campers in the developed campgrounds (before they were closed) were ticketed for non-payment of camping fees. This all might require a FOIA to the park to uncover.

Entry fees are required and failure to pay is an enforceable violation per:
https://www.govinfo.gov/content/pkg/CFR-2018-title36-vol1/xml/CFR-2018-title36-vol1-sec71-3.xml

36 CFR 71.3 Designation
    (a) An area or closely related group of areas shall be designated as an area at which entrance fees shall be charged (hereinafter ďDesignated Entrance Fee AreaĒ) if the following conditions are found to exist concurrently: ...

Big Bend is a ďDesignated Entrance Fee AreaĒ per:
https://www.nps.gov/aboutus/entrance-fee-prices.htm
Scroll down to the "B"s and look at Big Bend

Not having an entry permit is a violation per:
https://www.govinfo.gov/content/pkg/CFR-2018-title36-vol1/xml/CFR-2018-title36-vol1-sec2-23.xml
36 CFR 2.23 Recreation fees
    (a) Recreation fees shall be established as provided for in part 71 of this chapter.
    (b) Entering designated entrance fee areas or using specialized sites, facilities, equipment or services, or participating in group activities, recreation events, or other specialized recreation uses for which recreation fees have been established without paying the required fees and possessing the applicable permits is prohibited.

Which then subjects the violator to penalties per:
https://www.govinfo.gov/content/pkg/CFR-2018-title36-vol1/xml/CFR-2018-title36-vol1-sec1-3.xml
36 CFR 1.3 Penalties
    (a) A person convicted of violating a provision of the regulations contained in parts 1 through 7, part 9 subpart B, and parts 12 and 13 of this chapter shall be subject to the criminal penalties provided under 18 U.S.C. 1865.

And, under Title 18 - CRIMES AND CRIMINAL PROCEDURE, a violator thusly can be whacked judicially per:
https://www.govinfo.gov/content/pkg/USCODE-2017-title18/html/USCODE-2017-title18-partI-chap91-sec1865.htm
18 U.S.C. Sec. 1865 - National Park Service
(a) Violation of Regulations Relating to Use and Management of National Park System Units.óA person that violates any regulation authorized by section 100751(a) of title 54 shall be imprisoned not more than 6 months, fined under this title, or both, and be adjudged to pay all cost of the proceedings.
Title: Re: How would a gov't shutdown impact campgrounds at Big Bend
Post by: Hang10er on December 28, 2018, 01:34:04 PM




The 14th Amendment requires States to ensure equal protection under the law.

While the Equal Protection Clause itself applies only to state and local governments, the Supreme Court held in Bolling v. Sharpe (1954) that the Due Process Clause of the Fifth Amendment nonetheless imposes various equal protection requirements on the federal government.


Nothing to do with your overall point but I think the 14th Amendment pertains to equal protection meaning "same treatment to all people".  I don't think it means a local government can't target one law and focus less on another.  Example; a city targeting no seat belts or distracted drivers while being lax on people parking on a street facing the wrong direction. 
Title: Re: How would a gov't shutdown impact campgrounds at Big Bend
Post by: elhombre on December 28, 2018, 03:33:25 PM
Selective enforcement of the law is EXACTLY why the rangers can be blamed.  They apparently have time, trucks, fuel, and ticket books to stomp my wallet for using public land, but when I need a person with a pen who can write on a special piece of permit paper,..............Ain't got no money for that!

Volunteers
were allowed to access the system and write permits not so long ago, but now because of a "sacred cow" permit system, only a ranger has somehow retained the experience and knowledge to issue the piece of paper.

When did parking on the side of the road in BB become a ticketable offense?  Is that part of the shut down?  A car left somewhere in the park over a few nights isn't a crime when they are "open for bidness".  Sticking a ticket on someone's window for "camping without a permit" is equally bogus.  The LE is charging you with a crime.   He needs to visually see you do the crime in order testify about the offending action in front of the Judge. Likewise, if I don't sign it, there is no proof I ever received it.  Remember what the officer says when you get a speeding ticket and sign it?  " This is not an admission of guilt, you are only acknowledging receipt of the citation."   :ecomcity:  Just see how hard it is to get a conviction for DUI when no one can place the driver behind the wheel.
Title: Re: How would a gov't shutdown impact campgrounds at Big Bend
Post by: presidio on December 28, 2018, 03:38:04 PM

The 14th Amendment requires States to ensure equal protection under the law.

While the Equal Protection Clause itself applies only to state and local governments, the Supreme Court held in Bolling v. Sharpe (1954) that the Due Process Clause of the Fifth Amendment nonetheless imposes various equal protection requirements on the federal government.


Nothing to do with your overall point but I think the 14th Amendment pertains to equal protection meaning "same treatment to all people".  I don't think it means a local government can't target one law and focus less on another.  Example; a city targeting no seat belts or distracted drivers while being lax on people parking on a street facing the wrong direction.

Perhaps. However, it is difficult to defend and rationalize extreme effort (including aircraft costs) to find and punish the few backcountry travelers, while driving by and demonstrably ignoring the much greater number of persons in full view who are  lacking the required entry permit.

The fish in the barrel are given a pass in order to concentrate on the isolated and remote camper. There is no logic by which that action withstands scrutiny.

Such a focus shows a deliberate bias. And that is enough to cause a dismissal of charges.
Title: Re: How would a gov't shutdown impact campgrounds at Big Bend
Post by: presidio on December 28, 2018, 03:47:03 PM
When did parking on the side of the road in BB become a ticketable offense?  A car left somewhere in the park over a few nights isn't a crime when they are "open for bidness".

Well, unfortunately it IS a crime and has been ticketable ever since it was included in the Compendium (without benefit of public comment).

SECTION 2.22: PROPERTY.
(a)(2)
Leaving property unattended for longer than 24 hours is prohibited except for motor vehicles with displayed back country permit numbers parked at trailheads, along road side for zone camping, and river access points.


Everyone must remember that the public is 'permitted' (but really merely 'allowed') to use NPS areas only under the limits and conditions acceptable to the NPS. It is 'public land' only in terminology. Thinking otherwise will get you a ticket.

While the NPS is not responsible for the budget issue, shutdowns bluntly reveal the true nature and pettiness of the agency. Rigid, unforgiving and unable to use discretion and common sense.

Likely, few are aware that the superintendent easily could waive all requirements in the interest of allowing the public access, without giving anything up in terms of enforcement against those who actually are committing violations with consequences other than being present on the land without the all-controlling 'permit.'

Thus, bad actors still could be handled (since the law enforcement folks clearly are out and busy smacking down their preferred target...backcountr y users. Therefore, vandalism, theft, etc., could be concentrated upon without affecting those merely trying to have an innocuous outdoor experience.

The place where this is possible is found at:
https://www.govinfo.gov/content/pkg/CFR-2012-title36-vol1/xml/CFR-2012-title36-vol1-sec1-6.xml

36 CFR 1.6 Permits
    (a) When authorized by regulations set forth in this chapter, the superintendent may issue a permit to authorize an otherwise prohibited or restricted activity or impose a public use limit.

This is how we get those rare 'free' entry days into parks.

This would require the NPS to accept that campsites might be populated by more folks than the limits prescribed (which would occur without serious issue), or that folks could be in the backcountry without a permit (it wouldn't be overrun), or leave a vehicle without a displayed permit.

This COULD be done, but it never will happen as the agency simply cannot allow their tight-fisted death grip on the public to lapse even during extraordinary circumstances. As is abundantly evident to everyone, including the midget minds at the NPS, backcountry users are not the problem they are looking for (to paraphrase Obi-Wan Kenobi).

It would be simply stunning for even one superintendent to have some huevos and do what is right by the public.
Title: Re: How would a gov't shutdown impact campgrounds at Big Bend
Post by: RichardM on December 28, 2018, 04:04:08 PM
Perhaps we should clarify that citations are for violations of regulations, rather than criminal actions. And yes, it is quite possible to get citations dismissed, but that requires, at a minimum, a phone call to the right person in the federal system. That's an activity better left to someone with more free time and stress tolerance than I currently possess.
Title: Re: How would a gov't shutdown impact campgrounds at Big Bend
Post by: presidio on December 28, 2018, 04:15:47 PM
Perhaps we should clarify that citations are for violations of regulations, rather than criminal actions.

To be clear, violations of regulations ARE criminal actions. That's how you get tickets (and rarely, arrested) for them.

Yes, they are petty offenses, but that does not change the nature of the action/enforcement. They have the same lineage as the mundane urban parking or speeding ticket. Not a big deal unless you don't pay and get arrested. Same issue in the NPS.

However, the difference is that in the real world these are minor issues. In the NPS they are treated as capital crimes in terms of the ferocity of application.
Title: Re: How would a gov't shutdown impact campgrounds at Big Bend
Post by: JustBuildItAlready_77 on December 28, 2018, 04:21:10 PM
  And for those of the ďitís just a ticketĒ mindset, I hope you consider being a decent human being.  The rangers didnít have a part in the shutdown, they didnít make the rules, and they arenít getting paid.  They were really nice.  Itís just a bad situation for everyone.

Risking a ticket to take a backcountry trip does not preclude someone from being a decent human being. As was pointed out elsewhere, backpackers are (as a group) the most mindful of "leave no trace" principles and leave the least impact on the natural scene. They are not the ones throwing mattress toppers in trash cans...if it wasn't for their vehicles no one would even be able to tell they were there.

In fact, paying a ticket could be seen as a charitable act giving rangers a little bit of income during this chaotic time. At least that is the way I will view it if I come back to a ticket on my car ;)

I am looking forward to the park being less crowded than usual this new years!

I think Emily was just saying if you go (thinking it's just a ticket), please don't take out your frustration with the situation on the park rangers.

Emily said that anyone who has the "it's just a ticket" mindset is an indecent human being. That is uncalled for. this seems like a great/positive site and people on here shouldn't resort to petty, underhanded name calling.

we all pay taxes, and have a right to enjoy the federal land we pay to take care of.

be responsible, take out what you brought in, enjoy God's creation in the great state of Texas, and if a ranger really wants to single you out and write you a ticket... well that's on them. if you decide to go and risk the ticket...well that's on you.
if the rangers are not getting paid, then they should be able to go home. if they feel like it is their civic duty to stay, i thank them and respect that, but it would honestly be more beneficial for the park if they drove around in their trucks, emptied trash cans, and maintained the everyday workings of the park...not write tickets.

i also agree with Mr. Amendment quoter, if you are going to write a ticket for one rule, then you should enforce them all equally.
 
Title: Re: How would a gov't shutdown impact campgrounds at Big Bend
Post by: presidio on December 28, 2018, 05:49:50 PM
i also agree with Mr. Amendment quoter,

 :c029:  :c017: Well, thanks for the agreement, but it did take me a moment to realize who you were talking about.  :a102:

That's because I'm actually more used to the perjorative descriptions of my participation.  :s_laugh: :cool-thumb: :whoo: :bravo_2: :s_good:  :wee_hee:
Title: Re: How would a gov't shutdown impact campgrounds at Big Bend
Post by: austin gorpchomper on December 29, 2018, 09:14:50 AM
12/29 update, no surprises: https://www.nps.gov/bibe/planyourvisit/government-shutdown.htm
Quote
Additional closures update 12/29/18
The Santa Elena Canyon Trailhead and Trail has been closed due to resource impact concerns.
Old Maverick Road is closed until further notice due to resource impacts occurring in and around Santa Elena Canyon trailhead closure.
Visitors should be prepared for additional closures without warning.
Title: Re: How would a gov't shutdown impact campgrounds at Big Bend
Post by: presidio on December 29, 2018, 09:48:02 AM
12/29 update, no surprises: https://www.nps.gov/bibe/planyourvisit/government-shutdown.htm
Quote
Additional closures update 12/29/18
The Santa Elena Canyon Trailhead and Trail has been closed due to resource impact concerns.
Old Maverick Road is closed until further notice due to resource impacts occurring in and around Santa Elena Canyon trailhead closure.
Visitors should be prepared for additional closures without warning.

It begs the question as to exactly what 'resource impact concerns' cause the closure of a maintained gravel road, and how driving on it has anything to do with the SEC trail closure.

As with other NPS notices, this lacks even minimal information. A justification would be nice, but obviously the NPS doesn't feel any obligation to reveal their process of doing such actions.

This smacks of a deliberate and orchestrated creeping closure process designed to incrementally deny access, using the nebulous and unsubstantiated 'impact' excuse. Expect Ross Maxwell and the RGV road to be closed next. I wonder if the River Road and Hot Springs Road already are closed? Shut off the periphery sites and then close everything on the basis there's nowhere the public can be allowed to go.

It's likely the only thing the public will be able to do in the near future is drive from the Maverick entrance to Persimmon Gap, without an ability to leave the pavement. When that happens, expect the entire park to be closed to access shortly thereafter. Think frog in the cooking pot mentality. Turn the screws more slowly than they'd really like to, but turn them nonetheless.
Title: Re: How would a gov't shutdown impact campgrounds at Big Bend
Post by: austin gorpchomper on December 29, 2018, 10:55:50 AM
I can see it. Imagine 100 people deciding "Hey, let's just go down this gravel road a half mile and crap here and maybe camp here wherever we want." It would start looking like day 3 at Woodstock.
Title: Re: How would a gov't shutdown impact campgrounds at Big Bend
Post by: dprather on December 29, 2018, 11:27:21 AM
It seems obvious to me that government shut-downs reveal our government at its very worst, and that the worst of our GOVERNMENT trickles all the way down to the government agencies we deal with face to face.

I can recall when GOVERNMENT shut-downs were high drama.  Now they are farce, with both sides of the political fence employing shut-downs as retribution and blame.  Now, instead of working out solutions, the Democrats and Republicans are working PR angles.  Instead of reacting with hand-wringing as we once did, the nation yawns through another petty shut-down.

Unless you'd kinda like to go backpacking.

Down at the face-to-face government level toilets are backing up.  While many families somehow managed to keep their toilets running even though their single-family dwellings were filled with multiple families over the holidays (my small house had three complete families for five full days), the toilets at BBNP are stopped-up, unusable, nasty, toxic, and will rquire considerable unpleasant effort to get back into working condition (note: what an amazing metaphor for how government shut-downs run down hill).

Also at the face-to-face level, the stern arbiters of order - the remaining rangers at BBNP - are threatening citizens with citations and promulgating announcement posters. 

And low-impact, tax-paying, backcountry backpackers remain at home.   
Title: Re: How would a gov't shutdown impact campgrounds at Big Bend
Post by: elhombre on December 29, 2018, 12:11:50 PM
God help all the Americans who through the overt enslaving process have become dependent on all things Government.   Look at the chaos produced when funding is held up for a week.  Housing is closed (camp grounds), toilets back up, roads closed to vehicular travel, and government agents with guns outlawing many once-ordinary social and legal activities.   If you receive some benefit from Santa Claus for some of your well being, (over half of Americans now do), you are becoming one of the enslaved.

All brought to us by politicians who care more for illegal foreigners than Americans. A little secret;  all those illegal foreigners arriving instantly become dependent/ enslaved by Santa Claus.     :great:



Title: Re: How would a gov't shutdown impact campgrounds at Big Bend
Post by: presidio on December 29, 2018, 12:35:30 PM
I can see it. Imagine 100 people deciding "Hey, let's just go down this gravel road a half mile and crap here and maybe camp here wherever we want." It would start looking like day 3 at Woodstock.

This presumes there is a cadre of folks just waiting for the perfect opportunity to descend en masse when the NPS is looking the other way.

Not likely. While there's always a few opportunists, the majority of folks were going to be there anyway and the only thing that  happened is they are considerably inconvenienced because the NPS cannot, in any way, abide use without intense oversight.

A permit violation is a technicality and, like any petty offense, an officer can use discretion in addressing it. That rarely occurs in NPS areas, where rabid enforcement of minor rules is the norm.

If the funny hatters would concentrate on the few who are actually doing damage (off road, collecting, vandalizing, etc.) and leave the technical permit violations alone (aided by the superintendent having a backbone and deeming permits are waived during the shutdown), folks could have their fun and the NPS would be no worse off from a resource perspective than they routinely are.

A little imagination and regulatory restraint would go a long way.
Title: Re: How would a gov't shutdown impact campgrounds at Big Bend
Post by: austin gorpchomper on December 29, 2018, 12:48:06 PM
God help all the Americans who through the overt enslaving process have become dependent on all things Government.   Look at the chaos produced when funding is held up for a week.  Housing is closed (camp grounds), toilets back up, roads closed to vehicular travel, and government agents with guns outlawing many once-ordinary social and legal activities.   If you receive some benefit from Santa Claus for some of your well being, (over half of Americans now do), you are becoming one of the enslaved.

All brought to us by politicians who care more for illegal foreigners than Americans. A little secret;  all those illegal foreigners arriving instantly become dependent/ enslaved by Santa Claus.     :great:

Well, the vast majority of all of our families arrived here illegally and/or unwelcome. Sorry for the inconvenience.
Title: Re: How would a gov't shutdown impact campgrounds at Big Bend
Post by: presidio on December 29, 2018, 01:45:38 PM
Unless you'd kinda like to go backpacking.

Also at the face-to-face level, the stern arbiters of order - the remaining rangers at BBNP - are threatening citizens with citations and promulgating announcement posters. 

And low-impact, tax-paying, backcountry backpackers remain at home.   

Well, keep in mind this is affecting ONLY NPS areas. This is a problem exacerbated by the inability (and complete disinterest) of the agency to modify their crushing regulatory approach to allowing you to use your public land. Thus, we have an unusual circumstance requiring only a bare minimum of flexibility to solve, but they cannot bring themselves to consider such, much less act upon it. As previously noted, the superintendent CAN do something about it, but it requires leadership and concern for the public. Such is sorely lacking.

However, usage of BLM/USFS public lands (away from the few places they foolishly strive to be like the NPS with developments) continues to be completely free of closure and overeager enforcement folks.

The folly of allowing the NPS to dictate usage the way they do is on full display. It only highlights that you get to use parks when the NPS lets you use them.

On the other hand, backcountry use of the real public lands is not denied. The users of the real public lands don't need some permit that cannot be written and are not harangued about it by employees nor reminded with terse posted notes.

The other land agencies don't view you as an interloper who has to be granted permission to be on the land, or grudgingly tolerated while you are there. These other agencies understand it is public (your) land.

And, as I have pointed out in a different thread, if you're coming from the Houston/Dallas area, going to the BLM/USFS lands in southern NM essentially is a wash in terms of distance and time compared to going over and over and over and over again to Big Bend to be abused by the NPS,.
Title: Re: How would a gov't shutdown impact campgrounds at Big Bend
Post by: presidio on December 29, 2018, 03:29:48 PM
Well, the vast majority of all of our families arrived here illegally and/or unwelcome.

A questionable premise at best.

A good example of the popular, but incorrect, process of applying current views and politics to long-past events.

Some immigrants clearly were unwelcome, and the reviled groups were a moving target depending upon the times. Thus, every ethnic, political, economic, religious or racial group has been in the crosshairs at one time or another. Some still are.

But, the notion of the majority being 'illegal' arrivals has no basis. No basis at all unless you are in that mindset that Columbus was the first illegal (but what about Leif Erikson? and why isn't Columbus revered by the Democrats the way current illegals are?) and thus everyone afterward somehow is tainted with culpability.

All of civilization has been marked/marred by conquest, assimilation, subjugation and annihilation. It has occurred on every continent, throughout history. However, the only folks today who are guilty of that are those that still engage in the activities. Socialists and certain religious zealots immediately come to mind as their regimes conquer and purge those unaccepting of political/religious domination. Thus, for those of us who don't do those things, we have no responsibility/accountability/culpability for what any ancestor may or may not have done. Suggestions to the otherwise are rightfully rejected. We don't allow the concept Sippenhaftung (kin liability/crimes of the father) in the law and we surely should not entertain such an idea in a historical context.

There was no such thing as illegal immigration to the US until the late 1800s. Can't be illegal when there is no law. The very first immigration control passed was the Chinese Exclusion Act of 1882. The next immigration law was not passed until 1917, when Asiatic Barred Zone Act was enacted, followed by the 1924 Immigration Act (none of these, all predominantly directed at Asian peoples, were stellar moments of national history).

The 1924 Act essentially WAS the immigration law until 1965, when quotas were formalized. This was when the US first put a limit on Mexican immigration. Previously, Mexican immigrants freely, and routinely, found work in the United States. (Note below, this occurred immediately after the Bracero program was scrapped, and this is where the current problems began).

Even the Mexican border was relatively uncontrolled into the 1930s, with free passage both directions (imagine that!). The rise of totalitarian dictators and WWII precipitated a number of things directly related to the need for border security (and, again, a wall is not the answer).

The inescapable fact is that the US emerged from the war as the most powerful, functional economic and political giant on the planet. The nation was relatively unscathed by the war, but said event resulted in profound social changes as population growth, manufacturing and agriculture exploded during the war, and in the aftermath, as we became, in more than a few instances, providers and saviors (think Marshall Plan and Japanese reconstruction) to devastated populations globally.

It was inevitable that the allure of a strong, stable government and economy would prove irresistible to many. With that attraction came the need to have orderly immigration controls. Things actually were okay until the bracero program (1942-1964) was eliminated. Repeating my note way above, it was to this point the current predicament of illegal immigration can be traced and which was allowed to become ever more problematic through the failure of political will in both parties.

So, the US has a history of inconsistent, and discriminatory/embarrassing immigration actions. So be it. Nothing we can do about the past. However, while it may take time (and sometimes a LOT of time) we do eventually try to correct egregious treatment and make concerted efforts to live up to the words contained in the Constitution and Declaration of Independence. To no one's surprise, there are folks and political interests that hotly deny this, and some of those same interests apparently think that zero controls are in the best interest of the nation. Most assuredly, they are not.

The takeaway is that for all the real and perceived ills of American society, a LOT of folks want to come here, legally or otherwise, and there is NO line of folks eagerly wanting to depart for other countries because life here is unbearable and so unfair.

There are those who complain and malign and threaten to leave, but never do as they know they have a good deal and just want to bitch. Oh that some of them would act upon their brave declarations.

The nation's doors have always, if imperfectly, been open to legal immigration.

The nation's doors MUST be shut to illegal immigration. The problem we have is a certain political party which has no interest whatsoever in exercising sovereignty controls, and another party that cannot get past foolish rhetoric of barrier controls.
Title: Re: How would a gov't shutdown impact campgrounds at Big Bend
Post by: austin gorpchomper on December 29, 2018, 04:53:25 PM
Quote
But, the notion of the majority being 'illegal' arrivals has no basis.

Yeah, I didn't say that. Unwelcome, certainly. And a lot of words irrelevant to campgrounds.
Title: Re: How would a gov't shutdown impact campgrounds at Big Bend
Post by: presidio on December 29, 2018, 05:21:25 PM
Quote
But, the notion of the majority being 'illegal' arrivals has no basis.

Yeah, I didn't say that. Unwelcome, certainly. And a lot of words irrelevant to campgrounds.

Actually, you did:

Well, the vast majority of all of our families arrived here illegally and/or unwelcome. Sorry for the inconvenience.

I'm confident I did not misquote you.

As for campground irrrelevance, your entire reply to elhombre (above) also had nothing to do with campgrounds and solely referred to the illegal/unwelcome arrivals.

But, that's now irrelevant, so let's move on.
Title: Re: How would a gov't shutdown impact campgrounds at Big Bend
Post by: dprather on December 29, 2018, 05:33:41 PM
Gentlemen, gentlemen...
Title: Re: How would a gov't shutdown impact campgrounds at Big Bend
Post by: BlindWilly on January 04, 2019, 09:20:28 AM
It was a matter of time before the political BS was going to be posted.

Keep that crap on Facebook where it belongs!
Title: Re: How would a gov't shutdown impact campgrounds at Big Bend
Post by: Desert Beacon on January 04, 2019, 06:58:41 PM
It was a matter of time before the political BS was going to be posted.

Keep that crap on Facebook where it belongs!

Thanks, BW.
Title: Re: How would a gov't shutdown impact campgrounds at Big Bend
Post by: marufo on January 08, 2019, 09:08:39 AM
A message from the Leave No Trace organization:
Desperate Times Call for Leave No Trace Measures

You've read the disturbing stories reported from our National Parks, now that the partial government shut down has moved into January. The situation is serious: wildlife picking through bins piled high with trash, latrines overflowing with waste and unfettered off-roading in fragile ecosystems. With 85% of National Park employees furloughed, rescue services are limited and maintenance continues to be deferred.

Please consider sharing our important recommendations for the duration of the shutdown through your various outlets:

1. Develop a Plan B: Choose an alternative to national parks and other federal lands if at all possible. The country has many vast and sweeping state parks and municipal lands, many adjacent or nearby. So if you can, give our national lands a breather.

2. Pack It Out: Plan ahead and prepare takes on an elevated meaning during the shutdown. Make sure that you equip yourself with extra bags for any potential trash that you generate and plan to remove all of it from the park. Pack out trash left behind by others to lessen potential impacts on wildlife, waterways, and the environment in general.

3. Itís Time To Try: Given that many restroom facilities on federal lands are closed or already compromised, the use of biodegradable, disposable toilet-in-a-bag-type products is essential. Even if it has never been in your repertory, this is a tremendously important commitment you must make to protect wildlife, water sources and fellow users. Contact your local outdoor retailer and ask if they have Restop, Clean Waste, Biffy Bags or comparable products so you can pack out your human waste.

4. Share Well With Others: With a lack of critical personnel on site at areas, many visitors will not receive important Leave No Trace information they would otherwise absorb from rangers. Share Leave No Trace far and wide with those around you. You may find that people are very receptive to hearing from you during the shutdown.
Title: Re: How would a gov't shutdown impact campgrounds at Big Bend
Post by: House Made of Dawn on January 09, 2019, 08:20:06 AM
A message from the Leave No Trace organization:
Desperate Times Call for Leave No Trace Measures

You've read the disturbing stories reported from our National Parks, now that the partial government shut down has moved into January. The situation is serious: wildlife picking through bins piled high with trash, latrines overflowing with waste and unfettered off-roading in fragile ecosystems. With 85% of National Park employees furloughed, rescue services are limited and maintenance continues to be deferred.

Please consider sharing our important recommendations for the duration of the shutdown through your various outlets:

1. Develop a Plan B: Choose an alternative to national parks and other federal lands if at all possible. The country has many vast and sweeping state parks and municipal lands, many adjacent or nearby. So if you can, give our national lands a breather.

2. Pack It Out: Plan ahead and prepare takes on an elevated meaning during the shutdown. Make sure that you equip yourself with extra bags for any potential trash that you generate and plan to remove all of it from the park. Pack out trash left behind by others to lessen potential impacts on wildlife, waterways, and the environment in general.

3. Itís Time To Try: Given that many restroom facilities on federal lands are closed or already compromised, the use of biodegradable, disposable toilet-in-a-bag-type products is essential. Even if it has never been in your repertory, this is a tremendously important commitment you must make to protect wildlife, water sources and fellow users. Contact your local outdoor retailer and ask if they have Restop, Clean Waste, Biffy Bags or comparable products so you can pack out your human waste.

4. Share Well With Others: With a lack of critical personnel on site at areas, many visitors will not receive important Leave No Trace information they would otherwise absorb from rangers. Share Leave No Trace far and wide with those around you. You may find that people are very receptive to hearing from you during the shutdown.

+1


Sent from my iPhone using Big Bend Chat (http://r.tapatalk.com/byo?rid=88143)
Title: Re: How would a gov't shutdown impact campgrounds at Big Bend
Post by: tbone on January 09, 2019, 10:40:28 AM
(https://memegenerator.net/img/instances/68861122/leave-no-trace-if-bigfoot-can-do-it-so-can-you.jpg)
Title: Re: How would a gov't shutdown impact campgrounds at Big Bend
Post by: House Made of Dawn on January 09, 2019, 03:17:53 PM
(https://memegenerator.net/img/instances/68861122/leave-no-trace-if-bigfoot-can-do-it-so-can-you.jpg)

                                                                                    :s_laugh: