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Zone Camping now Wilderness Camping?

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Offline mule ears

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Zone Camping now Wilderness Camping?
« on: September 29, 2017, 01:58:50 PM »
While trying to find the Backcountry Zone map all of the usual links did not appear until I realized that they have now changed the name to Wilderness Camping even though the map still says Backcountry Zones  :sign0065:
temperatures exceed 100 degrees F
minimum 1 gallon water per person/day
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Offline Flash

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Re: Zone Camping now Wilderness Camping?
« Reply #1 on: September 29, 2017, 02:23:16 PM »
I am not aware of any part of Big Bend being officially designated as wilderness, although I understand parts of it have been nominated. Kind of a stretch using that word IMHO.  :icon_smile:

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Offline presidio

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Re: Zone Camping now Wilderness Camping?
« Reply #2 on: September 29, 2017, 03:37:16 PM »
I am not aware of any part of Big Bend being officially designated as wilderness, although I understand parts of it have been nominated. Kind of a stretch using that word IMHO.  :icon_smile:

Indeed, despite the NPS' most febrile desires, there is no official (meaning Congressionally-designated) wilderness anywhere in the park.

Must be distressing to them and the minions that are desperate for a title.

Given that the NPS already manages the land there as if it were wilderness (they aren't going to let you do anything they don't approve of) there is absolutely nothing to be gained from a designation, other than to satisfy folks who like passport stamps and bird lists and would like another place they can tick off as having been in "official" "real" wilderness.

The problem is that there is no real wilderness in the park. While it may have substantially recovered from the grazing era, there is no place untouched by heavy usage (save perhaps the upper mountain area where use/development was not practical.

The fact that no real wilderness exists does not preclude a designation (otherwise there'd be no wilderness in the eastern US), but it makes no sense.

The idiocy of their method was on full display when the pilot made an emergency landing near Terlingua Abaja a few years ago. The NPS required the aircraft to be disassembled and carried out on non-mechanical conveyances. While that is what would be required in a designated wilderness (and even in those the administrators can make exceptions) it was a total canard at Big Bend.

The park spent who knows how much on a study and assessment, when none of it was necessary. The plane could have been brought out on a trailer pulled by a 4WD, with minimal disturbance (easily reclaimed and no more impactful that how it was done) except for the NPS advancing the complete fantasy it was wilderness.
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Offline dprather

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Re: Zone Camping now Wilderness Camping?
« Reply #3 on: September 30, 2017, 01:04:39 AM »
Yikes.  Can designated wilderness be more tightly controlled than zones?
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Offline presidio

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Re: Zone Camping now Wilderness Camping?
« Reply #4 on: September 30, 2017, 10:43:22 AM »
Yikes.  Can designated wilderness be more tightly controlled than zones?

There are specific regulations for designated wilderness. Those regulations do not apply to non-wilderness.

However, as we all know, the NPS does what it wants to, when it wants to (but says your opinion matters, even when they don't bother to ask). Thus, you have all the exceedingly numerous restrictions on everything you do in a park.

In this case, it would seem they are playing word games to soothe their angst at not having "real" wilderness as there is nothing in the wilderness regs that would further restrict public ability to use those areas beyond the heavy burden of rules already in place.

As noted by mule ears, the only place this designation seems to be found is at https://www.nps.gov/bibe/planyourvisit/wilderness-camping.htm

Elsewhere on the website, and in the compendium, it is noted as "zone" camping.

This is yet another instance of the NPS doing something without explanation. It would be a good place for someone to officially comment on this site as to why such a change was made and why, in light of there being no designated wilderness, they are labeling it as such.

Note for the relatively new members here: don't hold your breath waiting for this to occur.
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Wendell (Garret Dillahunt): It's a mess, ain't it, sheriff?
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--No Country for Old Men (2007)

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Offline DesertRatShorty

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Re: Zone Camping now Wilderness Camping?
« Reply #5 on: September 30, 2017, 03:03:00 PM »
I googled the term "zone camping" and BIBE was the first national park to come up. Other NPs don't usually use this term to refer backcountry camping at unreserved sites. I actually recall being briefly perplexed by the term when I was planning my first trip. Perhaps the park is simply trying to use a term that is more intuitive to visitors, although in that case they should use the term consistently. 
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   And all around me a voice was a'sounding
   This land was made for you and me

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Offline mule ears

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Re: Zone Camping now Wilderness Camping?
« Reply #6 on: September 30, 2017, 03:24:12 PM »
I googled the term "zone camping" and BIBE was the first national park to come up. Other NPs don't usually use this term to refer backcountry camping at unreserved sites. I actually recall being briefly perplexed by the term when I was planning my first trip. Perhaps the park is simply trying to use a term that is more intuitive to visitors, although in that case they should use the term consistently.

DRS I think you are probably right about using a term more common to many visitors. 

It looks to me like they have not updated the Back Country Management Plan since 1995 but I did find this about a Draft Wilderness Proposal from 2009.

Presidio is correct little of Big Bend is true untouched wilderness but there are many areas in the US (not just the East) that are official wilderness areas that are now managed to be “an area where the earth and its community of life are untrammeled by man, where man himself is a visitor who does not remain.”
temperatures exceed 100 degrees F
minimum 1 gallon water per person/day
no shade, no water
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Offline Jonathan Sadow

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Re: Zone Camping now Wilderness Camping?
« Reply #7 on: October 08, 2017, 02:09:35 AM »
The considerations for the official designation of wilderness areas is more the requirement that no mechanical conveyances can be used within it and less on how developed it was before designation.  Because of the plethora of roads, paved or otherwise, open to vehicles in BIBE, there's actually not that much contiguous land that could be designated as wilderness in the park, and in practical terms it isn't really worth it given that the NPS can by regulation manage the land as such.

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Offline presidio

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Re: Zone Camping now Wilderness Camping?
« Reply #8 on: October 08, 2017, 03:27:24 PM »
The considerations for the official designation of wilderness areas is more the requirement that no mechanical conveyances can be used within it and less on how developed it was before designation.  Because of the plethora of roads, paved or otherwise, open to vehicles in BIBE, there's actually not that much contiguous land that could be designated as wilderness in the park, and in practical terms it isn't really worth it given that the NPS can by regulation manage the land as such.

Actually, the mechanical prohibitions have nothing to do with designation. That prohibition follows after an area is found to meet the standard for inclusion and is thusly Congressionally designated as "wilderness."
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Wendell (Garret Dillahunt): It's a mess, ain't it, sheriff?
Ed Tom Bell (Tommy Lee Jones): If it ain't, it'll do till the mess gets here.
--No Country for Old Men (2007)

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Offline backpacker56

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Re: Zone Camping now Wilderness Camping?
« Reply #9 on: November 03, 2017, 09:29:09 AM »
According to the Wilderness Act, wilderness:

"...shall be administered for the use and enjoyment of the American people in such manner as will leave them unimpaired for future use and enjoyment as wilderness..."

"...an area...where man himself is a visitor..."

"...has outstanding opportunities for solitude or a primitive and unconfined type of recreation..."

"...shall be devoted to the public purposes of recreational, scenic, scientific, educational, conservation, and historical use."

So of course wilderness areas are to be preserved, but preservation is not the sole objective.  The primary goal is to provide for use and enjoyment, for visitation and recreation.  The practice of ongoing closure or restricted access to wilderness areas in the name of preservation should be viewed by the public with deepest skepticism.
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Offline presidio

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Re: Zone Camping now Wilderness Camping?
« Reply #10 on: November 03, 2017, 11:10:19 AM »
The practice of ongoing closure or restricted access to wilderness areas in the name of preservation should be viewed by the public with deepest skepticism.

Absolutely.

Despite the fact there is no designated wilderness anywhere at Big Bend, the NPS desperately wants it, acts like it exists, and misleads the public with their blather loosely and carelessly (but deliberately) incorporating the word into their park-speak.

Wilderness or not, there is no restriction on the public using their (that would be the NPS) land that is too onerous in their view.

The NPS knows what is best for the public and you either accept that or you don't get to use your public land.
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<  presidio  >
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Wendell (Garret Dillahunt): It's a mess, ain't it, sheriff?
Ed Tom Bell (Tommy Lee Jones): If it ain't, it'll do till the mess gets here.
--No Country for Old Men (2007)

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Offline photopam

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Re: Zone Camping now Wilderness Camping?
« Reply #11 on: November 26, 2017, 01:22:29 PM »
The ranger I got my permit from said they call it wilderness now to help people understand the type of area they are going into; wild, and not improved.  It is a little clearer than zone camping. 
😊

 


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