texasred wrote in post #17372113
Being off trail in our national parks is prohibited by law.....
This is patently incorrect information. This is no National Park Regulation, applicable to ALL National Parks that prohibits being "off-trail". If that were the case, many fishermen would not be able to fish in Yellowstone (no trails to the rivers). Mountain climbers would not be permitted to climb, as in the current group attempting to scale the face of half dome, even with a permit. Permits do not suspend the law. They merely keep track of who is where and how many are in the back country. This is a myth that continues to be propagated by those who do not know the rules, to those who have never been to a national park before. While it is true that Ranier specifically prohibits being "off-trail" in certain areas due to the tundra, this is also true of Rocky Mountain National Park, at certain locations and at certain elevations. Before anyone ventures "off trail", one should consult with the proper authorities to determine where that is and is not permitted. Finally, if being off trail was prohibited it would be clearly spelled our in the back country regulations. This website http://www.nps.gov …ackcountrytripplanner.htm is for the backcountry regulations of Yellowstone. No where do I find a restriction for being off trail. One would have thought if it was a National Park Law across all parks, it would be front and center.
And now to address Mount Ranier NP directly, while it is true that Mount Ranier has different regulations for different regions of the park, this is quote is from the National Park Service website for Mount Ranier NP, where it specifically PERMITS hiking and camping off trail.
Crosscountry Zone Camping: Crosscountry travel and camping is demanding, challenging, and rewarding. These beautiful, pristine areas can be rough and difficult to navigate (especially in poor weather). There are no maintained trails, campsites, or amenities, and water sources can be scarce in late season. Choosing to camp in a crosscountry zone requires a higher level of physical conditioning, knowledge and experience with Leave No Trace camping practices, and sound navigational skills. Crosscountry zone camping also offers an unparalleled opportunity for solitude and can be among the most rewarding experiences hiking has to offer. All crosscountry camping sites must be at least 1/4 mile away from any road or established trail. However, suitable terrain for camping is almost always much farther and may take an additional several hours to locate. Camps must also be at least 100 feet from lakes, streams, and other wetlands. Party size may not exceed 5 people in summer. Choose crosscountry camping only if you are adept with map and compass and are in excellent physical condition for enduring the additional challenge of crosscountry travel. Hikers doing the complete Wonderland Trail are limited to camping in designated camps only—the use of cross-country zones is not permitted.
Don't you find it interesting that this regulations states that a campsite MUST be at lest 1/4 mile from any road or established trail? How do you do that if you are not allowed off trail? This specific reference can be found at http://www.nps.gov …lines-and-regulations.htm
As photographers, we have a duty to understand and follow all applicable regulations within the parks that we visit and/or shoot. However, disseminating incorrect information to fellow photographers, does not help anyone in understanding or following the various guidelines that are unique to each park. Before you make such a patently incorrect statement, my suggestion would be that you (1) determine specifically where in the park the photograph(s) were taken so that you can assist the photographer in following the regulations of the park and (2) help a fellow photographer,without criticizing what you yourself do not understand, follow the rules and regulations for where they are shooting.
May you and everyone who supports our National Parks understand the regulations, abide by them, and thoroughly enjoy "America's Best Idea"http://www.nps.gov/americasbestidea/.