Federal Register / Vol. 47 No. 52 / Wednesday, March 17, 1982 /Proposed Rules 11603

Section 2.10 Camping and food storage

The existing regulation on camping (2.5) establishes procedures for this activity in designated areas, and provides for a permit system that may be required for persons camping In the back country or other isolated sections of the park The major provisions in the current regulations include limitations on the length of time a person may camp, a prohibition against the installation of permanent camping facilities and digging or leveling the ground at any parks and a requirement that park users refrain from creating unreasonable noise between the hours of 10:00 p.m. and 6:00 a.m.

The revised camping regulation (2.10) adopts most of the provisions of the present 2.5 with only minor changes necessary to clarify procedures or conform to the new general permitting (1.8 ) and designation (1.7) processes. Some paragraphs in the current camping regulation, however, are proposed for deletion because adequate authority exists elsewhere to sever these situations. Provisions that are dropped include the limitation on the length of time a person may camp (covered under the proposed 1.5 and the definition of "public use limit"); prohibition the installation of permanent camping facilities (covered under the proposed 2.1 and the prohibition in the revised camping regulation against digging and leveling the ground): and the restrictions on the gathering of wood for use as fuel in campgrounds or picnic area (covered under the proposed 2.1). The Service has added a new paragraph (b)(6) which prohibits persons from connecting to a utility system. Except in designated areas This addition was deemed necessary to prevent the inappropriate use of facilities that were not intended for this purpose. This has been identified as a problem in many park areas.

The Service is seeking specific comments on two provisions in the revised camping regulation that were carried over from the current regulations. The first is the established "quiet" hours in campgrounds. While the Service has retained the hours 10:00 p.m. to 6:00 a a.m. it would like public comment on whether these hours are still realistic The second provision is the retention of the prohibition against the use of a campsite within a park as a base for hunting outside of the park area. Is there a need for this provision in the revised camping regulation? Is this problem in any park area?

The major addition to the proposed 2.10 is paragraph (c) which gives all superintendents the authority to designate locations which food storage requirements will be in effect. The Service believes this authority is needed to reduce wildlife problems. Inclusion of the food storage authority in this regulation will allow a number of parks to eliminate special regulations with these requirements These are parks in which camper-bear incidents have proven to be a problem. With this authority in a general regulation the superintendent of all parks has the ability to use this means of reducing the opportunity for bears or other wildlife to obtain food from campers. Since imposing food storage requirements will no longer require special regulations, they can be applied as needed in any park.

Section 2.11 Picnicking, Section 2.18, the current regulation on picnicking prohibits this activity in natural and historical areas, except in designated locations and generally allows it within recreational areas. It also authorizes the superintendent to establish time limits for picnicking.

The proposed revisions (2.11) removes the reference to natural, historical and recreational categories of parks, and establishes a single standard for all National Park System areas. The basic rule allows picnicking, but superintendents have the authority to close areas or restrict picnicking The authority to establish time limits for this activity has been deleted because it is covered in the proposed 1.5

The Service is proposing to relax this restriction because it recognizes that picnicking is an activity that is enjoyed by many park visitors and that it has little if any resource impact. In these parks or portions of parks where picnicking would be inappropriate, i.e. battlegrounds cemeteries, the -superintendent has the authority to restrict picnicking or close areas to this activity.

Section 2.12 Audio disturbances. This regulation (2.12) represents a revision to and combination of the existing 2.3 and 2.19. The current. 2.3 establishes restrictions on the use of audio devices and prohibits the installation of aerials or antennas unless authorized by the superintendent. Another provision prohibits the operation or use of a public address system it is in connection with a public gathering or special event for which a permit has been issued. Section 2.19 prohibits the use of portable engines and motors outside of developed areas without the written permission of the superintendent.

The proposed revision separates those audio devices which may under circumstances be utilized in the exercise of First Amendment rights from those devices which are merely noise producing. Paragraph (a)(4) therefore, allows public address systems to be used in conjunction with a Special Events (s 2.50 or Public Assemblies (s 2.51 ) permit. All other noise-producing devices are covered under paragraph (a)(1), which establishes 85 as the decibel level that cannot be exceeded.

Paragraph (a)(2) authorizes the operation or use of a power saw by permit or in areas and at times designated by the superintendent. The permit will specify the hours of use and any other restrictions. Any permits issued under this section will be in accordance with the criteria established in the proposed 1.6 .

The Service is purposing to delete paragraph ( c) which prohibits the installation of aerials and antennas from the-existing 2.3. It is felt that the provisions of the existing 5.13 (nuisances) are adequate to regulate these hazardous conditions. The Service considered but decided not to include in this regulation a provision establishing hours for the running of generators in campgrounds. It is felt that adequate authority to regulate this use is contained in the proposed 1.5 and the definition of public use limit.

Section 2.13 Fires. The existing regulation (2.12) establishes specific conditions for the lighting d fires. In developed areas fires are restricted to fireplaces, grills, or other specific locations. Fires in the backcountry are controlled by permit. Fires must be lighted in a safe manner and completely extinguished when no longer needed. Leaving a fire unattended is prohibited Section 2.12 also gives the superintendent the authority to prohibit smoking during certain times in certain areas, by the posting of signs.

The revised fire regulation (2.13) reorganizes the provisions of the present 2.12 without significant change. The Service does not intend that paragraph (a)(1) apply to stoves and lanterns. Paragraph (a)(2) deals with this use. However, paragraph (b) contains a new authority which allows superintendents to prescribe acceptable means of extinguishing a fire and disposing of ashes and other burned material. The Service believes that the ability to regulate fire extinguishing and cleanup procedures will protect resource values.


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