At the risk of putting myself in the unflattering position of defending something our government does, I have to mention that the new restrictions are in response to a segment of the population which feels they can do as they please wherever they please whenever they please.
Add to that the growing population of homeless and meth lab entrepreneurs.
It's the ole adage of throwing the baby out with the bath water. The National Parks HAVE to do something with the growing population of these types of people and hard working tax paying campers are paying the price.
I am in Florida right now and the Ocala National Forest was on my bucket list. NOT. I was informed by a State Park Ranger, and in depth, all what is living in there now and how it would most certainly not make for a pleasant nor safe camping experience.
"We must be willing to get rid of the life we've planned,
so as to have the life that is waiting for us".
You folks in the west are just starting to feel the pinch . Most of the NF roads here were closed to vehicular traffic in the late 70's , not restricted , closed . Don't like it much but have to agree with Seldomseen , something has to be done . Once you have any sizable population using it " Leave No Trace " becomes no more than a pipe dream . Use it and savor it while you can .
The rules you're refering to were mandated back in 2005, but the forest service has been slow in getting around to compliance. I went to many of the land use public hearings here in Utah when they were debating which roads and trails to keep open for motorized use, and found it very interesting to hear the inputs from the different groups, most of which were trying to close public land to any but the select purists. Discussions ranged from banning cell phone and GPS use to as extreme as banning any sort of rescue in wilderness areas in the hopes of keep those out who weren't skilled pure outdoorsmen.
The result in this state is that boondocking is illegal in anything but designated campgrounds in any of the national forest service managed lands in the state of Utah. You must be a minimum of 100 feet from any road, trail, or body of water for dispersed camping. On the other hand, if you're 100 feet from a designated road you're in violation the the land use portion of the law. The only legal dispersed camping is now soley by tent.
All that said, the rules are different for the lands managed by the state, BLM, and national park service, and at least for now you can still boondock on BLM land without breaking any laws.
It will be interesting to see where the new Forest Management plan goes.
There are about 15 very large maps covering the two national forests around Bend (Ochoco and Deschutes). Those maps are, presently, free. Of course, if everyone gets a map set, the cost to the government will be very high So I would expect a charge for the maps in the future. Additionally, the maps are not very easy to read, often with the road numbers not accurately reflecting what is on the ground (I am very good with maps).
This past spring, I very carefully took a forest management plan map, and addendum, and verified that a location that I wanted to camp at was still "available" for camping. However, when I drove up there on a scouting trip, there were signs saying the area was closed to all vehicles. I took pictures of the signs and forwarded them, along with the map location, to the forest service asking "what's up?” They responded that there was an error In this case, the error was made by the crews posting the signs. However, they also admitted that there were errors in the maps and that new maps would have to be printed..........
So my first statement still holds. It will be interesting to see where this management plans goes.
So like Utah, we as a nation are heading back to tent camping by foot or tc camping within the 30 foot corridor along the designated dirt roads. Maybe it's the heat this summer but I have a bad feeling about this for future camping. And surely the BLM can use the same excuse, sorry, reason, to close/narrow access to motor vehicle camping at some point.
The environmentalists think that we all can pack a backpack and walk into the forest to go camping. Sadly that is not true for most of us. We don't have three weeks to camp in one location, or have strength to do that type of wilderness camping anymore.
Not all of us want to be in a crowded commercial campground either, and National Forest campgrounds seem to be packing everyone in tightly to those as well. Even designated campgrounds have not grown with the population and the number of RV's being sold each year.
We need to get the kind of support that AARP has when Congress starts thinking about limiting Social Security. AARP will start a campaign and things that Congress wants to do to save money or cut benefits don't happen, AARP members speak up.
We need millions more invested in our interstate road system, bridges, and yes even the National Forests. Don't they know that every dollar spent on the freeways and bridges gets taxed at least 3 times while it is being spent?
They tax the fuel being spent on the construction equipment, the labor costs are taxed, construction materials, engineering firms pay payroll and property tax, and tax on all the materials they purchase to print out the engineering specs for the project. I would say that every dollar spent on a project is taxed in one way or another.
THE FOREST BELONGS TO EVERYONE... however, there are some firm guidelines we must all follow out of respect for everyone who owns the Forest, human and animal.
I never considered that animals owned the forest. I always thought the forest was the property of citizens and that the animals, plants, trees, waters, birds, etc... were all part of the forest. My definition doesn't sound as cute I guess.
I also seem to recall the rule for offroad camping in Washington anyway, to be 150' from the road and some hundred feet from any waters.
I see no reason to make a change further limiting the publics access to public land. If it is already in use, leave it.