Federal regulations

We think it is important that people know what the Rules and Regulations are for the National Forest on a Federal level. A link to the entire document is provided at the end of this blog. These R&R’s are nationwide, but as the following paragraph states, it may be different in the national forest you are curious about:

  • The Chief, each Regional Forester, each Forest Supervisor, and each District Ranger or equivalent officer may issue special-use authorizations, award contracts, or approve operating plans authorizing the occupancy or use of a road, trail, area, river, lake, or other part of the National Forest System in accordance with authority which is delegated elsewhere in this chapter or in the Forest Service Manual. These Forest Officers may permit in the authorizing document or approved plan an act or omission that would otherwise be a violation of a subpart A or subpart C regulation or a subpart B order. In authorizing such uses, the Forest Officer may place such conditions on the authorization as that officer considers necessary for the protection or administration of the National Forest System, or for the promotion of public health, safety, or welfare.

Another worthy paragraph under 261.1 Penalty:

  • Any violation of the prohibitions of this part (261) shall be punished by a fine of not more than $500 or imprisonment for not more than six months or both pursuant to title 16 U.S.C., section 551, unless otherwise provided.

Under 261.2 Definitions, we find this clarification as well:

  • Person means natural person, corporation, company, partnership, trust, firm, or association of persons.
  • Permission means oral authorization by a forest officer.”
  • Permit means authorization in writing by a forest officer.”

Here are the prohibitions listed under 261.3 – Interfering with a Forest officer, volunteer, or human resource program enrollee or giving false report to a Forest officer:

  • (a) Threatening, resisting, intimidating, or interfering with any forest officer engaged in or on account of the performance of his official duties in the protection, improvement, or administration of the National Forest System is prohibited.
  • (b) Giving any false, fictitious or fraudulent report or other information to any Forest Officer engaged in or on account of the performance of his official duties knowing that such report or other information contains false, fictitious or fraudulent statement or entry.
  • (c) Threatening, intimidating, or intentionally interfering with any Forest officer, volunteer, or human resource program enrollee while engaged in, or on account of, the performance of duties for the protection, improvement, or administration of the National Forest System or other duties assigned by the Forest Service.

Disorderly Conduct prohibitions under 261.4:

  • (a) Engaging in fighting.
  • (b) Addressing any offensive, derisive, or annoying communication to any other person who is lawfully present when such communication has a direct tendency to cause acts of violence by the person to whom, individually, the remark is addressed.
  • (c) Make statements or other actions directed toward inciting or producing imminent lawless action and likely to incite or produce such action.
  • (d) Causing public inconvenience, annoyance, or alarm by making unreasonably loud noise.

The Fire prohibitions are shown in 261.5:

  • (a) Carelessly or negligently throwing or placing any ignited substance or other substance that may cause a fire.
  • (b) Firing any tracer bullet or incendiary ammunition.
  • (c) Causing timber, trees, slash, brush or grass to burn except as authorized by permit.
  • (d) Leaving a fire without completely extinguishing it.
  • (e) Causing and failing to maintain control of a fire that is not a prescribed fire that damages the National Forest System.
  • (f) Building, attending, maintaining, or using a campfire without removing all flammable material from around the campfire adequate to prevent its escape.
  • (g) Negligently failing to maintain control of a prescribed fire on Non-National Forest System lands that damages the National Forest System.

Among other things, the following are part of section 261.10 Occupancy and use as prohibited:

  • (a) Constructing, placing, or maintaining any kind of road, trail, structure, fence, enclosure, communication equipment, significant surface disturbance, or other improvement on National Forest System lands or facilities without a special-use authorization, contract, or approved operating plan when such authorization is required.
  • (b) Construction, reconstructing, improving, maintaining, occupying or using a residence on National Forest System lands unless authorized by a special-use authorization or approved operating plan when such authorization is required.
  • (c) Selling or offering for sale any merchandise or conducting any kind of work activity or service unless authorized by Federal law, regulation, or special-use authorization.
  • (e) Abandoning any personal property.
  • (f) Placing a vehicle or other object in such a manner that it is an impediment or hazard to the safety or convenience of any person.
  • (g) Commercial distribution of printed material without a special use authorization.
  • (i) Operating or using in or near a campsite, developed recreation site, or over an adjacent body of water without a permit, any device which produces noise, such as a radio, television, musical instrument, motor or engine in such a manner and at such a time so as to unreasonably disturb any person.
  • (j) Operating or using a public address system, whether fixed, portable or vehicle mounted, in or near a campsite or developed recreation site or over an adjacent body of water without a special-use authorization.
  • (k) Use or occupancy of National Forest System land or facilities without special-use authorization when such authorization is required.

And the next item is Sanitation under 261.11:

  • (a) Depositing in any toilet, toilet vault, or plumbing fixture any substance which could damage or interfere with the operation or maintenance of the fixture.
  • (b) Possessing or leaving refuse, debris, or litter in an exposed or unsanitary condition.
  • (c) Placing in or near a stream, lake, or other water any substance which does or may pollute a stream, lake, or other water.
  • (d) Failing to dispose of all garbage, including any paper, can, bottle, sewage, waste water or material, or rubbish either by removal from the site or area, or by depositing it into receptacles or at places provided for such purposes.
  • (e) Dumping of any refuse, debris, trash or litter brought as such from private property or from land occupied under permit, except, where a container, dump or similar facility has been provided and is identified as such, to receive trash generated from private lands or lands occupied under permit.

There are many more topics and I urge you to check them out by following the link here and also be sure to drop down to the area that is titled: Subpart B – Prohibitions in Areas Designated by Order. Title 36: Parks, Forests, and Public Property of the Code of Federal Regulations can be found here: https://www.ecfr.gov/cgi-bin/retrieveECFR?gp=1&SID=1b5d5cf8ac6152eaa74f3994b92605ca&ty=HTML&h=L&r=PART&n=36y2.