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  1. #1
    Official Cooler Inspector
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    DuPont Closures After Dark - what are the options?

    Is there a plan to allow bike/tour/business/non-profit/educational/wedding/photography/on and on groups to obtain a long term Group Permit?

    Dupont Permit Proposal - WLOS News13 - Top Stories
    I am a fool for those special connections

  2. #2
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    I think you'll have to apply for an annual night use permit. There may be a small fee for it.
    He/she who works the trails does so in their own image.

    Speed just slows me down...

  3. #3
    Official Cooler Inspector
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    Personally, I'm not opposed to having a permit - I live here. I'm thinking about the other folks. Big topic and "Crappy".
    I am a fool for those special connections

  4. #4
    Freeride Pabstist Church
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    The article in the H-ville paper said that folks may have to apply for a permit to hang on their rear view mirror. No big deal so long as it isn't a bunch of crap to get one.

    I interrupted a drug deal at Lake Imaging lot one evening coming back to my car after a night ride. Fun.
    I reserve the right to make fun of your beliefs if I think they are stupid.

  5. #5
    Pisgah-Pale-Alien
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    I've got no problem with that. As long as there are obtainable permits for night riding and it helps with law enforcement, who cares.
    Pisgah Forest NC

  6. #6
    Official Cooler Inspector
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    I am a fool for those special connections

  7. #7
    Rogue Exterminator
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    It really won't affect me as I don't night ride out there. However I still think it would be totally crappy to deny users. If permits are allowed though and easily obtained, it would be cool.
    Just stick it in granny and start grinding.

  8. #8
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    frm the article "the Pisgah Area Southern Off-Road Bicycle Association, said he could support closing DuPont from midnight to 6 a.m." Most of my night riding starts between 4-5am. Also meteor showers peak from 3-5am.

    When I lived in NH a state park had some operating hours. The rangers would ask some questions if you got there. If they saw that you were prepared for night hiking they still would let you in. It was a way that they used to keep the riff raff away while letting others to still enjoy the forest. One of there its said "No Parking After Dark" A ranger once told me to make sure I park there before night fall since you would be already parked. The same park also had a small campground with "No Alcohol" signs. Placed there more to keep loud groups away. If you were quietly sitting around at your site drinking a beer they would leave you alone.

  9. #9
    Big Mac
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    DuPont Closures After Dark - what are the options?

    Quote Originally Posted by brianW. View Post
    frm the article "the Pisgah Area Southern Off-Road Bicycle Association, said he could support closing DuPont from midnight to 6 a.m." Most of my night riding starts between 4-5am. Also meteor showers peak from 3-5am.

    When I lived in NH a state park had some operating hours. The rangers would ask some questions if you got there. If they saw that you were prepared for night hiking they still would let you in. It was a way that they used to keep the riff raff away while letting others to still enjoy the forest. One of there its said "No Parking After Dark" A ranger once told me to make sure I park there before night fall since you would be already parked. The same park also had a small campground with "No Alcohol" signs. Placed there more to keep loud groups away. If you were quietly sitting around at your site drinking a beer they would leave you alone.
    So, what you're saying is that, these closures and prohibitions are in "the grey area"?

  10. #10
    Big Mac
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    DuPont Closures After Dark - what are the options?

    I see no problem with requiring a night use permit. To shut the forest down at night would be shameful.

  11. #11
    Rogue Exterminator
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    Quote Originally Posted by mbmb65 View Post
    So, what you're saying is that, these closures and prohibitions are in "the grey area"?
    Yes
    Just stick it in granny and start grinding.

  12. #12
    Big Mac
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    DuPont Closures After Dark - what are the options?

    Quote Originally Posted by kjlued View Post
    Yes
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  13. #13
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    I spoke with Jason and another ranger about the potential closures on Monday. He confirmed what the article said; they have no intent to restrict legitimate users from enjoying the forest. The permitting process and closure is more to give the sheriff's dept some ground to stand on to enforce rules on the people drinking, partying, vandalism, illegal camping, etc... They basically want to have some sort of documentation and system for who is allowed in the forest after dark and who isn't. It shouldn't really be a big deal.

  14. #14
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    As the article in the Times/News reported, I serve on the DuPont Advisory Committee (appointed mountain bike representative). Below is my response and feedback I sent to the rest of our committee after first learning of the decision (which they are now re-considering).

    RE: Hours of Operation for DuPont State Recreational Forest

    I would like to join Rob Hebb in opposition to this new policy establishing hours of operation and thus limiting recreational use to daylight hours (1 hour prior to sunrise and 1 hour after sunset).
    DuPont is a state recreational forest as designated in 2012 and there are many legitimate night time (after dark) recreational uses of the forest:
    -Full moon hiking
    -Winter Solstice hikes
    -Meteor watching on top of Big Rock is amazing
    -Nighttime mountain biking
    -I went on a night time horseback ride with friends from Pisgah Trailblazers once and it was an exhilarating experience. Horses have much better night time vision than humans and so you have to put total trust in the horses eyes (I could not see a thing the night I went).
    -Blue ghost firefly watching is a very popular activity in DuPont for several weeks when they are mating in early summer months.
    -When we were building Airstrip Trail (as volunteers) we walked the machines out of the woods well after dark back up the trail and onto the runway in Nov. 2005.
    There certainly are others, the above list is the activities that I have participated in after dark at DuPont Forest. Though the above list would still be allowed with an issued special permit, the process of obtaining a permit (how easy) has not really been discussed and there have been hints of fees associated with that. I can support reasonable parking fees for use of DuPont (and availability of a yearly permit for purchase) but I do not support fees for night time use and no fee for daytime use.
    It seems that the push for restricted use of DuPont Forest is penalizing legitimate night time forest users for the really small percentage of folks performing un-desired and sometime illegal behaviors after dark (trash dumping, turning over port-johns, donuts in the parking lots etc.). I would suggest that reduced to no level of legitimate forest users (serving as eyes and ears) will only invite more rogue behavior. I do recognize that some level of un-desired behavior is happening and would predict that night time is when it happens due to less traffic in and around parking areas by legitimate forest users. In Dec. forest management hauled off a disposed of full size RV trailer from the Lake Imaging parking lot and last week I found dumped building materials at the Stone Mountain parking area.

    There are many alternatives to curbing un-desired behaviors and the short list includes: increased patrol and law enforcement presence (as discussed in Robís letter), use of wildlife cameras to photo document activity, surveillance cameras or signs that indicate that cameras are being used with no real camera in place. The latter is a technique/strategy I am aware of other land managers using to discourage parking lot rogue activities (where 99% of the un-desired behavior takes place).
    I would also like to visit the question of how this decision was made and question the timeline and process by which it was made. The Forest Supervisors Report date 10/17/2013 and meeting of that same date was the first time this was mentioned to the DSRF Advisory Committee. The report noted:
     Hours of Operation
    The DSRF Forest Supervisor and staff have decided that for safety and law enforcement reasons that the hours of operation for DuPont State Recreational Forest need to be posted. The impetus of this is to inform the public of the hours of operation and reduce night-time usage, unless it is a permitted activity. We have consulted with local law enforcement agencies that patrol the Forest and they feel strongly that, without posted hours, there is very little they can to enforce Forest Rules. The authority of the Forest Supervisor to establish hours of operation is outlined in NC Administrative Code 02 NCAC 60B. 1031 (b).
    In reading the 10/17/2013 report it appears the decision had been made prior to that last Advisory Committee meeting and thus the committee itself had no opportunity to advice or offer opinion and input. That seems counter to what we are supposed to be all about. I have in the past noted during our meetings that we are more of a listening committee and less of an advisory committee and this is a good example of that prior statement.
    The report cites a NC Admin code that gives authority to the Forest Supervisor to set hours of operation and here is the exact language from that code:

    02 NCAC 60B .1031 HOURS OF OPERATION
    (a) Hours of operation may vary for individual forests. Hours of operation for each State Forest or Educational State Forest will be posted at the forest entrance, the forest office, and on the Division's web site. (b) No person except forest employees and authorized persons shall be allowed within the forest between closing and opening hours except under permit.
    History Note: Authority G.S. 106-22; 106-870; 106-877;
    Eff. November 1, 2009;
    Transferred from 15A NCAC 09C .1258 Eff. May 1, 2012.
    There is no specific mention of the Forest Supervisor in that NC Admin Code, but it is quite clear that hours of operation may vary from one state forest to another state forest.
    Perhaps of great interest and having more bearing in this case is the dedication legislation of DuPont State Recreation Forest which can be found here: Section 106-887 - Management of DuPont State Recreational Forest. :: 2012 North Carolina Code :: US Codes and Statutes :: US Law :: Justia

    Of particular interest in that dedication language is the following:
    (h) The Department shall adopt rules for operation and management of DuPont State Recreational Forest in consultation with interested parties, including, but not limited to, local governments with jurisdiction over the area, the Friends of DuPont Forest, and other stakeholders with interests in the property for recreation and protection of its wildlife populations, water quality, biodiversity, or historical and cultural value.
    Limiting use to daylight hours (with 1 hour shoulder on either end) represents a major management change for DuPont Forest. Daylight hours only use was not adopted in opening DuPont State Forest in 1996, was not introduced in the June 2011 LRMP (Land and Resource Management Plan) for DuPont State Forest and has not been introduced in the current master plan under development for DuPont State Recreational Forest (new designation in 2012) from an outside consultant as we have not seen a draft of that document as of yet (due Spring 2014). Even Forest Supervisor Jason Guidry recognizes this as a major management change and noted this in the Forest Supervisorís Report 1/16/2014 with this statement:
    With the understanding that this will be a significant change for a portion of the Forestís users and the Forest staff enforcing the permits, we want a policy that is fair to Forest users, easy to understand and comply with, and manageable for the Forest Staff.
    The dedication legislation would seem to indicate that such a radical change in management such as limiting use to daylight hours only is a decision that cannot be made without consulting interested parties including FODF and other stakeholders. Jason attended the FODF Board Retreat last weekend and presented this to the BOD showing signs made and announcing this new policy change. That clearly does not constitute consultation and as noted above the DSRF Advisory Board was not given proper opportunity to influence the decision until after the policy decision was made. In addition to FODF as a major stakeholder, Pisgah Area SORBA should also be considered a major stakeholder due to the large in-kind donation of thousands of hours of quality trail construction and maintenance work and the investment of a trail tool stash for use in DuPont.
    I would hope that we can begin the proper process of public impute and stakeholder consultation as called for in the dedication legislation and consider the current decision null and void due improper decision making processes. I would suggest a compromise position that accommodates legitimate after dark recreational use while still providing a management tool of limited hours and set the forest visitation hours of 6AM to 12midnight (year-round) with no special permit needs, and between 12AM and 6AM possible with an easy to get special after hours permit.

  15. #15
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    So exactly where are they in the decision making process? Are they seeking public comment or is this a done deal and they just need to work out the permit details?
    He/she who works the trails does so in their own image.

    Speed just slows me down...

  16. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by 2bfluid View Post
    So exactly where are they in the decision making process? Are they seeking public comment or is this a done deal and they just need to work out the permit details?
    No, the final decision has not been made. Please write a letter or email voicing your opinion on the proposal. I support a closed from midnight to 6AM new policy, but am opposed to the 1 hour before and 1 hour after proposal (Too restrictive). Our next Advisory Committee meeting is March 20th.

  17. #17
    Rogue Exterminator
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    Quote Originally Posted by mbmb65 View Post
    You got anymore of those cards?
    You mean these cards?

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    Just stick it in granny and start grinding.

  18. #18
    Rogue Exterminator
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    Damn, I just noticed I stuttered at the end of that. lol
    Just stick it in granny and start grinding.

  19. #19
    Big Mac
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    DuPont Closures After Dark - what are the options?

    Quote Originally Posted by kjlued View Post
    Damn, I just noticed I stuttered at the end of that. lol
    That's the one. I just assumed you were driving home the importance of understanding the grey area.

  20. #20
    Rogue Exterminator
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    Yes, yes that is exactly what I was doing.
    Just stick it in granny and start grinding.

  21. #21
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    I also spoke with Jason on Wed about the issue. He said he is very interested and open to the public's thoughts on the topic, since they are just in the planning phase right now. He also told me he was surprised how many night time users had contacted them already this week (including the local bike shops). He stressed that it wasn't meant to deter us normal nighttime users that were using DSRF for the correct reasons, that it was more of a legal way to be able to remove/prevent riffraff and illegal activities from happening on park property. He said at this time he was leaning toward the nighttime permits being free, but also mentioned he had asked Woodman his thoughts on charging for them. He also said that he was wanting obtaining the permit to be as simple as emailing them, then printing off a permit that was emailed back to display on the dash of the vehicle. I'm not so sure a print off permit is the best idea though, if it's meant to be good for a year (possibly 2). I would think something more along the lines of a permit window sticker might be more of a fail safe way to display the permit.



    Woodman- I think you may be onto the more ideal scenario with the midnight-6am closure with possibility of permits for that time if needed. I'm also not opposed to this if the funds were used for trail maintenance and property upkeep (if like you stated there was an option for a yearly pass permit available for locals) -
    Quote Originally Posted by Woodman View Post
    I can support reasonable parking fees for use of DuPont (and availability of a yearly permit for purchase) but I do not support fees for night time use and no fee for daytime use.
    "I ride to clear my head, my head is clearer when I'm riding SS. Therefore, I choose to ride SS."~ Fullrange Drew

  22. #22
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    I am opposed to night time permits costing $ if day time does not. I do however support an across the board parking fee with the $ going back into maintaining DuPont.

  23. #23
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    Where you been PB?

    Your experience of coming back to the parking area drug deal is exactly why we need legitimate use on the forest after dark thirty. Legit users serving as eyes and ears on any public lands are the best patrol (much better than law enforcement who simply don't have enough presence). That being said, when we see something wrong going down, we need to call 911 and report that rouge behavior.


    Quote Originally Posted by pisgahboy View Post
    The article in the H-ville paper said that folks may have to apply for a permit to hang on their rear view mirror. No big deal so long as it isn't a bunch of crap to get one.

    I interrupted a drug deal at Lake Imaging lot one evening coming back to my car after a night ride. Fun.

  24. #24
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    Quote Originally Posted by Woodman View Post
    I am opposed to night time permits costing $ if day time does not. I do however support an across the board parking fee with the $ going back into maintaining DuPont.
    From what I saw from a parking fee for the White Mountain NF in NH. The forest service sold the idea to hikers/backpackers/ cross country skiers as a way to raise funds for the trails. I only saw them use the money to make the trail heads look pretty with new signs not trail maintenance.

  25. #25
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    The USFS fee program is a monster into itself. It is working in many places like Bend OR where the $ is put to good use. Yes, some goes to better parking and pit toilets. DuPont is a state run forest and has no relationship to USFS.


    Quote Originally Posted by brianW. View Post
    From what I saw from a parking fee for the White Mountain NF in NH. The forest service sold the idea to hikers/backpackers/ cross country skiers as a way to raise funds for the trails. I only saw them use the money to make the trail heads look pretty with new signs not trail maintenance.

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