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Old 01-12-2008, 08:32 AM   #101
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Originally Posted by wildriver View Post
But until that day, no such regulation exists. Under the current regulations, nothing compels anyone to share a lean-to or any other campsite.

This is what I've been saying from square one. Do you understand?

It's not that I disagree with the regulation. There is nothing to agree or disagree with. Sharing lean-tos may be encouraged as good backwoods etiquette, but currently that's all it is. It carries no legal weight whatsoever.
I understand exactly what you said. However since I know of a case where a citation was actually issued, a court appearance made and a fine issued, I disagree with your comment that it's not enforceable.

I've very politely been trying to suggest that since all of us here spend a lot of times in the woods and understand that most of the regulations/policies, etc are reasonable and necessary, why one would publicly suggest that it's OK for someone to take over a lean to because the rule is "unenforceable". There are enough self centered jerks out there now that don't care about anyone else and have little respect for authority. I don't think any of us need to give them any encouragement nor make things any more difficult for the rangers or the code enforcement officers.

And I personally don't believe that everything has to be codified. I believe that certain agencies are empowered to make rules that are necessary for public safety and enforce them without as formal a process as actual legislation.

What i quoted was a statement from a long time Adirondack Resident who has been active in the politics of the Adirondacks as a private citizen and as an official of an organization with concerns for the Adirondacks. It was not my statement, and it was posted to point out that according to her long time experience in the Adirondacks, these regulations and "informal" (her adjective, not mine) are enforced and upheld by judges. This contradicts your post that the regulation is not enforceable.

So, I do "get it", and I disagree with you for several reasons the first being that these policies are indeed enforced and upheld according to people who have had a long time experience in dealing with them.
Secondly, I don't think it is in any one's best interest to suggest that someone ignore a regulation because it's "unenforceable".

As members of a hiking community and certainly those of us who make it our business to keep the public informed on trails, conditions, etiquette, etc have a responsibility to encourage the following of the rules set by the DEC. To suggest that the lean-to rule is "unenforceable" and could therefore be ignored does the backpacking community at large and the DEC Officers and the rangers a disservice.

As for your thought that "nothing compels someone to share a campsite", if you are talking about a lean to I would disagree. Common courtesy would compel me to share the lean-to. I wouldn't need a regulation to tell me that. But there are many who are not courteous, that's why the rule is necessary and as i said before, would be upheld by a court, not only my opinion, but an actual experience of someone I met.

We can argue the merits of a regulation all we want and well we should. And if we think a regulation is not in the best interest of the outdoor community or perhaps our own best interest, then we should take steps to prevent it's implementation or to get it rescinded. But I don't believe, on THIS forum, we should be suggesting that one can ignore a regulation because it's "unenforceable".

So we'll agree to disagree or debate this sometime face to face. In the meantime let's turn the thread back over to winter camping.

"If future generations are to remember us with gratitude rather than contempt, we must leave them more than the miracles of technology. We must leave them a glimpse of the world as it was in the beginning, not just after we got through with it." Lyndon B. Johnson
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Old 01-12-2008, 08:49 AM   #102
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Originally Posted by redhawk View Post
So we'll agree to disagree or debate this sometime face to face. In the meantime let's turn the thread back over to winter camping.

Hallelujah, I was just going to suggest you move this thread to the "Esoteric debates over laws, regulations, and rules" forum
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Old 01-12-2008, 09:18 AM   #103
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Originally Posted by oldsmores View Post
Hallelujah, I was just going to suggest you move this thread to the "Esoteric debates over laws, regulations, and rules" forum
Ahhh, but we have to wait for the Judgeh to chime in! He should be back soon!
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Old 01-12-2008, 01:18 PM   #104
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Originally Posted by chairrock View Post
Ahhh, but we have to wait for the Judgeh to chime in! He should be back soon!
And to think, all of this started with a simple question about plastic tarps in lean-tos.

Some basic thoughts:

1. It's pretty obvious that these regs (the few I've read) were written at different times and without sufficient regard to any sort of a general overriding policy. Like some statutes, they tend to be a patchwork of contemporary administrative concerns that may contradict regs already on the books...the bane of all legislative drafters. I don't think I've ever seen a nylon tarp (I remember canvas tarps) and my guess is we might simply be dealing with a reg. written before plastic tarps arrived at their present popularity. Horses may have been banned because there were more of them and as a group they created more of a mess. It may also be they simply forgot to include mules and donkeys. (Goes without saying they forgot the occasional jackass.)

2. I think it's a fair statement that we must have notice that there is a law so that we can conform our behavior to that law. (Please don't include the Nazis in this discussion. They enacted laws aplenty and gave the world more than enough notice. The problem was their laws were inspired by the madness of racial purity, national supremacy and allegiance to one leader resulting in state sanctioned murder. We're talking lean-tos here.) We set up a procedure to enact, publicize and enforce our regulations. My view of public policy (my definition and maybe this is why the lengthy discussion on this thread) is that it comes from you and me. We pressure our elected and appointed officials and they react by enacting laws. If we think a law isn't being enforced, we pressure the police chief to set up a d.u.i. stop on New Year's Eve. A child dies and the governor pressures a child protection agency to step it up a notch. As a result there's a dramatic increase in the number of children statutorily removed from their parents. That's public policy to me. Public policy results in a law's creation and a law's enforcement (prohibition, just to cite a classic example of public policy in reverse)...but it still requires a law which brings us all the way back to the first sentence of this paragraph.

3. I simply don't know how a judge can enforce public policy in a criminal, motor vehicle or infraction court without a law or a regulation stating what conduct is to be regulated and what are the consequences if that law or regulation is violated. In short, if someone is ticketed for conduct, there had better be a statute or a regulation, lawfully enacted, proscribing that conduct, plain and simple.

4. Does public policy affect a judge's decision? Of course it does. A judge is sworn to uphold laws and laws are the result of public policy. When the law grants a discretionary authority, public policy will influence how that discretionary authority is exercised. Once again though, there has to be a law.

5. That newly married couple in the lean-to should have spent their honeymoon behind bars...separate cells.
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