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Old 08-26-2020, 02:53 PM   #1
hustonm
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Question on Overnight Parking

When I was a kid in the 70's an uncle would take me fishing through out the Adk's, with a slide in camper. We would park a streams on road pull offs. We would fish almost all day eat and sleep in the camper.. No fires no garbage left behind... It is my understanding this is no longer permitted. Reason I ask is O know of a nice spot where I would like to deer hunt where there is a big parking area it is fairly far back on the side road..I would like to go up Friday evening sleep over hunt all day on a Saturday sleep over hunt and leave Sunday morning... if I kept my camper connected to my truck no fires no mess. What do you think the worst that can happen DEC Officer wakes me up tells me to move?
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Old 08-26-2020, 04:45 PM   #2
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Go for it
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Old 08-26-2020, 05:49 PM   #3
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If the land bordering the road is state land, it would fall under the jurisdiction of the state land use regulations- in particular the 150 foot rule, which restricts camping within 150 feet of any road, trail or water to designated campsites only. Accordingly, if the pull off is not a designated tent site, then if you are caught by a ranger the response could range from directing you to move on to being issued a citation for violating the rule- which in turn can carry a fine of up to $250 and/or up to 15 days in jail.

It's worth pointing out that there are designated roadside campsites in the Adirondacks, many of which it would be perfectly legal to park your camper at for the weekend. This is especially common during hunting season (in fact, if you contact the DEC in advance, you can get a permit to leave your camper set up at a designated campsite for several weeks/months during the fall hunting season). The Moose River Plains is perhaps the most well known location for this- there's something like 100+ free, first-come first-serve roadside campsites in this area, and many of these sites do fill up with RVs, camper trailers, canvas wall tents, etc. during the fall hunting season.

If you can give some more information about the general geographic area you'd like to hunt this Autumn, the members of this forum can probable help with suggesting some legal, designated roadside tent sites where you'd be allowed to do this.

If the area bordering the road is not state land, YMMV on whether doing this is legal. It'd really depend on the county/town (likely how much they care about it), and/or the private property owner (likely whether you had permission for it or not).
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Old 08-27-2020, 05:08 PM   #4
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Dsettahr, please correct me, but I think there also is a specific regulation prohibiting camping at trailheads (if the parking area is considered a trailhead). Sleeping in a vehicle is considered “camping”.

Human waste accumulation is another reason for these regulations.


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Old 08-28-2020, 05:49 AM   #5
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You are correct in that camping at trailheads (including sleeping in vehicles) is not permitted (and is potentially a ticketable offense). As for why, yes, human waste is one such issue. In general terms, the potential for concentrated impacts (devegetation, fire pits, trash, social impacts of groups occupying the space, etc.) at and near the trailheads were camping be permitted is huge.

That being said, I'm not aware of any additional regulation that specifically calls out camping at trailheads- my understanding is that it's the same 150 foot rule that applies (as by camping at the trailhead parking area, you're camping within 150 feet of a road).

I took a quick look through the regulations and I don't see any such regulation- but that's not to say that it doesn't exist somewhere. There could also be language in the Environmental Conservation Law (which is different than the regulations) to this effect.
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Old 08-28-2020, 07:25 AM   #6
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I did the same search for the regulation because I also have heard, officially from somewhere, that you can't sleep in a vehicle at a trailhead. But I did not find anything in print saying so.

On the other hand, at a random nontrailhead roadside pull-out can you be faulted for resting when tired for safety instead of falling asleep while continuing to drive at night? Actual proof of intent may come into play.
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Old 08-28-2020, 09:01 AM   #7
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I don't think you will find a regulation spelling out sleeping in vehicle. Just as you will not find one saying sleeping in your tent at the trailhead. The regulations define "overnight camper" as a person who stays or intends to stay during the night. And he regs prohibit camping within 150' of roads, trails, water. Putting these together, it seems slepping in your car is just a specific violation of the 150' rule. Notwithstanding any other potential violations for that area which may be posted or codified.

edit: The term "overnight camper" was specific to EHPZ. The general definition of "camp" is more clearly defined for all state lands in Title 6. Which defines: (2) Camp shall mean any form of temporary shelter, including but not limited to a tent, motor home travel trailer, mobile home, or the use if any vehicle for shelter or sleeping.
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Old 08-28-2020, 09:05 AM   #8
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Maybe I am remembering DEC’s definition of “camping” which includes staying in vehicles on state land, including trailheads.
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Old 08-28-2020, 09:31 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JoeCedar View Post
Maybe I am remembering DEC’s definition of “camping” which includes staying in vehicles on state land, including trailheads.
Yes. I edited my post above. Full text of NYSCRR is here: https://govt.westlaw.com/nycrr/Docum...efault)&bhcp=1
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Old 09-02-2020, 09:34 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by hustonm View Post
When I was a kid in the 70's an uncle would take me fishing through out the Adk's, with a slide in camper. We would park a streams on road pull offs. We would fish almost all day eat and sleep in the camper.. No fires no garbage left behind... It is my understanding this is no longer permitted. Reason I ask is O know of a nice spot where I would like to deer hunt where there is a big parking area it is fairly far back on the side road..I would like to go up Friday evening sleep over hunt all day on a Saturday sleep over hunt and leave Sunday morning... if I kept my camper connected to my truck no fires no mess. What do you think the worst that can happen DEC Officer wakes me up tells me to move?
I assume, if you are in the (wrong), he or she may politely ask you to move your vehicle. In turn, they may even direct you to an area where you can do the above specified. Happy hunting.
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Old 09-02-2020, 10:14 AM   #11
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Does the answer to this question depend on the ownership of said roadside parking? I attach a large blowup of a portion of SR73 south of the Round Pond trailhead, from my Gaia map, which includes property lines as well as road locations. The property lines show a 50 foot wide swath, the road itself isn't always in that swath, and the Wilderness boundaries follow an even different route. Which is correct? I'm assuming the road itself is DOT property, and not Wilderness, either High Peaks or Giant Mountain.

(Actually, I can't figure out how to paste an image into this thread!)
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Old 09-02-2020, 10:43 AM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MTVhike View Post
Does the answer to this question depend on the ownership of said roadside parking? I attach a large blowup of a portion of SR73 south of the Round Pond trailhead, from my Gaia map, which includes property lines as well as road locations. The property lines show a 50 foot wide swath, the road itself isn't always in that swath, and the Wilderness boundaries follow an even different route. Which is correct? I'm assuming the road itself is DOT property, and not Wilderness, either High Peaks or Giant Mountain.
From my post above:

Quote:
Originally Posted by DSettahr View Post
If the area bordering the road is not state land, YMMV on whether doing this is legal. It'd really depend on the county/town (likely how much they care about it), and/or the private property owner (likely whether you had permission for it or not).
Here's what the regs have to say regarding their applicability (this would include the 150 foot rule):

Quote:
Originally Posted by NYSDEC
(a) Except as otherwise provided, the provisions of this Part shall apply to all persons entering upon or using State lands under the department's jurisdiction that are administered by the Division of Lands and Forests, the Division of Operations, or both, including but not limited to such lands as unique areas, State forests, reforestation areas, multiple use areas, forest preserve, conservation areas, natural resource management areas, preserves, campgrounds and environmentally sensitive lands, and to those rights owned and managed by the State as conservation easements as defined in section 190.12 of this Part.
So the 150 foot rule does not apply if the land is not under the jurisdiction of the NYSDEC. This would presumably include if you are parked within the corridor of roads that are under the jurisdiction of NYSDOT, as well as those roads under the jurisdiction of various county and town/village DOTs/DPWs/etc.

This is outside of the realm of my understanding, but I would surmise that if you were parked so far within that "swath" that you were definitively not at least in part on adjacent state land under the jurisdiction of the NYSDEC, that would itself be an issue- you'd almost certainly be obstructing the safe flow of traffic.

Regarding the quality of GIS information, it's notorious that the official documentation of many separate types of spatial features doesn't "line up" when zoomed in closely. For practical purposes, it's best to assume that this is an error in the quality of the information, rather than a realitistic portrayal of the "on the ground" conditions. In other words, no, there is not a swath of DOT lands adjacent to the road that you could presume to argue you could camp on in violation of NYSDEC regulations because it's "not NYSDEC lands."

As for which is the best source of info, I'd generally pick the tax maps over the other sources. These are usually (but not always) more accurate than the other sources. Sometimes it can take a bit of guesswork to figure out which data source is the most accurate.
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Old 09-02-2020, 01:42 PM   #13
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DS, I've also used tax maps and, often, some of the boundaries approximate roads, town lines, wilderness boundaries. I assume that regarding the boundaries, legally they all coincide, even if the roads do not! I just checked with the Essex Co GIS map and it's essentially the same - misaligned boundaries. My guess is that the property boundary is legally correct, and the road data is inaccurate. But wouldn't the wilderness boundaries align precisely with the properties?
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Old 09-02-2020, 03:29 PM   #14
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Sounds more like a lawyer's dream post on regulations, no offense to any of you. The "Shortest distance between two points is a straight line".

Hustonm, go for it like St Regis mentioned. My two cents is saying you will be fine.
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Old 09-02-2020, 04:05 PM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Edb 46 er View Post
The "Shortest distance between two points is a straight line".
"The pleasantest distance between two points is a meander".

-JJ, circa 2000
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Old 09-02-2020, 07:25 PM   #16
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I don't disagree that some of us are more hyperfocused on the minutiae of the subject than is necessary for the conversation at hand... but I do disagree with the premise of "the legalities are murky at best, therefore you should go ahead and do it!" I think that this is not the greatest advice, especially not when there's a decent alternative: the numerous legal, designated roadside sites across the Adirondack Park, many of which would likely accommodate the OP.
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Old 09-02-2020, 07:37 PM   #17
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I would think that the OP understood the consequences of his own actions. I will agree he or she should look more closely into campsites that are available in the area they wish to hunt.
Your correct dsettahr, camp within the regulations. My comment should be taken with a grain of salt.

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Old 09-02-2020, 09:05 PM   #18
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Sounds to me like hustonm is going to be very responsible. So yeah, my opinion is to go for it. I see no reason why someone couldn't do it in this instance, especially in a large lot well off the road, not next to the water, no fires, no garbage, no trace, no bs. I honestly believe the worst thing a ranger might say is either move on (which in this case could be done in a matter of minutes) or next time go to this spot 3 miles down the road. I'd be amazed if a ranger would give a citation to a hunter sleeping in his camper. He or she might stop by to say hi and check you out, but I believe giving someone a citation would be far fetched. I bet they'd be much more inclined to say be careful and good luck

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