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      How many BWCA violation tickets are written?
 
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Member: butthead
Last Visit: 07/22/2014 08:28AM
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wildernessfan2  
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03/18/2012 05:30AM
 
With many of you posting on BWCA violations you have seen I an wondering how many have you seen get a ticket? Have you seen anyone escorted out of the park for violations? Have you ever seen an arrest from an officer? Have you ever seen a ranger even? Do they patrol the parking lots? Seems like a lot of the core rules are broken regularly with no or little enforcement.

Few people want more policing but, are these rules just moot because they are not laws and penalties are weak? What does reporting do if there are no facts and it's just ones word against another? How would you feel if a few of us kicked the crap outta some fool for clearly and defiantly breaking rules?

Just curious..not finger pointing.


Freshwater is delicious! Saltwater not so much..
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Savage Voyageur  
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03/18/2012 05:58AM
 
I have seen and talked to many rangers and game wardens. I have not seen a ticket written for a violation or any action taken for an infraction. With budget cuts every time you turn around I would not expect anymore presence in the BWCA.


"So many lakes, so little time."
wildernessfan2  
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03/18/2012 06:02AM
 
Yep all I have ever seen is stern talks about the importance of the rules prior to entry and one time on Loon we got checked for licenses.. No penalties = continued abuse.


Freshwater is delicious! Saltwater not so much..
emptynest56  
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03/18/2012 06:09AM
 
If you hang around "entry" lakes long enough, your permit will get checked. Other than that, be the eyes and ears of enforcement. Get whatever identifying characteristics you can see when you see a gross violation and call it in upon return. These tips work, and they deter.
Consider getting the FS number on speed dial on cell phones when you get back. I know from the Outdoor News that a whole gang of MN DNR wardens head into the BW a few days before fishing opener to crack down on "prefishing".


"Did you bring the coffee?" "No. I thought you were."
bojibob  
Moderator
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03/18/2012 06:12AM
 
Not enough!!


"One inch on the map ~ is not one inch on the ground"
tnvol  
senior member (63)senior membersenior member
03/18/2012 07:01AM
 
As a park ranger down here in TN I can tell that emptynest is absolutely right. When you report the violations you are seeing it helps even though there may not be any citations at the time. Law enforcement, especially spread thin law enforcement, has to justify why they spend time in certain areas, or why they even have a job. Official reports go a long way towards showing the need for more law enforcement.


I know many get discouraged when that have reported something and have felt that nothing was being done about it. I have been guilty myself of giving off the impression while taking a report that the incident was mundane. Be aware that it can be somewhat depressing from law enforcement's end when we aren't able to take care of these things. I think this sometimes comes off as indifference, but its not.
wildernessfan2  
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03/18/2012 07:29AM
 
quote tnvol: "As a park ranger down here in TN I can tell that emptynest is absolutely right. When you report the violations you are seeing it helps even though there may not be any citations at the time. Law enforcement, especially spread thin law enforcement, has to justify why they spend time in certain areas, or why they even have a job. Official reports go a long way towards showing the need for more law enforcement.



I know many get discouraged when that have reported something and have felt that nothing was being done about it. I have been guilty myself of giving off the impression while taking a report that the incident was mundane. Be aware that it can be somewhat depressing from law enforcement's end when we aren't able to take care of these things. I think this sometimes comes off as indifference, but its not."



This is not about the lack of law enforcement officers taking action. We all know the budget issues. This has been a attitude taken by their bosses on how to handle the situation over decades. Seems like they have simply told them to give offenders a good talking. As a professional they are locked into the idea it helps because you have no choice. I say it's BALONEY and penalties need to happen and they need to be seen by everyone so they KNOW it happens. THAT's why these fools keep offending in such a small area with limited rules. Everybody knows nothing is really going to happen..even the kids that we hope are going to follow them in the future are not afraid. Once again it's not the fault of the people in the field that are failing it's their BOSSES who fail to take action.. This has been going on for decades and nobody gives a damn unless it's about the wildlife!


Freshwater is delicious! Saltwater not so much..
ZaraSp00k  
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03/18/2012 07:45AM
 
a few years back picked up my permit in GM, then headed up the trail, I came across someone who had overturned their car braking for a moose. I ended up getting to the put in late and did not depart until the next morning. I was approaching American point when a ranger asked to see my permit, I had to lie and say I had camped overnight, but what could he do? other than that, I've never seen one anywhere in 30+ years.


Oh, I did get checked for a current canoe registration once, but that was outside the BWCA by DNR.
Naguethey  
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Photo Journal
03/18/2012 07:50AM
 
Paddling from nym at the top of quetico down to ely. We were still in the Q and a canoe with two rangers stopped us in the middle of the lake pulled up next to us and check out permits and licenses.


You only live once/enjoy it while it last.
analyzer  
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03/18/2012 07:55AM
 
38 trips to Sag, been checked 3 times. I have never seen a warden/ranger beyond sag.


I would hope most people follow the rules because they want to, not because of some possible deterrent. I pack all my stuff in reusable containers, because it makes sense, and I believe in leaving "no-trace". I follow the fishing rules, because I want to protect the resource.


I don't know that enforcement of the rules, and increasing fines, is going to help. 90% or more of us, respect the wilderness and are compliant. Those that are not, probably don't consider the fines, even if they were enforced better.


There are definitely state patrol on the free ways enforcing speed limits, but you still see the occasional vehicle driving by at 90 mph. Whether you flood the bw with enforcement or not, you're still going to have some kids go in there and make a mess now and then. It has to start with their parents, and learning to respect the wilderness.


keep in mind, if you put more enforcement out there, especially beyond the entry points, they are going to take up a camp sites. I personally don't want more enforcement. I'm really not seeing that many violations.


In all my years, I've never seen a vehicle broken into at the entry point. Apparently it has happened. But I haven't witnessed anything. But then I go out of sag, and it's 60 miles from town. I suppose it's worse in Ely, where some kids are just a few minutes from those vehicles.


I suppose in Ely, you probably have some late teen-age kids, looking for a place to party, so they set up in the bdub.


Has it really become that bad?
butthead  
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03/18/2012 07:56AM
 
Not many tickets issued but, enforcement is done there.
I have been visited by rangers about 1 out of 3 trips, just checking, and a have a good day.


butthead


"Decades, tempered by tedium and existential dread" quote from William Brumfield
tnvol  
senior member (63)senior membersenior member
03/18/2012 07:57AM
 
Many people see violations that happen and then see officers who only give them a "good talking" and think that it was the officers choice to do that or that they were encouraged to do that. The fact is it is very hard to get convictions in some areas without concrete evidence to back it up. This is really hard to come by in the backcountry setting. Outside of actually seeing a violation take place it would be very hard to prosecute on some of the violations mentioned.


I know from personal experience that game wardens, park rangers, and other "green pant officers" often don't get the same treatment in court. Judges rarely see the violations as anything more than minor issues. I once had a concrete ginseng poaching case thrown out with no explanation given. It is incredibly frustrating, but getting convictions is not easy.


You may think of the BWCA as a small area but imagine having to be at the right spot at the right time to catch the one guy doing something illegal the moment he/she is doing it in a million acres. And then when you actually do catch someone in the act and issue them a citation what are the odds that there would ever be anyone around to see it. Couple dozen people at the most on a busy lake? And many of those that would see it not local.


I hope that this doesn't come of as inflammatory. And you may well have more experience with the local political setting than I. Generally though these issues are pretty common in any public setting regardless of location.
tnvol  
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03/18/2012 08:14AM
 
You're absolutely right analyzer that 90% + are compliant. I agree even as a law enforcement officer that more presence would only do so much. Compliance through education is the ideal longterm solution.
oldgentleman  
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03/18/2012 05:03PM
 
I've gone into the Boundary Waters for the last 12 years. I have twice met rangers who checked my permit. Both were on portages. One on the portage from Tin Can Mike into Horse. The other was on the Nina Moose River.


It's not just the BWCA. In all the decades I've spent in the woods here in Michigan I've only had my fishing license checked twice and a hunting license once.


I agree with emptynest. If you see violations be able to give specific information. I don't often witness a violation but if I do I try to get pictures.
timatkn  
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03/18/2012 05:31PM
 
Well they do give out violations. I know someone who was fined for camping a night early on Pine Lake. $250-$350 for the permit holder.


No it wasn't me :)


I have been checked twice in Quetico---Ted Lake and Darky Lake. Twice in the BWCAW Raven Lake (they had reports of people violating PMA rules) and Lake 3.


Never had a problem but then again I had all my ducks in a row.


T
Kevlar  
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03/18/2012 05:45PM
 
I have seen the most violations on motor lakes. Seems like some of
the motorboat people are more concerned with the fishing than the details of no trace camping.


But if you consider the number of people using the BW, the number of violations seems rather small. But some are so boneheaded!
fitgers1  
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03/18/2012 06:02PM
 
Off and on trips for almost 30 years and I've never seen a ranger or warden. Only tickets I have heard of are the public ones - for shooting guns and burning down forests.


“What lies behind us and what lies before us are tiny matters compared to what lies within us.” Ralph Waldo Emerson...and...“Peace is that brief glorious moment in history when everybody stands around reloading".
Scout64  
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03/18/2012 06:27PM
 
In all the years I have been going to the BWCA, I have never seen a warden or a ranger when I have been out and about.


"Wilderness is not a luxury but a necessity of the human spirit."
Big Tent  
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03/18/2012 07:46PM
 
Many years ago In May we reported someone cutting trees down on the north end of Sawbill. We gave them the campsite location and the group size, 10 in those days. The outfitter immediately called the FS and they said they would send a ranger. Later in August we talked to the ranger that was sent to investigate and she told us that they saw the trees down but did not see who cut it, could not even prove that it was that group. But she also said the group was fined $500 for having bottles and cans all over the site. Some justice was done. In 35 years that was the only group we have run across that we saw doing anything wrong.


“What is left of the wild and free.. is the seed upon the wind and the waves upon the sea.” “Where the City Ends” So Long Arizona By Chris Brashear & Peter McLaughin
AdamXChicago  
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03/18/2012 08:10PM
 
In a dozen trips, only been checked for permits once (last day in the Q in the middle of Pickerel Lake) - ranger was nice enough.


Like Paul wrote - no penalties = continued abuse :(
WhiteWolf  
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03/18/2012 10:44PM
 
30+ trips in open water (never checked in the winter) checked 3 times. #1 Ottertrack in 1993 (first ever trip),, Rangers came in fast to our site,, we were young. Just checked permit and made sure fire was in grate as it was quite large ,,,and were gone as it was getting late. #2 Fourtown , Aug of 04'. Partner had locked keys in my truck,, raining out,, and forgot permit in truck. Checked on the way out right before the portage out of Fourtown on the south end. Told the ranger the story and he called my info via radio and everything checked out.
#3 North end of Insula May of 08'. We were returning from Thomas,, normal permit check. Amazed they were in (ice had just gone out) and they even had gone over to Alice. NEVER been checked for fishing liscense.
have also seen them several times ,, rangers,, and not been checked.
I know the DNR used to set up tents on the parts of Seagull that are closed to fishing early in the year at campsites. Just so no one would camp there and fish. It was obvious,, as it was the same tent make at 3 sites with no other gear around for several days.



The two loudest sounds known to man: a gun that goes bang when it is supposed to go click and a gun that goes click when it is supposed to go bang.
aholmgren  
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Photo Journal
03/19/2012 08:08AM
 
Good question and interesting thread. I wonder if this information would be published somewhere? as enforcement done by a variety of agencies and districts. In dozens of trips over 10+ years I have only seen and been checked only a few times always by USFS rangers. Once at a campsite on Perent Lake. Another time near a portage in the Polly/Koma area. We were casting while waiting for a portage to clear and USFS rangers checked our BWCA permit, but not being MN DNR said nothing of our MN fishing licenses or fishing activity. We mentioned to them our recent bear encounter and expected them to say thanks for info and we’ll inform others in the area, but they said something like ‘yeah, bears around here know where the campsites are and may not be too quick to leave, you may have to throw rocks at them to get them to depart,’ I was a bit surprised at his reply and mater of factness. I have also seen them at the Fall Lake boat launch. It makes sense to me they would be in the more ‘popular areas’ where they would encounter more people.
mocha  
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03/19/2012 08:22AM
 
i'm thinking the role of the wilderness ranger is to educate first and write a citation second. most of the wilderness rangers are summer staff who also do portage and campsite maintenance along with checking permits. Wilderness Rangers are not the enemy...if you have something to hide then you deserve to get a citation.


the "first line of defense" (for lack of a better phrase) in educating wilderness travelers lies with the USFS ranger stations, cooperators that are outfitters and cooperators that are retail locations (duluth pack, bait shops...). Quite honestly, unless someone has already outfitted with us during the current summer, every person who gets a permit from us..and all members of the party..are required to watch the video before their permit is issued. sometimes they end up watching it twice because they think they know it all but then they failed the quiz.


i'm a bit surprised at the number of responses to this thread commenting they've never been checked and/or have never seen a wilderness ranger. maybe the rangers have binocs and check out the sites and portages from the water before making a visit...


if you DO get checked, make sure you get the name of the rangers, make a note of the date and time and what they checked. IF you have a problem with their attitude or questions you should give that info to the nearest ranger station upon your departure. Even if you had a pleasant visit you should comment on that.


with all the budget cuts you're likely to see even fewer rangers this summer. just use common sense and be responsible.
Spartan2  
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03/19/2012 08:47AM
 
quote mocha: "i'm thinking the role of the wilderness ranger is to educate first and write a citation second. most of the wilderness rangers are summer staff who also do portage and campsite maintenance along with checking permits. Wilderness Rangers are not the enemy...if you have something to hide then you deserve to get a citation.



the "first line of defense" (for lack of a better phrase) in educating wilderness travelers lies with the USFS ranger stations, cooperators that are outfitters and cooperators that are retail locations (duluth pack, bait shops...). Quite honestly, unless someone has already outfitted with us during the current summer, every person who gets a permit from us..and all members of the party..are required to watch the video before their permit is issued. sometimes they end up watching it twice because they think they know it all but then they failed the quiz.



i'm a bit surprised at the number of responses to this thread commenting they've never been checked and/or have never seen a wilderness ranger. maybe the rangers have binocs and check out the sites and portages from the water before making a visit...



if you DO get checked, make sure you get the name of the rangers, make a note of the date and time and what they checked. IF you have a problem with their attitude or questions you should give that info to the nearest ranger station upon your departure. Even if you had a pleasant visit you should comment on that.



with all the budget cuts you're likely to see even fewer rangers this summer. just use common sense and be responsible."



That's a very interesting response, mocha.


I had never even thought (I, who writes EVERYTHING in her journal!) to write down the name of the rangers, or to comment at the ranger station afterwards. We do have the name of the ranger that checked us last year, because I took his photo and put him in our trip report, but we have been checked at our campsites several different times and the other times I have never made a note of it.


Reporting back would be a good idea. Whenever we have been checked, the rangers have been polite, personable, and there has never been a problem. Of course we keep a fairly clean camp, we always have a permit, and we try not to break the rules.


But I suspect it is a thankless job, and getting a compliment after the fact never would hurt.
wb4syth  
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03/19/2012 09:31AM
 
In 35+ trips I have been checked twice while in the Boundary Waters and twice at entry points.
I have never seen a citation given out.
One of the checks I got was at the Sawbill landing, it was the middle of a 10 day trip and I was dropping off one partner and picking up another.
The ranger said that was technically a violation as I had left and then re-entered the BW but she let it slide with a clarification of the rules... She was very cordial and I was very apologetic.


"I'm not superstitious. I'm a little stitious" - Michael Scott
nojobro  
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03/19/2012 10:00AM
 
I have seen one ranger in 5 trips. He waited at a portage for us to arrive so he could check our permit. Then he went on his merry way, and we went ours.
Divainthewild  
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03/19/2012 01:30PM
 
I've been fortunate to meet many Rangers and I really respect these people. Yeah, they've checked my permit and my campsite but during this time, they were there to educate me on forest fire issues, bear issues or weather issues. They are heroes in my mind. If they have to give me a ticket....I did something wrong. Period.


I did video our last Ranger visit (Me and Trix) - from Ranger Rick and Ranger Sue. He was pretty proud of the camp we were at....he did the stairway and landscaping at our camp. Plus, when 2 Nazi Camp Chicks make camp - you KNOW there isn't going to be any violations. We got an A+ for camp and tarp work. HA!


PINETREE  
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03/19/2012 06:11PM
 
Been checked by Ranger Chris from Quetico the last three years in a row. Always friendly and you can tell he is one hard worker.


Chief Seattle: How can you buy the sky or the fresh air,the warmth of the land? The idea is strange to us.
wildernessfan2  
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03/19/2012 07:25PM
 
Seems like this has gone in defense of the Park Rangers for some reason. Clearly this is a not an issue of bad Park Rangers or even the need for more. Heck everybody loves them! Sheesh.. Somebody tell me they ran into a bad Park Ranger! I am sure it's pretty much non-existant..sure it has happened I suppose but, prolly just a bad day or they are no longer Rangers.


So there is part of the problem..the boss tells them to start writing tickets and everybody starts to dislike them because their mean. Clearly there are a lot of violations as the other people who break rules thread shows.


Do you need a permit to carry a handgun in the BWCA or is that another don't ask don't tell. Anybody ever been asked about a gun?

Down here they post everyone who has been arrested in the newspaper daily with pictures I might add. I would like to see the same for the few that actually do get ticketed no pictures needed or name even for that matter. I think it would make a good statement on how serious they are about the rules.. Then again I suppose the local related businesses wouldn't like that as they might think it would deter people/money from coming into the area.. rules breakers or not. Heck even if they listed the tickets given for each season I think it would make a statement on how much we REALLY care about the rules. Seems most everyone has been disgusted with violations and without dialog it's not going to change.


Freshwater is delicious! Saltwater not so much..
mocha  
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03/20/2012 04:29AM
 
quote wildernessfan2: "Seems like this has gone in defense of the Park Rangers for some reason. Clearly this is a not an issue of bad Park Rangers or even the need for more. Heck everybody loves them! Sheesh.. Somebody tell me they ran into a bad Park Ranger! I am sure it's pretty much non-existant..sure it has happened I suppose but, prolly just a bad day or they are no longer Rangers. "


yes, there are "bad" rangers, overzealous in their newly-assigned authority...just hope you don't get one of those visiting your camp!


ChazzTheGnome  
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Photo Journal
03/20/2012 05:01AM
 
In my last 4 trips I have talked to rangers twice. Once we got to a portage that they were doing some erosion control on. They checked our permits, gave one of my buddies a hard time about his ginormus hiking pack he was carrying with crap all strapped to the outside and dangling off at every angle, and they helped us jimmy-rig the yoke on one of our canoes that had broken the previous day. The very next trip we were on seagull basecamping and got to a site just as 2 rangers were packing up and leaving, they checked our permits and one of them was a little short and not too happy, but it was like 6 am and he was working and I was on vacation so I was really happy.


That’s all I have every seen. I would think that if a ranger was at the ep spot checking peoples gear and whatnot that would help.


PINETREE  
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03/20/2012 05:09AM
 
They have bad hair days to.


Chief Seattle: How can you buy the sky or the fresh air,the warmth of the land? The idea is strange to us.
MrBreeze  
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03/20/2012 02:55PM
 
I like what Mocha said about the rangers and how the providers need to help out. But we are the first line of defense and if we see a violation, you should attempt to discuss it with the people who are doing the violating. Don't preach to them but just let them know that what they are doing is wrong and what they should do. If they give you an attitude, then record their canoe reg #, location time and date, or their outfitter info and then report them to the outfitter. They know who they rent their equipmnent to and then they can discuss it with them or refuse to rent to them next time if they feel that way.


Also, everyone of us seems to have a camera, most are digital today, take pictures and then give those to the rangers, outfitters etc. I think it is up to each of us to help the law enforcement folks by teaching the correct way and then reporting if not resolved.


I love this place!



I wish I were, I wish I might, I wish I was in the BWCA tonite!
mocha  
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03/20/2012 04:06PM
 
quote MrBreeze: "I like what Mocha said about the rangers and how the providers need to help out. But we are the first line of defense and if we see a violation, you should attempt to discuss it with the people who are doing the violating. Don't preach to them but just let them know that what they are doing is wrong and what they should do. If they give you an attitude, then record their canoe reg #, location time and date, or their outfitter info and then report them to the outfitter. They know who they rent their equipmnent to and then they can discuss it with them or refuse to rent to them next time if they feel that way.



Also, everyone of us seems to have a camera, most are digital today, take pictures and then give those to the rangers, outfitters etc. I think it is up to each of us to help the law enforcement folks by teaching the correct way and then reporting if not resolved.



I love this place!
"

mrBreeze, so true on trying to help people out, you'll know if your suggestions are taken to heart or not. Also, YES,definitely collect info about the canoe stickers, lake, and take photos... esp if the party seems unapproachable.
homerun23  
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03/20/2012 07:39PM
 
I have only been to the BW 3 times, and have yet to see any law enforcement personnel. I have also hunted and fished in Wis since I was 13 (30+ yrs) and have only been checked for a license twice (both in 2008 and within 10 minutes of each other....think the wardens travel in packs :)


If people concentrated on the really important things in life, there'd be a shortage of fishing poles. ~Doug Larson
Landstryker  
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03/22/2012 08:41AM
 
Interesting thread, on a topic I often think about. In 20+ years I'd guess I encounter a ranger maybe 1 in 3 trips, much more often than my friends, it seems (cop magnet?). This is somewhat ironic as I am an unusually fastidious user - I even fill out day permits when I paddle in from my cabin for an afternoon. In my surly teenage days I was perhaps a little gruff towards the rangers but now I'll make an effort to be friendly because, like 90% of BW users, I more or less agree with the rules and their aim, which is to preserve the area as a safe, clean, peaceful and sustainable resource.


I've had my permit checked a few times, but only once in camp. I happened to be on an entry lake at a site fairly close to the landing. It was early morning and a solo paddling ranger stopped by, no doubt owing to our proximity to the entry and the fact that we had two wooden boats, which he was eager to admire. I offered him some coffee (he was obliged to decline) and we chatted for about 10 minutes.


As others have pointed out, one rarely encounters a ranger anywhere other than an entry lake. I may have seen one once on the Tuscarora-Missing Link portage (420 rods) but I could only see him from the waist down as I was carrying the boat. By his shorts, I'd guess he was a ranger.


With so few officers and such a large area to cover, it's easy to imagine that the FS chooses to focus on entry and motor lakes where they can encounter the most people and make their presence most felt. Every time I come to a trashed campsite though I wish there was more enforcement, or more that I could do to help. A couple years ago I read reports on these boards of moops shooting off fireworks on Gillis; a week or two later I asked a ranger at the Duluth station how best to confront or report such people if I encountered a similar situation. She seemed horrified at the notion of campers confronting each other in the backcounty (not without reason) and offered that one could try to report them after the fact. I suppose that's all you can do - perhaps with pictures and boat reg #s and so forth - but it didn't seem that they had any formal apparatus in place to take such complaints or follow up with them.


"...at þat skulir þú vita, at eigi eru allir Völsungar dauðir."
YaMarVa  
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03/22/2012 08:44AM
 
What is the point of a law if it is not enforced? That is why I j-walk.


"Miller owns that field, Locke that, and the Mannings the woodland beyond. But none of them owns the landscape." - R.W.Emmerson.
nofish  
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03/22/2012 10:25AM
 
I encountered my first FS Rangers last summer when on a trip up to Winchell. We were pretty much windbound that day and didn't see another person all day as I'm sure no one wanted to tackle Winchell in a 30-40 mph head wind.


Funny part was the 2 rangers showed up just as we were coming out of the water after a late afternoon skinny dip. Not sure what they saw but they both acted very nonchalant and were both pleasant to talk to.


They were interested on my report about the portage up through the Grassy Lake area after the beaver dam broke.


They checked our permit, check out the latrine area, thanked us for keeping such a nice clean campsite and then headed off to fight the wind again.
ozarkpaddler  
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03/22/2012 02:03PM
 
Twice in 30+ trips I've been checked. Once on Bearskin at the landing, and once at our campsite on Horseshoe. I was frying up walleyes on Horseshoe and invited them to partake; the one wanted so bad to say "Yes," but the other pressed that they needed to get moving (LOL)!


"Let us live so that when we come to die even the undertaker will be sorry." Mark Twain
DavidMpls  
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03/23/2012 10:29AM
 
You have definitely seen park rangers (or DNR or whatever they are) I guarantee it, you just didn't know it because they are sometimes (maybe always?) "undercover". In about 30 trips, I have never been stopped to have my permit checked, however, once, at the end of a portage, two guys who looked like regular fishermen, were very friendly and asking all about my canoe and then one of the guys pulled up his shirt to reveal his badge and wrote me a $150 ticket for an expired canoe license. The license cost something like $6 bucks for three years, so that was an expensive lesson.
threehorse  
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03/23/2012 11:17AM
 
Do you need a permit to carry a handgun in the BWCA or is that another don't ask don't tell. Anybody ever been asked about a gun?


No, you don't need a permit to carry a handgun in the BWCA.


A friend and I were checked one year and the ranger asked my friend about the holstered pistol on his belt. My friend told him that it was for protection if necessary. The ranger said, "Okay, no problem, just asking."
burntsider  
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03/25/2012 03:51PM
 
What do you regular BWCA visitors see as the rules most often broken? What are the most egregious?
WhiteWolf  
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03/26/2012 12:56AM
 
quote burntsider: "What do you regular BWCA visitors see as the rules most often broken? What are the most egregious?"


The 4 boat-- 9 person rule at the ports. Wouldn't happen if people would choose to have their Sunday lunch somewhere else. I don't think large groups even think that when they breakout the picnic basket somewhere along the portage they are in fact holding the portage hostage from others legally using it. Portages are made for MOVING,, if you want lunch,, find a campsite or pull over on a shore lunch spot.


IN far 2nd place is debarking/cutting and even felling trees that are alive. Always in camp or very close buy. Idiots. What are they going to with it? Split it, stack it and come back next year when the wood is well seasoned??


The two loudest sounds known to man: a gun that goes bang when it is supposed to go click and a gun that goes click when it is supposed to go bang.
misqua  
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03/26/2012 10:15AM
 
Most of you won't believe this, but it is certainly true. I've been going to the BWCA since 1971, and have a cabin on a lake in the SNF, and NEVER in my years in the BWCA have I ever been visited by a Forest Service Ranger. Just luck I guess, although I'm always legal. I've seen Forest Service personnel gathering data on invasive plant species locations, but they never asked about permits. So, none have ever approached me. On lakes outside the BWCA, but still within the SNF, I was approaced by MNDNR Ranger checking fishing licenses, but that only has happened once. So with that, the chances are pretty low that you will ever encounter a Ranger, at least that's been my experience. However, there have been many times that I wish they were around so that I could have given them information on people that were violating the rules. I saw one group with a Keg of beer, (and yes they portaged it in). Many times with groups that exceeded the size of 9 people camping at one spot. People with bottles and cans, etc. I'm sure all of you can tell stories of violations you've encountered also.
Savage Voyageur  
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03/26/2012 10:31AM
 
quote misqua: "Most of you won't believe this, but it is certainly true. I've been going to the BWCA since 1971, and have a cabin on a lake in the SNF, and NEVER in my years in the BWCA have I ever been visited by a Forest Service Ranger. Just luck I guess, although I'm always legal. I've seen Forest Service personnel gathering data on invasive plant species locations, but they never asked about permits. So, none have ever approached me. On lakes outside the BWCA, but still within the SNF, I was approaced by MNDNR Ranger checking fishing licenses, but that only has happened once. So with that, the chances are pretty low that you will ever encounter a Ranger, at least that's been my experience. However, there have been many times that I wish they were around so that I could have given them information on people that were violating the rules. I saw one group with a Keg of beer, (and yes they portaged it in). Many times with groups that exceeded the size of 9 people camping at one spot. People with bottles and cans, etc. I'm sure all of you can tell stories of violations you've encountered also."




Kegs of beer are legal in the BWCA. A keg is not a can or a bottle. I know of an outfitter that stores multiple kegs for people in their cooler. Now that is service.


"So many lakes, so little time."
ChuckShick  
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04/10/2012 10:12AM
 
quote tnvol: "Many people see violations that happen and then see officers who only give them a "good talking" and think that it was the officers choice to do that or that they were encouraged to do that. The fact is it is very hard to get convictions in some areas without concrete evidence to back it up. This is really hard to come by in the backcountry setting. Outside of actually seeing a violation take place it would be very hard to prosecute on some of the violations mentioned.



I know from personal experience that game wardens, park rangers, and other "green pant officers" often don't get the same treatment in court. Judges rarely see the violations as anything more than minor issues. I once had a concrete ginseng poaching case thrown out with no explanation given. It is incredibly frustrating, but getting convictions is not easy.



You may think of the BWCA as a small area but imagine having to be at the right spot at the right time to catch the one guy doing something illegal the moment he/she is doing it in a million acres. And then when you actually do catch someone in the act and issue them a citation what are the odds that there would ever be anyone around to see it. Couple dozen people at the most on a busy lake? And many of those that would see it not local.



I hope that this doesn't come of as inflammatory. And you may well have more experience with the local political setting than I. Generally though these issues are pretty common in any public setting regardless of location."



+1. I am also a warden. It's VERY hard for any officer to cite someone for something they don't personally witness. Sometimes all you can do is give a potential violator that "talking to." It may not seem like much, but word also gets around from one warden to another, especially when covering a place like the BWCAW, which generally sees the same wardens and FS officers doing the enforcing: "yeah, I remember that person - there was a complaint about him doing X last year that we couldn't prove... Might want to check that site..." It's all good intel to keep whatever occurred from happening again (which is the overall goal, with or without a citation).


And ++1 on getting courts to take most natural resource violations seriously. They're important to US and when committed, seem outrageous to US because we actually care. But when they're seen by a judge who does not hunt, fish, canoe, or do anything even remotely tied to the outdoors, it's a tough sell. Federally (which most non-wildlife BWCAW violations are), it can be even tougher, because so may U.S. Attorneys seem to use "dollar loss to the government" as their litmus test as to what's worth prosecuting and what isn't.


Also, just because you don't see a ranger or warden doesn't mean they aren't there, whether in uniform or not. Sometimes observation is better than contacting someone, and if you've always been law abiding and have never been contacted, that might be part of the reason why. A bigger part of the reason, though, is the fact that there's only so many people covering the BWCAW and only so much they can get around at any given time. They also have other duties - training, travel, admin work, and days off to balance with the amount of time they spend in the bush.


Fortunately, I think the vast majority of the people using the BWCAW are self-policing, simply because they care about the natural resources around them.
joetrain  
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04/10/2012 10:31AM
 
in my 30 plus years of quetico trips once on my way out of prarie portage i was checked by canadien customs for my rabc permit and asked about my trip and if i had any weapons. they were very friendly and professional


a dio sia la gloria
PINETREE  
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04/10/2012 11:31AM
 
I think the last three years in a row I have been checked in the back country of Quetico by the Ranger-Warden of Quetico. Always friendly and I was always glad to see him and also her.
They were doing there job because they liked and cared about the resource. I know the one warden took a pay cut to take this job.





Chief Seattle: How can you buy the sky or the fresh air,the warmth of the land? The idea is strange to us.
wildernessfan2  
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04/10/2012 03:38PM
 
Thanks for the excellent input ChuckShick!!


I really wish they would publish the convicted either on the DNR website or Newspapers to let people know how serious you people are. This thread kinda shows just how people think there is little enforcement. They do that down here every day with mug shots. Heck this is why people use to go to hangings as a deterrent and see the humiliation. I just think this would really aid enforcement and help people understand just how important the rules are before they are broken.


Freshwater is delicious! Saltwater not so much..
PINETREE  
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04/10/2012 03:56PM
 
Back 65 or so years the DNR published all fines and who,when and what in there monthly magazine called the Minnesota Volunteer.


Chief Seattle: How can you buy the sky or the fresh air,the warmth of the land? The idea is strange to us.
PINETREE  
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04/10/2012 03:59PM
 
I have had them fishing beside me in another canoe on a lake where we were the only ones on the lake for a couple of hours. After a couple of hours they just came and checked license and left the lake. We were clean.


They have been around and know all the tricks of the trade.



Chief Seattle: How can you buy the sky or the fresh air,the warmth of the land? The idea is strange to us.
wildernessfan2  
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04/10/2012 07:20PM
 
quote PINETREE: "Back 65 or so years the DNR published all fines and who,when and what in there monthly magazine called the Minnesota Volunteer."


Exactly..public humiliation does make an impression.


Outta sight outta mind.. I can appreciate they are stealthy and respectful but, once in awhile they need to make a show of it like when police flood an area to show force and deter bad activity.


Freshwater is delicious! Saltwater not so much..
torpedo  
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04/10/2012 07:57PM
 
30+ years fishing in Indiana, maybe been checked 2 X -1 trip ( 2 yrs ago) to BW around lady boot, 5 days, checked 3X by rangers??????????????????????????????????????????Bad luck, bad area. No fines or problems, just thought there would be more privacy in that area?


I think we can make it thru there
bellolake  
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04/10/2012 10:37PM
 
I've been checked by FS Rangers several times, and a DNR Warden once, all have been professional but pleasant. The Forest Service even went so far as to send 3 canoe teams and a float plane out to find me when I was backpacking the Kek in 2004. Seems they had forgotten to notify me about an upcoming controlled burn. It cost the taxpayers a lot of $$ to locate me as well as all the other permit holders in that neck of the woods.
Speckled  
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03/07/2013 02:29PM
 
20 trips to the BW and have been checked once. It was on Isabella lake. They checked our permits and canoe registration at the landing, then paddled over to our campsite about an hour later to check our permit again. I suppose they were just making the rounds...but there weren't that many people entering that day. I would think thy could have remembered us, they didn't not a big deal. We were happy to show them our permit again.


Outside of the BW - 30 years of fishing coutnless lakes and rivers and have been stopped only once - fishing opener on Silver Island Lake about a dozen years ago.


Lake Superior is another issue, we get checked at the ramp often, creel surveys, registration, etc...


I've never had any issues and found the DNR and rangers to be very pleasant.


-
gutmon  
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03/07/2013 02:40PM
 
I've been checked probably 4 times over the 35+ trips I've taken. My first trip with my wife we had a soft-sided cooler and my wife had a can of diet coke in the cooler that she forgot to take out after our stay at the campgrounds the night before we went in. The ranger asked to look in the cooler and we said OK. He found the diet coke and asked us if we knew that cans were illegal. We said that we did. He gave us a verbal warning and told us not to do it again. What saved us is that we had picked up a dozen or so dirty, crushed cans that others had left on the portages to bring out with us when we left. Felt he handled the situation very well. (PS- we've never brought cans after that).
HansSolo  
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03/07/2013 03:21PM
 

Great topic!

I've been tripping in the BWCAW since 1977 and have logged over 30+ trips in the BWCAW, not counting Quetico Provincial Park. With the exception of the far western region, I've covered most every major BWCAW route, and some two or three times. In all my trips, I have NEVER encountered a U.S. Forest Ranger!

In fact, I've only seen one Minnesota DNR Official during that time span as well. It's was on "Big Sag", about a half mile before we were about to land at the parking lot at the end of our trip.

The Minnesota DNR Official slowly motored by me, while surveying my canoe. After a few seconds, he sped away. I can only assume he was checking my registration stickers as he slowly passed by. That was about 30-years ago!

Hans Solo


Water reflects not only clouds and trees and cliffs, but all the infinite variations of mind and spirit we bring to it. – Sigurd Olson
PINETREE  
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03/07/2013 04:21PM
 
About every other year for me in the BWCA by some official.
About 4 years in a row in Quetico until last year. Always friendly and have a good chat. Got to know the one in Quetico and he recognizes us right away.


Chief Seattle: How can you buy the sky or the fresh air,the warmth of the land? The idea is strange to us.
tonyyarusso  
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03/07/2013 04:56PM
 
Unrelated to the BWCA, but one interesting pattern I've noticed is that when I'm out fishing on Metro lakes in a canoe, I've seen the county sheriff make the rounds of the lake checking fishing licenses, but never me - just the motorized boats. Maybe they figure if I'm willing to put in the work to get myself around I'm also not too lazy to buy a license.
PINETREE  
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03/07/2013 05:14PM
 
quote tonyyarusso: "Unrelated to the BWCA, but one interesting pattern I've noticed is that when I'm out fishing on Metro lakes in a canoe, I've seen the county sheriff make the rounds of the lake checking fishing licenses, but never me - just the motorized boats. Maybe they figure if I'm willing to put in the work to get myself around I'm also not too lazy to buy a license."


If it is the County Sheriff, he is more of a water Safety Patrol. More interested in life jackets,open alcohol bottle and proper boat handling. Also maybe he sees you with a life jacket or maybe does not want to rock your canoe with his boat wake?


Chief Seattle: How can you buy the sky or the fresh air,the warmth of the land? The idea is strange to us.
tonyyarusso  
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03/07/2013 05:33PM
 
quote PINETREE: "If it is the County Sheriff, he is more of a water Safety Patrol. More interested in life jackets,open alcohol bottle and proper boat handling. Also maybe he sees you with a life jacket or maybe does not want to rock your canoe with his boat wake?"
Well, while they were checking other things too they certainly did seem to be asking about fishing licenses in their process. The wake issue is certainly possible, although they were puttering around slowly enough that it wouldn't have mattered. *shrug*
Chicagored  
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03/07/2013 05:44PM
 
I must just be lucky. Over the last 20 years that I've been going to either Quetico or BW, I've been checked at least a dozen times. About 5 years ago, I was staying at one campsite in Quetico for a few days and I was checked by three different rangers. All were polite and professional.


The one time I got a ticket was for not having a current sticker. My fault thought. In Illinois, you send in the paperwork and wait months for the sticker. Meanwhile you are supposed to keep a copy of the application with you as a temporary sticker and I left it in the car.


I hear Illinois changed its procedure this year and you can get a sticker anywhere you get a fishing license.


Pura Vida
georgelesley  
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03/07/2013 05:50PM
 
In the past few years I have reported canoes being illegally stored in the BW on lakes I have day tripped to. I figure if I can carry all my stuff in alone at my age, whomever owns the canoes stored there darn sure can.


We always have time and money for what's important to us
inspector13  
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03/07/2013 06:06PM
 

Lake County has only an elected sheriff, an undersheriff, and 14 sworn deputies for over 2100 square miles of land, 840 lakes, and who knows how many miles of roads that they have to patrol. I have to think if you were to encounter one it would be at public boat landings such as Fall Lake, Moose Lake, or Snowbank Lake near the BWCAW, as well as Lake Superior public accesses and other more popular ones. I think they go out with the DNR officers especially at fishing openers. I don’t know how many sheriffs Cook and St. Louis County have. Good thing most people are good and want to do the right thing.


mcsweem  
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03/07/2013 06:15PM
 
I have been checked quite a few times. Mainly on bigger more popular lakes knife 3 times, ensign once, basswood once, birch once, and once on Jordan they were doing campsite work and very very nice. They waited til we left the next morning then came over and closed the campsite. On basswood they were looking for someone with a motor and weren't quite as pleasant. On knife we reported a group that was target shooting at the beach site on the south arm, I actually got a call at home about this incident a few weeks later not sure what became of it. Have never been checked for a fishing license
neutroner  
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03/07/2013 06:29PM
 
The ones I have encountered take their charge pretty seriously. I have been ticketed for not registering my canoe, ignorance is my only excuse (didn't read the clearly written rule. I have had several in camp checking permits, fish bones, toilets, number of people, fire ban compliance, and poking fire pit for burned trash (lucky we pack out).
OBX2Kayak  
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03/07/2013 07:21PM
 
Over forty years and I think I've seen perhaps six wardens outside the EP's ... never once have they asked to even see my permit. Always just friendly conversations.


"I go because it irons out the wrinkles in my soul" -- Sigurd Olson
dprochef  
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03/07/2013 07:45PM
 
In the over 20 trips I've take I've only seen a ranger 3 times. In the old days (when i was fifteen, going up with Dad). you HAD to get your permit at the ranger station. I even remember them going through our packs to check for glass, cans, etc. Now with you being able to pick them up through outfitters, you don't even have to watch the video.


I actually wish that i say them more often. I always enjoy seeing them and stopping to talk to them. They usually have a great story to tell.


Courage is being scared to death... but saddling up anyway....John Wayne
fitgers1  
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03/07/2013 07:47PM
 
Glad to see this topic back. My previous answer has to change. Sort of. When on Shell Lake last year, we were told by people at two sites that there was a ranger staying on the lake and had been there a couple days and that he was leaving the following day. This was on our way in. We stayed on Shell, however, we did not see the ranger. He must have been up and out of there early the next day.


“What lies behind us and what lies before us are tiny matters compared to what lies within us.” Ralph Waldo Emerson...and...“Peace is that brief glorious moment in history when everybody stands around reloading".
LuvMyBell  
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03/07/2013 07:54PM
 
I've never been checked by a ranger in the BW, although while I was out fishing a few years ago, a buddy back at camp said he was visited. They checked the toilet and the fire pit. Other than an initial 'hello' greeting when they first paddled ashore my friend said they did their check and left without another word.


I've had my fishing license checked locally a few times over the years. It's always been at the dock, never while out on the lake or river in the act of fishing.


Personally, I think it would be extremely rude and unprofessional to check someone's license while they were fishing unless they had a very good reason to suspect you were illegal.


As far as the BW is concerned I'd have no issues with being checked at the EP, on a portage or even while paddling. In fact, I wish they'd be more visible sometimes.


However, if I was fishing and they paddled up to me to check my license, permit, or canoe registration I think I'd have to say something about their rudeness.


I know the rangers have the right to come into your campsite (since it's not really 'your' campsite. I understand that. I just think it's extremely rude to interfere with someone's privacy without probable cause. Just my opinion.





Paddle Faster....I hear banjo music
schweady  
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03/07/2013 08:01PM
 
In 28 trips, 4 times that I can remember. Three times at a camp site and once coming out at Little Gabbro EP. Almost always a man and woman team. All USFS, checking permits and latrines, looking around for obvious trash and other LNT violations. Never looking inside packs or anything like that. Nice chats... general questions about fishing, perception of difficulty getting a site, comments about the weather, etc. . (I think it has always been the female officer who would talk with us and the male partner would nose around while we were distracted. :)


Never met any DNR officials on any of our trips.



"You can observe a lot by watching." -- Yogi Berra
tumblehome  
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03/07/2013 08:02PM
 
The consensus is that there is indeed enforcement out there which is really good to see. How come almost nobody talks about violations? I'm guessing they ain't talkin'.


I've had 3 interactions with rangers in the B-Dub and the Q in 60 trips. No violations.
kyleyewongster  
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03/07/2013 08:25PM
 
I'll kick out that soapbox and admit that my group has been fined for having a glass bottle. It was a tiny bottle of tabasco. Yes we were wrong and we learned. Didn't even think about how it would violate laws when we packed it. We packed out and paid the fine. I felt bad about it and since that its been different. Lesson learned and now we use Sriracha! so its a win win situation.
bhouse46  
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03/07/2013 09:05PM
 
Indeed a good topic and some good answers. Like others I have had only very limited contact, but found most folks who go in appreciate LNT. I did have rangers paddle up as we were breaking camp several years ago. They checked fire pit and lectured me about not having it cold out. At the time I was a bit offended, I had stirred and poured enough water it was running out of the pit. But he was right, it was warm to the touch. I have been much more careful since.
PINETREE  
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03/07/2013 09:12PM
 
quote LuvMyBell: "I've never been checked by a ranger in the BW, although while I was out fishing a few years ago, a buddy back at camp said he was visited. They checked the toilet and the fire pit. Other than an initial 'hello' greeting when they first paddled ashore my friend said they did their check and left without another word.



I've had my fishing license checked locally a few times over the years. It's always been at the dock, never while out on the lake or river in the act of fishing.



Personally, I think it would be extremely rude and unprofessional to check someone's license while they were fishing unless they had a very good reason to suspect you were illegal.



As far as the BW is concerned I'd have no issues with being checked at the EP, on a portage or even while paddling. In fact, I wish they'd be more visible sometimes.



However, if I was fishing and they paddled up to me to check my license, permit, or canoe registration I think I'd have to say something about their rudeness.



I know the rangers have the right to come into your campsite (since it's not really 'your' campsite. I understand that. I just think it's extremely rude to interfere with someone's privacy without probable cause. Just my opinion.



"





Not trying to start something,but they would check nobody if every time they see a Ranger or Conservation Officer you could just throw a line out(Their time is valuable too,and they want to move on down the line or lake and do their job,and like all people most of them want to be friendly and hope you enjoy your vacation). There just doing their job,and like all above individuals, you and also I have been checked very few times and they took just a few minutes every 5 years or so out of your activity to protect a resource which belongs to society, including you and I and future generations.
We the society hired these good people to do a job for us,and they are doing it.
I remember a person working for fisheries doing a fish creel census or survey on a lake to determine harvest rates of fish from this body of water. He had to ask and sometimes interrupt people from fishing to measure their fish and get pertinent information. Over a summer he contacted over 400 boats. He said he never got turned down from a interview,because people understood what he was doing was intended to be good for the resources. Sure he had a couple fishermen get a little grumpy and wanted to get back fishing,but they even new and understood.



I know you really understand and your comments were very mild. Just had to add a little.


Chief Seattle: How can you buy the sky or the fresh air,the warmth of the land? The idea is strange to us.
bstrege  
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03/07/2013 09:22PM
 
In 20 years of paddling, I have been checked twice, once in the Quetico and once in the BWCA. Both times were very pleasant. They just checked our permits and talked to us a bit. I wish I saw more rangers out there.
HansSolo  
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03/07/2013 10:39PM
 

I'm really amazed by the response to this topic. Apparently there are Rangers out there. I was beginning to think they were Phantoms, because I never see them.

Although I replied earlier about Rangers in the BWCAW, I didn't include Quetico Provincial Park. Doesn't really matter though, I haven't seen a Park Ranger in QPP either. The only Quetico Rangers I've seen, have been at the Customs Stations, or at the EP Cabins, but never on the water or in the back-country.

Hans Solo


Water reflects not only clouds and trees and cliffs, but all the infinite variations of mind and spirit we bring to it. – Sigurd Olson
mutz  
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03/08/2013 06:08AM
 
We have been checked once or twice over the years, once at our invitation since we had a fresh pot of coffee they sat at our camp for half an hour we got some great fishing info from them.
For luvmybel they are doing there job but just remember if there is a question on there part to give you a warning or a ticket and you have an attitude you will probably get the ticket over the warning.
As a retired police officer I would say to anyone that pulling into someones camp to tell them they are violating a law or regulation is not a smart thing to do and could very easily escalate into a confrontation or fight. No matter how passionate many are about the rules in the bdub, the only real option is to report violations when you leave or if you see someone with the authority to respond to the violations report it to them. The only violations I would ever see would be at a portage because when we see someones camp we steer out and around and stay as far away as possible.
gutmon  
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03/08/2013 07:19AM
 
quote LuvMyBell: "I've never been checked by a ranger in the BW, although while I was out fishing a few years ago, a buddy back at camp said he was visited. They checked the toilet and the fire pit. Other than an initial 'hello' greeting when they first paddled ashore my friend said they did their check and left without another word.



I've had my fishing license checked locally a few times over the years. It's always been at the dock, never while out on the lake or river in the act of fishing.



Personally, I think it would be extremely rude and unprofessional to check someone's license while they were fishing unless they had a very good reason to suspect you were illegal.



As far as the BW is concerned I'd have no issues with being checked at the EP, on a portage or even while paddling. In fact, I wish they'd be more visible sometimes.



However, if I was fishing and they paddled up to me to check my license, permit, or canoe registration I think I'd have to say something about their rudeness.



I know the rangers have the right to come into your campsite (since it's not really 'your' campsite. I understand that. I just think it's extremely rude to interfere with someone's privacy without probable cause. Just my opinion.



"
The only time you need a fishing license is WHILE YOU ARE FISHING (or in possession of fish).
tumblehome  
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03/08/2013 07:46AM
 
quote kyleyewongster: "I'll kick out that soapbox and admit that my group has been fined for having a glass bottle. It was a tiny bottle of tabasco.


OK, that is total BS to get fined for a bottle of Tobasco. I completely know and understand the regs. But a fine for Tobasco is like getting a speeding ticket for going 56 in a 55. Sorry to hear that it happened and I appreciate your candor in telling us.


Tom
boonie  
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03/08/2013 07:48AM
 
:) Good point, gutmon.


I haven't been checked or even seen any on my 8 trips that I can recall. I wonder if you are less likely to get checked in Sept than July/August...? It seems that maybe you'd be more likely to get checked on Moose or Knife than LLC than going in Little Indian Sioux South...?
eagle93  
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03/08/2013 08:49AM
 
I have been checked several times in 60+ trips. The rangers have ALWAYS been friendly. Have been checked on Lake Two, Sag, Polly, Pine, Insula, and Ima, some more I can't remember. Ranger Rick, on Pine, was especially nice in pointing out invasive species, alternative portages and campsites. I did stop at the Ranger station on the way out and tell them what a good job he did. Only one pointed question in all of the visits was about the nails in the tree I had my tarp lines attached to. Valid question, though as rusty as those nails were, you could tell they had been there for years. I probably get checked more often as I led 33 larger groups of HS students.
gutmon  
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03/08/2013 08:53AM
 
quote tumblehome: "quote kyleyewongster: "I'll kick out that soapbox and admit that my group has been fined for having a glass bottle. It was a tiny bottle of tabasco.



OK, that is total BS to get fined for a bottle of Tobasco. I completely know and understand the regs. But a fine for Tobasco is like getting a speeding ticket for going 56 in a 55. Sorry to hear that it happened and I appreciate your candor in telling us.



Tom
"
I agree that a warning may have been sufficient. However, accidents do happen and broken glass in a campsite is not good for anyone.
1lookout  
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03/08/2013 09:24AM
 
I was a ranger in the BW in the 80's. Simple answer is on a 8-day-trip,1 or 2 violations written. Usually undesignated camping or fire tickets.
Motor routes tend to be cans/bottles or motor violations.
The odds seeing a ranger of course would be greater near Ep's
I'd be by an ep at least twice a trip,(Right) whereas in the interior
everyone is dispersed.
I generally liked to do maintenance rather then enforcement, others vice-versa. Myself 75% digging holes in the ground, 25% public contact.


I could type all day about things I've seen, I'll leave with one
of my proudest moments: We were camped on Duncan. About sundown,
a group of young wanna-be-fellers were up on a bluff, yelling to their
compadres in camp"Can you hear me?" "We can hear you." along with everyone else for miles around. Then we heard the sound of an ax, thump thump.
It'd been a long day so decided bright and early the next a.m. to
pay a visit. The morning dawned pea-soup fog, so we atarted paddling
from the S.shore to the N.shore. about 100' off shore we find an
empty canoe.hmmm.
We pull into camp, fire is still blazing, everyone in their tents.
I get out of the bow, go to tie up the canoe to a large white pine.
As I rounded the tree, an ax with a 4 foot handle was stuck in the pine, with a 6" v-notch already cut. As I stumbled over 100+ empty
beer cans, My partner with flame in his eyes and ears spewing more
smoke then the bonfire, yelled I want everyone front and center NOW!!!
Well, $1500 in tickets later and a swift steel toed boot, we escorted
them out of the wilderness.
At least we were nice enough to give them back their canoe! kept the
ax as evidence!!!!
billconner  
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03/08/2013 10:00AM
 
Except for a few nights I have gone to the Q. Never stopped - did see a pair of rangers going to take a dip in the giant's bath tub in the evening. Once camped in BWACW - just a couple of nights from LLC to EP 14 on way out from Q and PP entry. They checked permit and chatted. I'm sorry the female ranger felt compelled to put her - uniform - shirt on while paddling towards our camp. I recall we were stopped again on Loon. Twice in 4 nights on only trip to BWCAW. Statistical outlier.
LuvMyBell  
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03/08/2013 10:34AM
 
quote gutmon: "quote LuvMyBell: "
I've had my fishing license checked locally a few times over the years. It's always been at the dock, never while out on the lake or river in the act of fishing.




"
The only time you need a fishing license is WHILE YOU ARE FISHING (or in possession of fish)."



Yes, that is correct in Missouri. The game wardens often are at the dock when you return from fishing. When you exit the boat/canoe with your catch in hand they often ask to see you license and make sure your limit is correct, both size and quantity.


Paddle Faster....I hear banjo music
winner  
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03/08/2013 11:16AM
 
Was checked last year on LLC at about 12pm. We had just entered that day. I liked the guy personally because he complimented our speed to get to LLC in under 5 hours. He also said my new to me Bell Northwoods was a "pretty boat".


He did check our permits as a formality.


In all of my years fishing in Ohio, I've never been checked even once in hundreds of outings and thousands of miles floated. I would almost like to be checked at some point...


Winner


"Buckeye Swim Team"
housty9  
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03/08/2013 01:17PM
 
A warning for not leaving some skin on our fish, but was nice about it.


our we there yet
IBFLY  
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03/08/2013 01:38PM
 
I've been visited by rangers on several - though probably less than 10 occassions. This amounts to 1 out of 9 or 10 trips. They check the latrine, my permit and go on their way. Never an issue.
tumblehome  
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03/08/2013 02:24PM
 
quote 1lookout: "I was a ranger in the BW in the 80's. "


Any other stories you wish to share, we would love to hear. I've always wondered about what it's like from the other end.


Tom
schweady  
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03/08/2013 02:35PM
 
quote kyleyewongster: "...a fine for Tobasco is like getting a speeding ticket for going 56 in a 55..."
Tabasco is a gateway bottle. :)



"You can observe a lot by watching." -- Yogi Berra
schweady  
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03/08/2013 02:42PM
 
quote tumblehome: "quote 1lookout: "I was a ranger in the BW in the 80's. "



Any other stories you wish to share, we would love to hear. I've always wondered about what it's like from the other end.



Tom"

+1



"You can observe a lot by watching." -- Yogi Berra
mjmkjun  
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03/08/2013 02:43PM
 
In 2011, was pleasure paddling on Cherokee when 2 rangers paddled up to me and asked if I was camper on the point (#886). A new latrine hole needed to be dug. As it happened, my tent was the one setup on that site. She wanted to get OK for starting the work early next day. Checked permit, friendly chat and thanked me. She and another female ranger paddled up to site very early next day to begin their work. Impressive. They must have started paddling from Sawbill station just before crack of dawn.


In 2012 was headed back to Sawbill from Cherokee (i like this lake) and met up with very same ranger at Ada Lake landing. What's the odds we'd meet up again the following year. Checked my permit....chatted awhile.


1lookout  
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03/08/2013 04:06PM
 
Ok I'll give up another violation:
Sag narrows on pre-opener 82? , about 100 boats waiting for midnight.
About 6 p.m we find a group "set-up" on the closed campsite
right in the narrows. This was not A Campsite.
So 5 boats all about 125 horse, 3 wall tents 2 generators and 19 people on the "site"
"Well were not camping, we're just "shore-fishing/picknicking" I can't remember the exact rule-book definition, but yeah, technically they were right?? Maybe.
Okay so you got too many people, too many horses, and 2 too many
genarators. Do you get reception on your TV set? No, they reply.
Okay, I'm not sure on the regs of a useless TV, but your all going to be written for too many people, too many horses, 2 too many genarators and 1 too many bonfire!! They were asked to leave! This was before tattoo's were vogue, and this group had alot!!!
We wore out our pens on violation notices!
PINETREE  
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03/08/2013 05:05PM
 
quote mjmkjun: "In 2011, was pleasure paddling on Cherokee when 2 rangers paddled up to me and asked if I was camper on the point (#886). A new latrine hole needed to be dug. As it happened, my tent was the one setup on that site. She wanted to get OK for starting the work early next day. Checked permit, friendly chat and thanked me. She and another female ranger paddled up to site very early next day to begin their work. Impressive. They must have started paddling from Sawbill station just before crack of dawn.



In 2012 was headed back to Sawbill from Cherokee (i like this lake) and met up with very same ranger at Ada Lake landing. What's the odds we'd meet up again the following year. Checked my permit....chatted awhile.



"



Always looked at those latrine holes,and that is some tough work to dig with rocks and everything.


Chief Seattle: How can you buy the sky or the fresh air,the warmth of the land? The idea is strange to us.
PINETREE  
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03/08/2013 05:07PM
 
Thanks lookout for the info.


Chief Seattle: How can you buy the sky or the fresh air,the warmth of the land? The idea is strange to us.
mjmkjun  
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03/08/2013 06:56PM
 
quote PINETREE: "quote mjmkjun: "In 2011, was pleasure paddling on Cherokee when 2 rangers paddled up to me and asked if I was camper on the point (#886). A new latrine hole needed to be dug. As it happened, my tent was the one setup on that site. She wanted to get OK for starting the work early next day. Checked permit, friendly chat and thanked me. She and another female ranger paddled up to site very early next day to begin their work. Impressive. They must have started paddling from Sawbill station just before crack of dawn.




In 2012 was headed back to Sawbill from Cherokee (i like this lake) and met up with very same ranger at Ada Lake landing. What's the odds we'd meet up again the following year. Checked my permit....chatted awhile.


"



Always looked at those latrine holes,and that is some tough work to dig with rocks and everything."

Agree, Pinetree. It was brought up in our conversation. She shared that a bad day is a dig, in summer heat, down 2-3 ft only to hit a sizeable boulder. Put dirt back in and start over in a new spot.....till you can dig deep enough. Armed with a couple of spades, 2x4's, saw, hammer, nails, muscle & sweat. I do appreciate the amount of toil that's been done so we can crap sitting comfortably on a throne. As well as, the environ and health concerns if pits weren't there.
realandrea  
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03/08/2013 09:16PM
 
We've waved at a ranger or two passing by, and only been checked once at a portage. I had a can of squeeze cheese held midair when I saw them and thought I was going to prison for it! lol. They were nice and told us a whole lot about freshwater sponges instead.
kyleyewongster  
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03/09/2013 01:02AM
 
quote gutmon: "quote tumblehome: "quote kyleyewongster: "I'll kick out that soapbox and admit that my group has been fined for having a glass bottle. It was a tiny bottle of tabasco.




OK, that is total BS to get fined for a bottle of Tobasco. I completely know and understand the regs. But a fine for Tobasco is like getting a speeding ticket for going 56 in a 55. Sorry to hear that it happened and I appreciate your candor in telling us.




Tom
"
I agree that a warning may have been sufficient. However, accidents do happen and broken glass in a campsite is not good for anyone."



I'm actually happy we did get fined. This probably happened because they noticed we were younger and wanted to make an impression. It worked because now I am much more conscience about LNT.
oldgentleman  
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03/09/2013 07:34AM
 
Both times that I was checked by USFS rangers I handed them my permit and temporary Minnesota fishing license. They both said that they were federal officers and not authorized to enforce state laws. Never have been checked by a Minnesota DNR officer.


As I always tell people, I have never had interactions with any ranger or dnr officer anywhere that they weren't professional, informative and helpful. I respect them a lot.
Cedarboy  
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03/09/2013 10:01AM
 
Not enough
bottomtothetap  
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03/11/2013 01:12AM
 
In 99 we had a ranger stop at our campsite on Cummings to check the permit and to check on our site that had just been "repaired" after the big blowdown. He was happy to take with him the still-greasy chainsaw chain and broken saw blade we had found at our camp. Same trip, same ranger checked us again when we were camped on Crab. He apologized for bothering us again when he realized had already seen us a few days earlier. It was no big deal and I actually thought his description of the chipmunks running through our site as "bear larvae" was pretty funny! Pleasant guy.


In 2000 we met a ranger crew when we were camped by Lower Basswood Falls. They were loaded with lots of gear, ready for a few days or weeks of hard work. Never asked to see our permit but asked if we were just arriving or leaving (they noticed everything was packed up) since they needed a campsite. We were just leaving and they were quite grateful for the site, even giving us some of their bait that they realized they were not going to have much time to use. Had a real pleasant visit with them and they showed us the inside of the nearby boathouse, explaining the gear they stored there and how they use it to go about maintaining the resource.


On that same 2000 trip we came across a different crew working on the portage between Gun and Fairy. One wanted to see our permit, which we showed him, and while our encounter was brief, this guy left a bad impression with me. He just seemed to have a bit of an attitude, demanding, rather than asking for our permit and generally enjoying giving orders. I guessed he was fairly new and was feeling his authority a bit. Or maybe just having a tough day.


I've never encountered any other authorities in the BWCA in almost 20 trips.
georgelesley  
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03/11/2013 07:46AM
 
My only encounter with rangers came several years ago on Daniels. kiwibird and I were base camping there and while heading for my favorite SMB hole, I saw a canoe with two young guys heading our way. I was puzzled since there are no campsites or portages in the direction we were heading.


I made an abrupt course change and the wife asked why. I told her I was not going to give up one of my favorite fishing holes.


As they drew closer they hailed us and identified themselves. A quick permit check and conversation and they went their way and we went ours. We did report the disposable diaper in the thunder hole we spotted at our campsite.


We always have time and money for what's important to us
HansSolo  
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03/11/2013 12:21PM
 

Thanks "1lookout" for sharing a few of your experiences during your BWCAW Ranger career.

I can't say I've ever witnessed the flagrant violations of the "beer can brigade" or the tattooed violators. But, I'm pleased to hear these clowns were penalized for their blatant disregard for the rules and regulations.

I can never understand why some individuals come to a place of natural beauty, only to degrade the environment by such thoughtless actions.


Hans Solo


Water reflects not only clouds and trees and cliffs, but all the infinite variations of mind and spirit we bring to it. – Sigurd Olson
Canoe42  
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03/11/2013 12:57PM
 
I do not recall ever seeing a warden in the BWCA. We did meet up with a canoe in the the middle of a Quetico lake in the mid 80's with 2 rangers, but I don't even remember if they checked our permit.


"Quando Omni Flunkus Moritati" -Red Green
TeamTuna06  
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03/11/2013 01:25PM
 
quote mocha: "Even if you had a pleasant visit you should comment on that"


I'd say "especially" in this instance. We need more good people in these positions, and I'm happy to put in some positive feedback for a ranger that can do his job without being less than pleasant. My $0.02....


Tuna


"If people concentrated on the really important things in life, there’d be a shortage of fishing poles." -Doug Larson
1lookout  
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03/12/2013 02:42PM
 
Since noone is bored yet:
Seagull, 1983 opener, pull up on a site by Alpine area. Look in dudes
boat, at least 50 cans on the floor, campsite carpeted in aluminum.
Sir, you have a violation..well, I didn't clean out my boat this spring, I found a bag of cans in it. When we got here.The wind came
up last night and dispersed them...we'll pick them up.
SO, you drove from MPLS, never cleaned your boat? Well, sir, you
also have a 35 horse in a 10 horse zone.
Well I thought on Saganaga 35 was allowed? Sir, your on Seagull and
Sag is 25 to begin with. Permit said Sag!!
He swore up and down he was on Sag!
Okay, pickup the cans, $100, pack your camp, take your $100 motor,
and we'll follow you out of the wilderness. We followed him to the landing, he loaded up and left in a huff.
At this time, a few other parties pulled in, so we did public contact.
I see dude leaving, with a stringer of 5 walleyes still dangling
off starboard side. We quickly tried to warn him....Well 3 miles down
the Gunflint we found Still flopping dinner for the night!!
bottomtothetap  
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03/12/2013 05:08PM
 
quote 1lookout: "Since noone is bored yet:



Not boring at all. These are great stories!
PINETREE  
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03/12/2013 05:15PM
 
quote 1lookout: "Since noone is bored yet:
Seagull, 1983 opener, pull up on a site by Alpine area. Look in dudes
boat, at least 50 cans on the floor, campsite carpeted in aluminum.
Sir, you have a violation..well, I didn't clean out my boat this spring, I found a bag of cans in it. When we got here.The wind came
up last night and dispersed them...we'll pick them up.
SO, you drove from MPLS, never cleaned your boat? Well, sir, you
also have a 35 horse in a 10 horse zone.
Well I thought on Saganaga 35 was allowed? Sir, your on Seagull and
Sag is 25 to begin with. Permit said Sag!!
He swore up and down he was on Sag!
Okay, pickup the cans, $100, pack your camp, take your $100 motor,
and we'll follow you out of the wilderness. We followed him to the landing, he loaded up and left in a huff.
At this time, a few other parties pulled in, so we did public contact.
I see dude leaving, with a stringer of 5 walleyes still dangling
off starboard side. We quickly tried to warn him....Well 3 miles down
the Gunflint we found Still flopping dinner for the night!!"



Good stories. Thanks for doing the job. My only wish the fines would of been larger. I guess in the early 80's that money was worth a little more.
I seen some awful messes with cans littering and motor violations that these people knew what they were doing and didn't care about the effects on others and the environment. Just like people who key scratch a car or break windows,they just do it for reasons I have not figured out yet.



I know a few of the Minnesota DNR Conservation Officers and they can also tell you stories how people make false excuses etc..,on many of incidents. So you have to realize once in awhile a DNR CO might be a little suspicious even when you are telling the truth. Over the years they heard it all.


Chief Seattle: How can you buy the sky or the fresh air,the warmth of the land? The idea is strange to us.
ducks  
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03/12/2013 07:05PM
 
1lookout.. Keep them coming. Great stories. I love the "Poachers Caught" series of books. You should write a book! If not... tell us as many stories as you can :)


Pura Vida
TeamTuna06  
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03/12/2013 07:26PM
 
+1!


"If people concentrated on the really important things in life, there’d be a shortage of fishing poles." -Doug Larson
HansSolo  
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03/12/2013 09:12PM
 

quote ducks: "1lookout.. Keep them coming. Great stories. I love the "Poachers Caught" series of books. You should write a book! If not... tell us as many stories as you can :)"

I agree, more stories!

I'm pleased to hear that some of these bozos are being dealt with. I can only hope there's more Federal or State officials out there cracking down on these irresponsible individuals.

I try to avoid the motor route lakes as it is, for a number of reasons. These accounts by "1lookout" just further reinforce my desire to avoid the lakes within the BWCAW were motors are allowed.

I realize that there are violators everywhere in the BWCAW, and most other wilderness areas. But, it has always been my understanding that the motor routes experience the most blatant violations.

Hans Solo


Water reflects not only clouds and trees and cliffs, but all the infinite variations of mind and spirit we bring to it. – Sigurd Olson
RainGearRight  
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03/12/2013 09:53PM
 
quote ducks: "1lookout.. Keep them coming. Great stories. I love the "Poachers Caught" series of books. You should write a book! If not... tell us as many stories as you can :)"


I could read these all day. Its too bad that people think that they are above the law and the rules don't apply to them. The worst part is these people will continue to exist no matter how many videos are shown, or citations written. Some people are just morons who don't care for anyone or anything that doesn't benefit themselves.


I guess I like hearing about those that actually get caught doing things that those of us are respectful enough, smart enough, and care enough not to do. Too often I think offenders get away.


Like Dan Cole says, "seven out of ten".


There's always money in the banana stand.
1lookout  
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03/13/2013 11:41AM
 
How about a total bozo story?:
I remember it was July 4th, 1982 my partner and I had left Pine for Mountain(long day). We stopped @ N.Fowl Lodge to have lunch with
Earl Nelms the owner. We sat there looking @ this kayak going in
circles. We departed for the Moose Lake portage, and kayakman follows us. This the portage? Yes, Sir. This a 1940's 2-man wood/canvas Folbot
folding kayak. Can you guy's help me carry some of my gear? I'm wore
out after a week of trying to get up the Grand Portage. 7-trips and
my worthless partner quit on day 2.
Well, we're not here to help you, but where you headed?
Michiganman answers Lake Athabasca. He holds up his 100# camera and
says he's making a documentary of his trip. As he unloads his other
gear packed in garbage bags(1 day-pack)my partner and I realized,
this overweight fellow has problems.
We ask ,can you show us on the map where your going? Oh yeah, he pulls
out a map out of some tourist center brochure, showing the whole route
from Lake Superior to Lake Athabasca..you know the kind that shows
little drawings of teepees, big fish,etc..
You got a permit? A what? So now we had him cornered.Sir, to be on US
side, you need a permit, to be on Canadian side, you would need to
have gone thru customs procedures. How do I do that?.....
Well you go back across the Grand Portage and go to the proper officials. Not again!!!
Also, we do not see you have proper gear/food etc. Well, I'm going to
stop at the convenience stores and restock along the way.
Okay, you got 1 choice Sir, go back and get proper paperwork, we're
going to be camped here for a week, we see you again, or you'll be
turned around again.
Never heard of him again.


rtallent  
distinguished member (462)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished member
1 trip report(s) Photo Journal Current Donor
03/13/2013 12:37PM
 
Really like Lookout's stories, though I hope not to see the stuff he had to witness, mainly. On this site it is mostly singing to the choir, but I think 95+% of good practice and LNT has got to be on honor/ peer system. Have seen the BWCA mandatory video a bunch, but I don't begrudge the protocol and think it is a great prerequisite for the permit. Rangers are spread thin, but the possibility of a check is always a good thing. Can only remember one permit check in BWCA and one in Quetico, in last six or eight trips. The BWCA check was on main travel route north of Kawishiwi, but the Quetico check was by a couple of rangers who had just cleared the "death march" portages as we were headed into them. I sure thanked em for that!
andym  
distinguished member(2039)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished member
Past Donor
03/13/2013 06:33PM
 
Please tell me that there is another Lake Athabasca besides the one in Saskatchewan? Otherwise he had only made it 2% of the way there as the crow flies. Even if you hadn't sent him back, it might have taken him a year to make it. Not counting the extra couple of years to find convenience stores in northern Saskatchewan.


We've only been checked once in 7 trips and that was just by DNR for canoe registration just after leaving the EP. We also once came back from a day trip and discovered that the fire grate had been changed. So, we know the rangers were about somewhere in the vicinity.
1lookout  
senior member (89)senior membersenior member
03/14/2013 02:12PM
 
Oh yeah,MichiganMan was headed up the Voyageur Highway! Never saw
his documentary. I relive this moment daily!What a clown.


Todays violation:
We were coming off Sag, Campers Island is just N. of Narrows to the civilized world. We were a motoring with full 25 on a calm day,
out of the corner of my eye, I catch a reflection, glint,of a
beer can. My motorman had already changed our course towards the site.
We pull in to 2 individuals relaxing with a cold one.
Well, now there's 46 full cans.
Where did you come from? Answer: Marabeauf
where you get the beer? Sag Store
How? We paddled 2 miles in and 2 back
How much did it cost? $1.00 a can(Nowadays would be like 3)


Well, finish your beer and enjoy it, we're confiscating the rest,
and $100 later they were drinking lake water.
In all my years, if we confiscated, they can pick it up @ the GM.
Ranger station. Never seen anyone reclaim their evidence.


Did once "borrow a pack of smokes" to a gal going thru nici-fits.
She alctually stopped and payed!!! Never try to think quitting smoking
in the BW is a good idea
she asks" What kind are they?
RC123  
distinguished member (102)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished member
03/14/2013 03:24PM
 
I got a ticket for my canoe registration being out of date. $180 bucks.
Canoe42  
distinguished member(676)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished member
Photo Journal Past Donor
03/14/2013 04:21PM
 
1lookout, you need to write a book of all these adventures.


"Quando Omni Flunkus Moritati" -Red Green
1lookout  
senior member (89)senior membersenior member
03/15/2013 09:03PM
 
I'll leave you with one more violation, this is the Meaning:


Tuscarora, Bright and early as dawn broke:


( As my old Swedish Grandfather Henry the Blacksmith in Henning, Mn would say"I can fix anything but the break of day or a broken heart")


My partner and I come across a really nice family.
First thing she and I saw was a hatchet stuck up in a tree.
There was another thing or two going on, I can't remember,
mind you this was 30+ years ago.
So K. points this out to the parental party. Well the permit was
made out to the Mrs.
We got to cite you for this. She thought for $100 she was going to
prison or such. No we say,We must fine you for something.
What about the children?


Well she starts tearing up, and my Ms. K starts tearing up, even me
and the Mr. are tearing up. He points my sorry butt up the latrine trail and tells me his wife get's emotional, I say so does my partner, and she's the law.
He say's write us a ticket,ok, we're wrong no problem.
We go back to camp, and the 5 year old say's "Told you Mom, thats not right, putting a hatchet in a tree!"
andym  
distinguished member(2039)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished member
Past Donor
03/15/2013 10:09PM
 
Thanks for all of the stories. A book is a big undertaking, but if you could write down a few a year, then it could make a great column in the Boundary Waters Journal. I know I would open it up to read the new one.
1lookout  
senior member (89)senior membersenior member
03/16/2013 11:03AM
 
Well you all influenced me! I'm going to gather 20 former rangers
for a night of ...cans and bottles! We'll run tape and transcripts
and oh my, the stories! Everyone is in!!! Then we'll get a book of
tales! Still need a publisher?
What is the Title?? Dig a Hole to Fill? Firegrate Tabloids.
thanks for the encouragement,


1lookout
PINETREE  
distinguished member(5488)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished memberpower member
Photo Journal Past Donor
03/16/2013 01:41PM
 
quote 1lookout: "Well you all influenced me! I'm going to gather 20 former rangers
for a night of ...cans and bottles! We'll run tape and transcripts
and oh my, the stories! Everyone is in!!! Then we'll get a book of
tales! Still need a publisher?
What is the Title?? Dig a Hole to Fill? Firegrate Tabloids.
thanks for the encouragement,



1lookout"



I like Firegrate Tabloids and a front cover picture maybe of Rangers cruising or portaging a canoe.
Knowing this site you will get all kind of suggestions on Title and front cover picture.
You could even have a chapter or two from individuals you contacted in the field.


Chief Seattle: How can you buy the sky or the fresh air,the warmth of the land? The idea is strange to us.
ppine  
distinguished member (115)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished member
03/17/2013 03:05PM
 
It doesn't matter. I think it was Izaak Walton that said "you can tell the measure of a man in the outdoors by what he does when no one else is around."
Northland  
distinguished member (133)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished member
Photo Journal
03/18/2013 12:18PM
 
quote wildernessfan2: "quote tnvol: "As a park ranger down here in TN I can tell that emptynest is absolutely right. When you report the violations you are seeing it helps even though there may not be any citations at the time. Law enforcement, especially spread thin law enforcement, has to justify why they spend time in certain areas, or why they even have a job. Official reports go a long way towards showing the need for more law enforcement.




I know many get discouraged when that have reported something and have felt that nothing was being done about it. I have been guilty myself of giving off the impression while taking a report that the incident was mundane. Be aware that it can be somewhat depressing from law enforcement's end when we aren't able to take care of these things. I think this sometimes comes off as indifference, but its not."




This is not about the lack of law enforcement officers taking action. We all know the budget issues. This has been a attitude taken by their bosses on how to handle the situation over decades. Seems like they have simply told them to give offenders a good talking. As a professional they are locked into the idea it helps because you have no choice. I say it's BALONEY and penalties need to happen and they need to be seen by everyone so they KNOW it happens. THAT's why these fools keep offending in such a small area with limited rules. Everybody knows nothing is really going to happen..even the kids that we hope are going to follow them in the future are not afraid. Once again it's not the fault of the people in the field that are failing it's their BOSSES who fail to take action.. This has been going on for decades and nobody gives a damn unless it's about the wildlife! "



This is very true. You have to remember that there are two different forces at work: the Forest Service's Office of Law Enforcement and Investigations, and "big" FS, i.e. the agency, itself. Or more specifically, the Superior NF HQ. The former wants to do their jobs and cite people when violations are discovered. The latter wants everyone to get along and doesn't really care if penalties are meted out for violations or not.


At a meeting with Superior NF management in recent years, a rep from the SNF HQ stated that they did not want the BWCAW's "cusotmers" to "see police" everywhere. They often seem to take that to extremes, and their lack of support for/cooperation with ANY law enforcement activities in the BWCAW is reflective of that. I'm not just talking about FS Law Enforcement Officers (LEO's - not to be confused with the unarmed rangers), but also with the MN-DNR, Border Patrol, Customs, the USFWS, and anyone else who may have reason to enter the BWCAW for law enforcement purposes.


That's my opinion, of course, but it's the same opinion held by the officers working for the agencies I just mentioned, who I happen to work with and know, personally.


Moreover, as already mentioned, natural resource crimes don't get nearly the same traction in court as many other types of violations, so that plays a role, as well.


As far as witnessing tickets being written, the chances that you'll actually see a violation notice being written to someone else are not high. It's normally a private affair and can consist of nothing more than getting the person's name and identifying information, then sending them an electronic ticket later on (that's how many federal VN's are issued these days - much easier than trying to write a paper ticket, complete with a statement of probable cause and with applicable statutes noted, all while standing in the rain, and then hoping the person can hang on to it until they get home).
Mustangt125  
senior member (99)senior membersenior member
03/18/2013 03:04PM
 
Why did you confiscate their beer and fine them?


unless I'm missing something that sounds bush league
Swampblaze10  
senior member (90)senior membersenior member
Past Donor Gear Reviews
03/18/2013 03:47PM
 
quote Mustangt125: "Why did you confiscate their beer and fine them?
unless I'm missing something that sounds bush league"



FYI..under BWCA basics on the home page


What other rules govern the Boundary Waters?
Glass bottles and cans are not allowed in the BWCA except when they are a non-food item such as insect repellent, medicines, fuel, and other necessary item which are not food or beverage.
heelix  
senior member (51)senior membersenior member
Photo Journal
03/20/2013 01:27PM
 
I've been going to the BWCA since 1990, and I've only bumped into Rangers three times.


The first was on my second trip ever. All nine of us were open carry, not knowing any better. When the ranger paddled up to our camp site and checked our permit, it was a bit was initially a bit tense as more and more of us came out to see what was going on. She checked the permits and moved on - probably laughing at us noobs.


The second time was coming out after that 4th of July windstorm years back. Everyone was helping everyone, and it was more about making sure everyone was safe.


The third time was last Labor day - we were crossing portages and they checked our permit. Had a good chat with her about what sites were open, where the fish were biting, and was warned about a bear cub that was wandering into camps on Gaskin.
timatkn  
distinguished member(3760)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished member
4 trip report(s) Photo Journal Past Donor Gear Reviews
03/20/2013 09:25PM
 
quote Mustangt125: "Why did you confiscate their beer and fine them?



unless I'm missing something that sounds bush league"



They broke a basic rule, that's what you get.


T
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