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USFS and BLM Land Camping Issues - Printable Version

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- josephusminimus - 10-15-2012

A few posters here seem to have an interest in camping on raw BLM and USFS land.&nbsp; Some have expressed the view that the duration of stays can be stretched beyond the regulatory limit if the person doing the camping doesn't think he's been noticed.<br /><br />This might be true in some circumstances.&nbsp; The problem is that the camper doesn't know whether he's been noticed, or hasn't.&nbsp; After boondocking a lot of years on public lands I'm fairly convinced there's not a piece of land anywhere in the US someone isn't keeping an eye on, feeling some level of responsibility of ownership for.<br /><br />On BLM and USFS lands the official overseers are spread thinly, but the folks holding the grazing leases, mineral claims, other interests, are only a phone call away from the BLM regional offices, for instance.&nbsp; And those folks have a keen sense of 'ownership'.&nbsp; Frequently they'll attempt to bluff the camper into believing they actually own the land you're camped on, or that you trespassed on their private land getting to your campsite.<br /><br />Using a GPS to precisely locate yourself and having a paper BLM 60 minute surface rights map of the area can save a lot of argument, both laid out on the hood of your vehicle, the GPS indicating the longitude and latitude, the map indicating who has surface rights to the spot.<br /><br />State lands are also sometimes a potential, but they have their own sets of rules, permits, etc.<br /><br />I'm starting this thread because I believe this and a number of other issues, tricks of the trade, experiences with USFS and BLM personnel, grazing lease holders, etc, on public lands might prove helpful to the relatively few members here likely to actually get out there and try it.


- dragonflyinthesky - 10-15-2012

Paper maps Jack&nbsp; refers to&nbsp;may be obtained at the BLM amd NFS officers. The worker/officers have always been helpful to me.&nbsp; I don't rmember if thery were free or not, it has been to many years since my travels.


- josephusminimus - 10-15-2012

dragonflyinthesky Wrote:Paper maps Jack&nbsp; refers to&nbsp;may be obtained at the BLM amd NFS officers. The worker/officers have always been helpful to me.&nbsp; I don't rmember if thery were free or not, it has been to many years since my travels.
Thanks Diane.<br /><br />Turns out they've got them digitized, which is new to me:<br /><a href="http://www.usgsquads.com/index.php/digital-map-data/digital-topographic-maps/digital-us-topo-maps/digital-usa-blm-maps">http://www.usgsquads.com/index.php/digital-map-data/digital-topographic-maps/digital-us-topo-maps/digital-usa-blm-maps</a><br /><br />AZ mineral claims:&nbsp; <a href="http://www.admmr.state.az.us/Info/mineralrights.html">http://www.admmr.state.az.us/Info/mineralrights.html</a><br /><br />Paper maps for USFS and BLM from the Public Land Information Center:&nbsp; <a href="http://plicmapcenter.org/">http://plicmapcenter.org/</a><br /><br /><br />Digital mining claim density map for Federal lands in New Mexico: 1996<br /><a href="http://geo-nsdi.er.usgs.gov/metadata/open-file/99-411/metadata.faq.html">http://geo-nsdi.er.usgs.gov/metadata/open-file/99-411/metadata.faq.html</a>


- HoboBerg - 10-15-2012

Great info Joseph Thanks! Here in AZ the USFS will be glad to give you there MVUM maps (Motor&nbsp;Vehicle Usage Map) that show you exactly where you can and cannot camp. Don't know if all forests have these, but im sure they will soon enough&nbsp;<img src="/images/boards/smilies/frown.gif" alt="" align="absmiddle" border="0" />


- dsps91 - 10-19-2012

Has anybody here stayed on BLM land around Lake Havasu?


- SoulRaven - 10-19-2012

Just spent 5 months on USFS land near Shaver lake CA... For the serious boon-docker this is an easy task... Same with BLM Land, just dont be part of the herd is all I can stay...


- McBe - 10-19-2012

Quote:...And those folks have a keen sense of 'ownership'. Frequently they'll attempt to bluff the camper into believing they actually own the land you're camped on, or that you trespassed on their private land getting to your campsite.<br />
<br /><br />You make an interesting point.&nbsp; I recall that rvsue (<a href="http://rvsueandcrew.com/">http://rvsueandcrew.com/</a>)&nbsp;was camping somewhere this summer (Montana?).&nbsp; She thought she was on public land but someone told her she was on private property and basically "chased" her off.&nbsp; Kind of makes me wonder now.


- SoulRaven - 10-19-2012

Good point, know your rights as you know your location....


- josephusminimus - 10-20-2012

McBe Wrote:
Quote:...And those folks have a keen sense of 'ownership'. Frequently they'll attempt to bluff the camper into believing they actually own the land you're camped on, or that you trespassed on their private land getting to your campsite.<br />
<br /><br />You make an interesting point.&nbsp; I recall that rvsue (<a href="http://rvsueandcrew.com/">http://rvsueandcrew.com/</a>)&nbsp;was camping somewhere this summer (Montana?).&nbsp; She thought she was on public land but someone told her she was on private property and basically "chased" her off.&nbsp; Kind of makes me wonder now.
<br /><br />There's something about a family having a grazing lease on several sections of multi-use government land for a few generations tends to lend itself to the attitude.&nbsp; Usually more in the off the beaten track areas.&nbsp; Frequently the ranches have only a few hundred acres [or less]&nbsp;of deeded land, and several thousand acres of public land leased for grazing.&nbsp; The leases are usually a few cents per acre, the land frequently not suited for a lot of cattle.&nbsp; There's been a lot of acrimony and lawsuits during the past couple of decades over grazing lease rights and responsibilities, along with density of grazing requirements imposed by BLM and USFS.<br /><br />When a guy in a cowboy suit or a pair of bib overalls drives up on a four-wheeler and begins the conversation with something in-your-face you never know what you're dealing with, which side of the bed he got up on.&nbsp; Being certain of your precise location is a better-than-average starting place.<br /><br />On the other hand, when a guy in uniform toting a sidearm, wearing a pair of mirror sunglasses and a USFS patch does the same thing, best to just begin decamping.&nbsp; You're on the radar.<br /><br /><br /><br />


- VanLifeCrisis - 10-20-2012

If you have mining rights to blm, can you still make people get off the land?&nbsp; I thought they just couldn't do whatever you have the rights for.<br /><br />Even if you 'win' the argument with the guy, hes gonna hassle you from then on.&nbsp; I would just move anyway i think, unless they really ticked me off.<br /><br /><br /><br />