BLM changes policies for long-term camping

Long-term campers on Bureau of Land Management property beware.

Because of abuse of the bureau’s policy not to camp at the same site for more than 14 days, the BLM has announced stricter new rules concerning long-term campers.

Instead of forcing campers to move to a new site that is at least three miles away, the bureau wants them to go 10 times farther.

After July 12, campers who reach the 14-day ceiling will have to move to a new site that’s at least 30 miles away.

Additionally, they cannot return to their original campsite for at least 30 days, up from the current seven days.

BLM spokeswoman Vanessa Delgado said the change is being made primarily because of seasonal workers abusing the current rules, particularly those who work for river rafting companies.

“Some of those seasonal tour workers will take advantage of our current stipulations that are in place,” Delgado said. “In past summers, we’ve seen some of the rules we have in place that not everyone was following. They were finding loopholes.”

The new rules, the first change since 1990, are designed to address sanitation issues that were being caused by long-term campers, which Delgado said was more like illegal residency of public land rather than actual camping.

Delgado said the long-term campers also posed an unfair access problem for other, legitimate campers, who couldn’t use certain areas because they were always occupied.

The long-term campers also were leaving behind trash, trampling local vegetation, setting illegal campfires and driving vehicles where they weren’t supposed to, according to a BLM news release.


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