Superintendent's Compendium

Superintendent's Compendium

In accordance with regulations and the delegated authority provided in Title 36, Code of Federal Regulations (“36 CFR”), Chapter 1, Parts 1-7, authorized by Title 16 United States Code, Section 3, the following provisions apply to all persons entering, using, visiting or otherwise within: (1) The boundaries of federally owned lands and waters administered by Harpers Ferry National Historical Park; (2) The boundaries of lands and waters administered by Harpers Ferry National Historical Park for public-use purposes pursuant to the terms of a written instrument. Unless otherwise stated, these regulatory provisions apply in addition to the requirements contained in 36 CFR, Chapter 1, Parts 1-7.Written determinations, which explain the reasoning behind the Superintendent’s use of discretionary authority, as required by Section 1.5(c), appear in this document identified by italicized print.

Introduction

A. What is the Compendium?
B. What laws and policies allow the Superintendent to develop this Compendium?
C. Does this compendium comply with applicable Federal law and requirements?
D. How are the requirements of the Superintendent’s Compendium developed?
E. Where does the Compendium Apply?
F. Who enforces this Compendium?G. Is there a penalty for not adhering to the requirements found in this Compendium?

A. What is the Superintendent’s Compendium?

The Harpers Ferry National Historical Park Superintendent’s Compendium summarizes park specific rules implemented under the Park Superintendent’s discretionary authority. It is public notice that gives the public a chance to comment, identifies areas closed for public use, provides a list of activities requiring either a special use permit or reservation, and elaborates on those public use and resource protection regulations regarding the specific administration of the park. It does not contain those regulations found in Title 36 Code of Federal Regulations (C.F.R.) and other United States Codes (U.S.C.) and C.F.R. Titles, which are enforced without further elaboration at the park level.36 C.F.R. Parts 1-7 regulations are the National Park Service’s (NPS) basic mechanism to preserve and protect the park’s natural and cultural resources and to protect visitors and property in the park. Parts 1 through 6 are general regulations applicable to all National Park System areas and Part 7 contains special regulations specific to individual parks. Each part has many sections and subsections articulating specific provisions. Certain Part 1-7 sections and subsections grant the Superintendent discretionary authority to develop local rules respond to a specific park’s resource or activity, park plan, program, the general public’s special needs or a combination of these.This compendium should be used with 36 C.F.R. Sections 1-7 to understand more fully the regulations governing all National Park System areas’ use and enjoyment.

B. What laws and policies allow the Superintendent to develop this Compendium?

54 U.S.C. Subtitle I, Division A, Ch. 1001, § 100101(a) (National Park Service Organic Act of 1916, as amended) grants the NPS broad statutory authority in to “... regulate the use of the National Park System by means and measures that conform to the fundamental purpose of the System units, which purpose is to conserve the scenery, natural and historic objects, and wildlife in the System units and to provide for the enjoyment of the scenery, natural and historic objects, and wildlife in such manner and by such means as will leave them unimpaired for the enjoyment of future generations.”In 1970, Congress amended the NPS Organic Act to clarify its intentions regarding the NPS’ overall mission. Through the General Authorities Act of 1970 (54 U.S.C. Subtitle I, Division A, Ch. 1001, § 100101 (b)(1), Congress brought all areas the NPS administered into one National Park System and directed the NPS to manage all areas under its administration consistent with the Organic Act of 1916. In 1978, Congress amended the General Authorities Act of 1970 and reasserted System wide the high standard of protection defined in the original Organic Act by stating “Congress reaffirms, declares, and directs that the promotion and regulation of the various System units shall be consistent with and founded in the purpose established by subsection (a), to the common benefit of all people of the United States.” 54 U.S.C. Subtitle I, Division A, Ch. 1005, § 100501 defines the National Park System as “... any areas of land and water administered by the Secretary, acting through the Director, for park, monument, historic, parkway, recreational, or other purposes.”36 C.F.R. § 1.7(b) requires the Superintendent to compile in writing all the designations, closures, permit requirements, and other restrictions imposed under discretionary authority. This compilation, called the Superintendent’s Compendium, will be updated annually and made available to the public upon request. Besides the above statutory authority, the Superintendent is also guided by established NPS policy found in the NPS Management Policies (2006). As this Compendium outlines, the NPS’ primary role is to protect and preserve our national natural and cultural resources while providing for the visitors’ enjoyment of these resources and other users, as long as use does not impair specific park resources or overall visitor experience. The appropriateness of any particular visitor use or recreational experience is resource based and will vary from park to park; therefore, a use or activity that is appropriate in one park area may be inappropriate in another.Each Park Superintendent is directed to analyze overall park use and determine if any particular use is appropriate. Where conflict arises between use and resource protection, where the Superintendent has grounds to believe a resource is or would become impaired, then that Superintendent is obliged to place limitations on public use.

C. Does this Compendium comply with applicable Federal law and requirements?

The Superintendent’s Compendium is not considered a significant rule requiring an Office of Management and Budget review under Executive Order 12866. This Compendium complies with Title 54 United States Code and Title 36 Code of Federal Regulations, Chapter 1, Parts 1-7.

D. How are the requirements of the Superintendent’s Compendium developed?

As outlined above, the NPS has broad authority to determine what uses and activities are appropriate in any particular National Park System area.The Superintendent’s Compendium requirements are developed with an analysis and decision process for that particular NPS area. The decision criteria used during this process are:

  1. Is the use or activity consistent with the National Park Service Organic Act and NPS policy?

  2. Is the use or activity consistent and compatible with the park’s enabling legislation, management objectives, and corresponding management plans?

  3. Will the use or activity damage or impair the park’s protected natural and cultural resources and other protected values?

  4. Will the use or activity disturb or be in conflict with wildlife, vegetation, and environmental protection actions and values?

  5. Will the use or activity conflict with or be incompatible with traditional park uses and activities?

  6. Will the use or activity compromise employee or public safety?

E. Where does this Compendium apply?

This Compendium’s regulations apply to all persons in federally owned lands and waters boundaries that the NPS administers as part of Harpers Ferry National Historical Park.

F. Who enforces the requirements of this Compendium?

Only NPS Law Enforcement Park Rangers or a cross designated Law Enforcement Officer can enforce United States Code, C.F.R. Titles, and this Superintendent’s Compendium requirements. However, many federal laws and regulations have similar statutes state and local law. Many Compendium requirements complement existing state and local law and regulations that are also in effect in the park and enforced by state and local law enforcement officers.

G. Is there a penalty for not adhering to the requirements found in this Compendium?

A person who violates any regulations in Title 36 C.F.R. Parts 1-7 or this compendium is subject to a fine as provided by law (18 U.S.C. § 3571) up to $5,000 for individuals and $10,000 for organizations, or by imprisonment not exceeding six months (18 U.S.C. § 3559), or both, and will be adjudged to pay all court costs associated with any court proceedings.

 

36 C.F.R. Part 1–General Provisions

§ 1.5 (a)(1) – Closures and Public Use Limits

The following closures and restrictions are established for all or portion(s) of the park to all public use or to a certain use or activity:

  • Unless otherwise designated, all park areas including buildings, roads, trails, and other public use facilities and areas are closed 30 minutes after sunset to 30 minutes before sunrise. The only allowable camping in the park would be through a special use permit issued by the superintendent.

Exceptions to the time of closure hours:

a) Bolivar Heights (open only to vehicle through traffic using Whitman and Prospect Avenue)
b) Historic Lower Town Harpers Ferry, including the Train Station
c) The Appalachian Trail corridor through the park (closed to overnight camping)

Determination of Closure/ Limitations: These closures will provide for public safety and to protect park resources.

1. Watercraft

To prevent the degradation of the values and purposes for which the park was established, the following park areas are closed to the possession of all watercraft (boats, canoes, kayaks, etc.) to include inflatable devices (inner-tubes, air mattresses, etc.).

  • The Goodloe E. Byron Memorial Pedestrian Walkway

  • The Potomac River shoreline from the upstream CSX Railroad Bridge to the Point (confluence of the Shenandoah and Potomac rivers)

  • From the confluence upstream along the Shenandoah River to the Rt. 340 Bridge.

  • The Lower Town historic area and Virginius Island between the Shenandoah River and Shenandoah Street to above the Rt. 340 Bridge.

  • All park owned land between the CSX Railroad tracks and the park entrance road (Shoreline Drive)

  • The park entrance road from the Rt. 340 Bridge to the Visitor Center parking area.

Exception: There is an established river access corridor to the Shenandoah River for river recreation purposes. The corridor extends from the River Access parking area at the end of Shenandoah Street (intersection with Rt. 340) to the upstream side of the Rt. 340 Bridge. For the purpose of this regulation the river access corridor shall be defined as an area extending 50 yards on either side of the trail leading from the parking lot to the river shore.

Determination of Closure/ Limitations:
This closure for the possession of all forms of watercraft is necessary for the protection of scenic values, the protection of natural and cultural resources, the implementation of management responsibilities, the equitable allocation and use of facilities, and to avoid a conflict among visitor use activities.

This use of watercraft is not consistent or compatible with the park’s enabling legislation, management objectives, and corresponding management plans.

This closure is not of a nature, magnitude and duration that will result in a “significant alteration in the public use pattern” because recreational river users are provided ample areas for boating and river recreational access outside the park.

2. Picnicking

To enhance both the historic and natural landscapes and to reduce the adverse impact to historic resources, picnicking is permitted only in the following areas:

a) Visitor Center Picnic Area

b) River Access – picnicking at River access is allowed in the same defined area for watercraft. This area is extending 50 yards on either side of the trail leading from the parking lot to the river shore.


For the purposes of this section picnicking is defined as more than the mere possession or consumption of food at these locations. It may include such activities as the spreading of blankets or ground covers, setting up tables and/or chairs. The cooking of food on portable grills open fires or other cooking devices, storage of food in coolers or other containers, or other similar social activities is prohibited.

Determination of Closure/ Limitations: This limitation is needed to enhance both the historic and natural landscapes of the park and to reduce the adverse impact to historic resources.

3. Fishing

The "Goodloe E. Byron Memorial Pedestrian Walkway" is closed to fishing activity. All persons fishing in the park must have a valid state fishing license.

Determination of Closure/ Limitations: The walkway is only wide enough to support pedestrian traffic crossing the Potomac River Bridge. Allowing fishing activities on the bridge would not allow for safe passage of pedestrians along this narrow walkway.

4. Bicycling

The downhill portion of Shoreline Drive is closed to the use of bicycles.

Determination of Closure/ Limitations: This closure to the use of bicycles on the downhill portion of Shoreline Drive is necessary for the maintenance of public safety, implementation of management responsibilities, the safe and equitable allocation and use of facilities, and to avoid conflict among visitor use activities. Less restrictive measures will not suffice because of the potential threat to visitor safety which has been measured by previous accidents including a fatality. This is a narrow and steep road with no safety provisions for downhill bike travel. The lack of road shoulders and poor visibility present a safety hazard for downhill bike travel.

“Administrative Use Only” Road* on Virginius Island is closed to the use of bicycles.

“Administrative Use Only” Road* (Military Road) on Maryland Heights is closed to the use of bicycles.

Determination of Closure/Limitations: The administrative road on Virginius Island is a culturally sensitive area and allowing bikes on this road may affect these cultural resources. The Maryland Heights Military Road is also a culturally sensitive area. The use of the road by bicycles may compromise visitor safety due to rocky and washed out trail conditions on this administrative road.

The term “e-bike” means a two-or three-wheeled cycle with fully operable pedals and an electric motor of less than 750 watts (1 h.p.).

E-bikes are allowed in Harpers Ferry National Historical Park where traditional bicycles are allowed. E-bikes are prohibited where traditional bicycles are prohibited. Except where the use of motor vehicles by the public is allowed, using the electric motor to move an e-bike without pedaling is prohibited.

A person operating an e-bike is subject to the following sections of 36 CFR part 4 that apply to the use of traditional bicycles: sections 4.12, 4.13, 4.20, 4.21, 4.22, 4.23, and 4.30(h)(2)-(5).

Except as specified in this Compendium, the use of an e-bike within Harpers Ferry National Historical Park is governed by State law, which is adopted and made a part of this Compendium. Any violation of State law adopted by this paragraph is prohibited.

5. Commercial Buses

Private and commercial buses are prohibited from loading or unloading passengers in Lower Town without permission from the Superintendent.

Determination of Closure/Limitations: The Park operates a shuttle bus system to transport visitors to the Lower Town. Private and commercial buses that load or unload in the Lower Town may present a hazard to regular street traffic or the park shuttle buses utilizing the Shuttle Bus transportation system.

6. John Brown’s Cave

The underground area known as “John Brown’s Cave” is closed to all public access.

Determination of Closure/Limitations: This is necessary for public safety and to reduce the likelihood of people carrying the causal fungal agent of white-nosed syndrome, Geomyces destructans, to bat populations. The cave entrance is right along a busy CSX Rail system line and people wanting to use the cave must trespass on CSX land to gain entry to the cave.

7. Jefferson Rock

To provide for public safety and to protect park resources, Jefferson Rock and the small, rectangular area of land around it (its supporting rock outcrop) is closed to climbing, standing or sitting. The area of closure is identified by two descriptive signs at the entrance of the Jefferson Rock area as accessed from two points along the Appalachian Trail.

Determination of Closure/Limitations: This closure to all public access at the portion of the park known as Jefferson’s Rock is necessary for the protection of natural resources, the maintenance of public safety and removes additional human-caused threats that may accelerate the rock’s eventual failure and downhill slide.

8. Unmanned Aircraft

Launching, landing or operating an unmanned aircraft from or on lands and waters administered by the National Park Service within the boundaries of Harpers Ferry National Historical Park is prohibited except as approved in writing by the Superintendent.

Definition: The term “unmanned aircraft” means a device that is used or intended to be used for flight in the air without the possibility of direct human intervention from within or on the device, and the associated operational elements and components that are required for the pilot or system operator in command to operate or control the device (such as cameras, sensors, communication links). This term includes all types of devices that meet this definition (e.g., model airplanes, quadcopters, drones) that are used for any purpose, including for recreation or commerce.

Determination of Closure/Limitations: Use of unmanned aircraft within Harpers Ferry National Historical Park (HAFE) is not compatible with the mission of the park as detailed in the General Management Plan (2009) and Congressional Enabling Legislation (1944). Harpers Ferry National Historical Park was created to protect and preserve the natural and cultural resources and provide for public enjoyment. The natural soundscape, view shed, natural/cultural resources and visitor experience would be impaired by the noise and view of these modern devices. These devices would also impact the safety of our visitor population, motor vehicle traffic, and generally intrude upon visitors’ enjoyment of the park.

9. Climbing Closed to Climbing are specific locations within Harpers Ferry National Historical Park In West Virginia:

  • Jefferson Rock

  • Shenandoah Street Cliffs

  • All cliffs along Shenandoah Street in the Lower Town of Harpers Ferry, WV

Climbing in the park may be suspended by the Superintendent to protect nesting peregrine falcons or any other management need deemed necessary by the Superintendent.

Determination of Closure/Limitations: Recreational climbing activities in the Lower Town occur in an area in close proximity to a cultural landscape. The national significance of Harpers Ferry National Historical Park lies in the historic events that occurred at Harpers Ferry and in the cultural and natural resources associated with those events. Closing climbing activity in this area will help the park better interpret and explain those historical events to the public.

Climbing routes in the state of Virginia within the boundaries of Harpers Ferry National Historical Park are currently closed.

Determination of Closure/Limitations – for any closures in VA: Due to their locations near or within culturally sensitive areas and a lack of available legal and safe parking, these areas within the park are closed to all climbing related activities. A public closure to climbing of these areas will serve to mitigate the potential risk to the visiting population. A less restrictive method to accomplish this goal will not be effective.

10. Temporary Annual Closure and Public Use Limitation to help ensure successful nesting of peregrine falcons on Maryland Heights

Annually there will be a temporary closure of certain areas of Harpers Ferry Park (HAFE) to public use on and around the cliff face of Maryland Heights, Washington County, Maryland. Portions of Maryland Heights, identified as areas closed to visitor use activities, beginning February 15th and remaining in effect until July 31st, or until further notice are considered as ideal habitat for breeding peregrines. This closure will come into effect annually if there are signs of potential nesting and pair sightings on Maryland Heights. Notice of this temporary and partial closure and public use limitation will be made through an orange fence barricade and multi-language signs posted at 25ft. intervals in the affected park areas, such as normal points of entry and reasonable intervals along the boundary of the affected park locale. Notice will also be given through park social media and the park website.

To help ensure their nesting success, a temporary closure will be in effect for areas around the Maryland Heights overlook and cliff face, focusing on The Gully, Sign Wall, ABC Ramps, Train Tunnel Wall and Confederate Walls. Union Wall overlook is the only overlook to remain opened during this temporary closure, all other overlooks will be closed. Union Wall climbing routes will remain open as well.

Determination of Closure/Limitations – Park staff has observed adult peregrines near the cliff face of Maryland Heights engaging in courtship and pre-nesting behavior signaling the birds’ intentions to nest and raise chicks during the spring and early summer. To help ensure their nesting success, a temporary annual closure will be in effect for areas around the Maryland Heights overlook and cliff face, focusing on The Gully, Sign Wall, ABC Ramps, Train Tunnel Wall and Confederate Walls. Union Wall overlook is the only overlook to remain opened during this temporary closure, all other overlooks will be closed. Union Wall climbing routes will remain open as well. Research has shown that nesting peregrine falcons are particularly vulnerable to human activities on or above cliff faces.


11. Entering CSX railroad property from within Harpers Ferry National Historical Park is prohibited

Determination of Closure/Limitations: The CSX rail traverses through a portion of Harpers Ferry National Historical Park. The park has within its boundaries an active train station adjacent to the CSX rail. No physical barriers exist preventing the public from entering the CSX rail from NPS property. This public closure will serve to mitigate the potential risk to the visiting public and commuter’s utilizing the rail system. A less restrictive method to accomplish this goal will not be effective.

12. Entering the Old Standard Quarry Property located on Millville Road within Jefferson County WV, by means of parking within Harpers Ferry National Historical Park’s Schoolhouse Ridge South Parking Area is prohibited. This property is owned and posted (No Trespassing) by Standard Land Company LLC.

Determination of Closure/Limitations: Those entering the quarry property, while engaging in trespassing, have also fallen victim to serious falling injuries. No physical barriers exist preventing the public from entering the quarry property from NPS property. This public closure will serve to mitigate the potential risk to park visitors. A less restrictive method to accomplish this goal will not be effective.


13. Use of Closed-Circuit Television Security Cameras

In accordance with National Park Service Law Enforcement Reference Manual 9 (RM-9), notice is hereby given that Harpers Ferry National Historical Park uses Closed Circuit Television (CCTV) security camera monitoring.

The park’s use of Closed Circuit Television (CCTV) for law enforcement and security purposes will only be to visually monitor public park areas and public activities where no constitutionally protected reasonable expectation of privacy exists. Such CCTV use – which will have adequate privacy and First Amendment safeguards – will be to help ensure public safety and security; facilitate the detection, investigation, prevention, and deterrence of terrorist attack and crime; help ensure the safety of citizens and officers; help assist in the proper allocation and deployment of law enforcement and public safety resources; and help facilitate the protection of the innocent and the apprehension and prosecution of criminals. (RM-9, 26.1)

This policy does not restrict the official use of CCTV in government administrative areas, including administrative buildings, jail holding facilities (RM-9, 26.3.7), revenue collection sites, etc., where the government may record/monitor its facilities. For example, the government may perform unrestricted video/audio recording at revenue collection points (entrance stations, visitor center counters, etc.). This policy does not restrict the use of an Audio/Visual Recording Device (AVRD) in patrol vehicles or officer-worn recording devices used by commissioned rangers. (RM-9, 26.1).

Operation of CCTV cameras, maintenance of recorded images and use of recorded images will be in accordance with NPS and Department policy and applicable laws and regulations. (RM-9, 26.1-26.4) No person will be targeted or monitored because of race, religion, gender, sex, disability, national origin, or political affiliation or views. (RM-9, 26.4.2)

 

§ 1.5 (a)(2) The following areas have been designated for a specific use or activity, under the conditions and/or restrictions as noted:

COVID mask wearing requirements

  • Individuals over the age of two years must wear masks, except when actively eating or drinking, in the following locations:

    • All common areas and shared workspaces in buildings owned, rented or leased by the National Park Service, including, but not limited to, park visitor centers, administrative offices, and gift shops.

    • The following outdoor areas, when others are present, where the superintendent has determined that physical distancing (staying at least six feet apart) cannot reasonably be maintained:

      • Park shuttle buses

      • All park exhibits, museums and the bookshop. This includes all adjacent sidewalks and entrances.

      • Park restrooms

      • The Point, Maryland Heights Overlook, Bolivar Heights parking lot, Cavalier Heights parking area, Potoma Wayside, River Access parking area, Byron footbridge across the Potomac River, Jefferson Rock, the Stone Steps, Shuttle bus plazas and pavilions at the Cavalier Heights Visitor center and the Lower Town bus loop on Shenandoah Street, Train station parking lot.

Masks must cover the nose and mouth and fit snugly around the nose and chin with no large gaps around the sides of the face. Masks not designed to be protective, masks with ventilation valves, and face shields do not meet the requirement.

Determination:This public use limit is in place to halt the spread of coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID–19) by relying on the best available data and science-based public health measures. Such measures include wearing masks when around others, physical distancing, and other related precautions recommended by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC)

 

36 CFR §1.6 – ACTIVITIES THAT REQUIRE A SPECIAL USE PERMIT

DETERMINATION: Title 16 United States Code § 1 directs the National Park Service to “regulate the use of Federal areas known as national parks……” Title 16 United States Code § 3 directs the Secretary of the Interior to “make and publish such rules and regulations…..necessary or proper for the use and management of the parks under jurisdiction of the National Park Service….” Title 36 Code of Federal Regulations meets these statutory requirements (in part) and identifies the activities listed below as those to be regulated by a permit issued by the superintendent.

§2.4(d) Carry or possess a weapon, trap, or net:

  • Firearms may be carried or possessed in accordance with applicable local, state and federal law.

  • Other weapons as defined under 36 CFR 1.4 will require a permit. Contact the Chief Ranger’s Office for permit.

§2.5(a) Specimen collection (Take plant, fish, wildlife, rocks or minerals)

§2.10(a) Camping

§2.12(a)(2) Operating a chain saw in developed areas

§ 2.12(a)(3) Operation of any type of portable motor or engine, or device powered by a portable motor or engine in non-developed areas

§ 2.12 (a)(4) Operation of a public address system in connection with a public gathering or special event for which a permit has been issued pursuant to §2.50 or §2.51

§ 2.13(a)(1) Lighting or Maintaining a fire

§2.17(a)(3) Delivery or retrieval of a person or object by parachute, helicopter or other airborne means

§2.37 Soliciting or demanding gifts, money goods or services

§2.38(a) Use, possession, storage, transportation of explosives, blasting agents

§2.38(b) Using or possessing fireworks

§2.50(a) Conducting a sports event, pageant, regatta, public spectator attraction, entertainment, ceremony, and similar events

§2.51(a) Public assemblies, meetings, gatherings, demonstrations, parades and other public expressions of views for demonstrations involving 26 or more people. Groups of 25 people or less can demonstrate without a permit in designated areas

§2.52(a) Sale or distribution of printed matter that is not solely commercial advertising for groups of 26 or more. Groups of 25 people or less may distribute printed materials in designated areas without a permit.

§2.60(b) Livestock use

§2.61(a) Residing on federal lands

§2.62(b) Memorialization

§5.1 Advertisements - (Display, posting or distribution.)

§5.3 Engaging in or soliciting any business (requires a permit, contract or other written agreement with the United States, or must be pursuant to special regulations).

§5.5(b) Still photography of vehicles, or other articles of commerce or models for the purpose of commercial advertising

§5.6(c) Use of commercial vehicles on park area roads (The superintendent shall issue a permit to access private lands within or adjacent to the park when access is otherwise not available)

§5.7 Construction of buildings, facilities, trails, roads, boat docks, path, structure, etc.

§6.9(a) Operation of a solid waste disposal site

 

GENERAL REGULATIONS

36 CFR §2.1 – PRESERVATION OF NATURAL, CULTURAL AND ARCHEOLOGICAL RESOURCES

(c)(1), (c)(2): Collection of Natural Products

All edible nuts, berries, and mushrooms growing on park property, as well as unoccupied seashells, may be gathered by hand for personal use or consumption, not to exceed one U.S. quart per person per day.

Determination of Limitations: A Daily Limit is required to assure that gathering does not adversely affect the plant species’ reproductive potential or any other park resource. Park managers have determined that limited collection of fruits, berries, and nuts in these quantities are not detrimental to future populations.

 

36 CFR §2.2 - WILDLIFE PROTECTION

(e) The use of artificial lighting to view wildlife is prohibited within the boundary of Harpers Ferry National Historical Park.

Determination of Closure/Limitations: The superintendent may designate all or portions of the park as closed to the viewing of wildlife with an artificial light. Taking wildlife in the park with the aid of the use of artificial light is one common method encountered by park staff during past poaching violations. Limiting this activity will help protect a natural resource of the park which is susceptible to taking by illegal hunters shooting from roadways that border the park.

 

36 CFR §2.3 – FISHING

(a) West Virginia, Maryland, and Virginia State fishing laws permit the taking of frogs and crayfish. However, the taking of frogs and crayfish is prohibited within Harpers Ferry National Historical Park.

Determination of Closure/Limitations: These State laws are conflicting with Title 36 Code of Federal Regulations and are, therefore, not adopted as part of 36 CFR § 2.3(a). Frogs and Crayfish do not fall under the definition of fish in 36 CFR and would be considered wildlife. Taking of wildlife under 36 CFR 2.2 (a)(1) is prohibited.

 

36 CFR §2.15 – PETS

(a)(1) Structures or areas closed to the possession of pets by the Superintendent:

Possessing a pet(s) is prohibited in all structures within the park. Pets are also not permitted within the park buses. This section does not apply to service dogs accompanying visually impaired persons, service dogs accompanying hearing impaired persons, service dogs accompanying some visitor with a disability or dogs used by authorized Federal, State and local law enforcement officers in the performance of their official duties.

(a)(3) Pets may be left tied to an object under the following conditions:

  • A pet(s) may be left tied to trees, picnic tables, or other non-movable objects in developed areas of the park as long as they are under the direct supervision of their owner and no damage is inflicted on private or Government property by the tied pet(s). Such a pet(s) must be tied with a leash that shall not exceed six feet in length. Such a pet(s) will not be allowed to make unreasonable noise as described in 36 CFR §2.15(a)(4).

Determination of Limitations: Visitors may wish to tie their pets up for short periods of time to gain park information, talk with friends, or meet sanitary needs. All of these purposes either enhance or are neutral to the park’s mission and significance. Outside temperatures are often too high for such visitors to safely leave a pet inside their vehicle.

(a)(5) Pet excrement must be bagged and deposited in a trash receptacle.


Determination of Limitations: The requirement that pet excrement must be bagged and deposited in a trash receptacle is for the maintenance of public health and safety. Less restrictive measures will not suffice because of the potential sanitary and health threat to the public.

(e) Pets may be kept by park residents under the following conditions:

  • Pets kept by park residents at Government residences may only allow such pets to be unrestrained within the curtilage of that residence.

  • Cost for the repair of damage caused by pets to Government residences, other than normal wear-and tear, will be borne by the assigned park employee residing in the residence.

Determination of Limitations: Government employees assigned to park housing in which pets are permitted must meet conditions that protect park resources and Government property. These conditions should not be overly burdensome to the employee as a tenant, and they should be identified in the park’s Housing Management Plan.

 

36 CFR §2.22 – PROPERTY
(a)(2) Unattended Motor Vehicles

Locations and/or conditions where leaving property unattended longer than 24 hours is permitted:

1. Motor vehicles may be left parked in legal parking spaces in the Train Station parking area longer than 24 hours by train passengers or Appalachian Trail hikers when advance notice is given by the vehicle owner to the Superintendent or the Chief Ranger and it is approved. During the approval process a removal date will always be established, generally not to exceed 30 days from the first 24-hour period.

2. Motor vehicles may be left parked in legal parking spaces in the Visitor Center parking area longer than 24 hours when advance notice is given by the vehicle owner to the Superintendent or the Chief Ranger and is approved. During the approval process a removal date will always be established, generally not to exceed 30 days from the first 24-hour period.

Determination of Closure/Limitations: The Train Station parking area is used by MARC commuters and AMTRAK passengers to board trains. In some cases their trips will last for more than 24 hours and it may be unreasonable for them to be required to remove their parked vehicle. Some park users such as Appalachian Trail hikers may choose to start a multi-day trip from the park and have no way to remove their vehicle after 24 hours. A small number of legally parked vehicles at these two locations left greater than 24 hours, if pre-approved, will not interfere with visitor safety, orderly management of the park area, or present a threat to park resources.

 

36 CFR §2.35 – ALCOHOLIC BEVERAGES AND CONTROLLED SUBSTANCES

(a)(3)(i) Possession and Consumption of Alcoholic Beverages

All public use areas and public facilities are closed to the consumption of alcoholic beverages and/or to the possession of a bottle, can, or other receptacle containing an alcoholic beverage that is open, or that has been opened, or whose seal is broken or the contents of which have been partially removed, except by special use permit.

Determination of Closure/Limitations: Alcohol consumption in certain park areas is deemed inappropriate to: avoid incidents stemming from alcoholic beverages consumption; to discourage underage drinking; to reduce hazards from broken glass and waste from discarded cans; and reduce the potential for water emergencies at the unguarded rivers.

This closure is not of a nature, magnitude and duration that will result in a “significant alteration in the public use pattern” because consumption of alcoholic beverages can readily be carried out in nearby areas outside the park. In fact the modern town of Harpers Ferry is adjacent to the park and has many locations and businesses where the consumption and/or possession of alcoholic beverages is appropriate.

 

36 CFR §2.51 – PUBLIC ASSEMBLIES, MEETINGS

(c) Designated free speech areas are determined using the regulatory criteria found in 36 CFR §2.51(c) (1)(i), (1)(ii), (1)(iii), (1)(iv), (1)(v), (1)(vi).

The following locations are designated as free speech areas (see maps in Appendix II):

Lower Town--along the earthen berm that parallels Potomac Street running South East to North West. The area includes the grassy portion of the berm from the John Brown obelisk, on the south eastern end, and terminates at the north western end where the grass joins the pavement of the train station parking lot. This is a continuous space 400’ long and 40’ wide. The CSX parking lot and gravel trail are to remain open for use and are not included in this free speech area.

Two locations at the Visitor Center Parking Area

  1. The free speech area consists of a 35’ wide strip of grass. This is a continuous and unbroken space 430 feet in total length and 35 feet wide. The strip parallels the side walk which begins at the Handicapped Parking area and proceeds approximately 250’ to the South West until the end of the sidewalk, and in the other direction, from the handicapped parking, towards the North East and bending around to the North West approximately 180’ to the retaining wall.

  2. The stabilized grassy parking space to the South end of the main parking lot at the visitor center is available for use as a free speech area. This is a continuous and unbroken space fronting the parking lot 770’ long and 150’ wide.

(c)(2) Maps of location designations are available at Grandview School, the Visitor Center and the Information center in lower town.

Determination of Closure/Limitations: Locations were selected using criteria found in 36 CFR §2.51 (c)(1)

 

36 CFR §2.52 – SALE OR DISTRIBUTION OF PRINTED MATTER

(C) The sale or distribution of printed matter is allowed within the park areas designated as available under §2.51 (c)(1).


Determination of Closure/Limitations: Locations were selected using criteria found in 36 CFR §2.51 (c)(1)

 

36 CFR §2.62 – MEMORIALIZATION

(b) A permit is required for the scattering of ashes from cremated human remains in the following areas, and/or according to the following terms and conditions:

1. Shenandoah River shore line at the Point
2. Potomac River shore line at Potomac Wayside
3. In the adjacent vegetation at the Jefferson Rock area.

The scattering of human ashes from cremation is permitted only in the three numbered areas and only in such quantity to not interfere with visitor use and proper sanitation.

Determination of Closure/Limitations: Scattering of cremated human remains is a reasonable accommodation to visitors and may not result in any negative resource impact.

 

36 CFR §4.10 – TRAVEL ON PARK ROADS AND ROUTES

a) Park roads, open for travel by motor vehicle to the public, are those indicated in the following publication: “Harpers Ferry National Historical Park” Unigrid Brochure

Determination of Closure/Limitations: Public travel by motor vehicle on specified roads only is necessary for the protection of scenic values, the protection of natural and cultural resources, the implementation of management responsibilities, the equitable allocation and use of facilities, and to avoid a conflict among visitor use activities. Less restrictive measures will not suffice because of the potential threat to public safety and health, irreplaceable cultural and natural resources, and park scenic values.

Last updated: February 22, 2021

Contact the Park

Mailing Address:

Harpers Ferry National Historical Park
National Park Service
PO Box 65

Harpers Ferry, WV 25425

Phone:

(304) 535-6029

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