Superintendents Compendium

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The signature of Laura Miller, dated March 9 2022

National Park Service
U.S. Department of the Interior
Superintendent’s Compendium
of Designations, Closures, Permit Requirements and Other Restrictions Imposed Under Discretionary Authority.

Hot Springs National Park

101 Reserve Street
Hot Springs, AR 71901

501-620-6730, phone
501-620-6778, fax

Approved: Laura A. Miller, Superintendent
Date: 9 MARCH 2022

 

INTRODUCTION

1. Superintendent’s Compendium Described

The Superintendent’s Compendium is the summary of park specific rules implemented under 36 Code of Federal Regulations (36 CFR). It serves as public notice, identifies areas closed for public use, provides a list of activities requiring either a special use permit or reservation, and elaborates on public use and resource protection regulations pertaining specifically to the administration of the park. The Superintendent’s Compendium does not repeat regulations found in 36 CFR and other United States Code and CFR Titles, which are enforced without further elaboration at the park level.

The regulations contained in 36 CFR, Parts 1-7, are the basic mechanism used by the National Park Service (NPS) to preserve and protect the natural and cultural resources of the park and to protect visitors and property within the park. Parts 1 through 6 are general regulations applicable to all areas of the National Park system, and Part 7 contains special regulations specific to individual parks. Each of these Parts has many sections and subsections articulating specific provisions. Within some of these Part 1-7 sections and subsections, the Superintendent is granted discretionary authority to develop local rules to be responsive to the needs of a specific park resource or activity, park plan, program, and/or special needs of the general public.

As an example, 36 CFR 1.5(a) Closures and Public Use Limits provides the Superintendent certain discretion in allowing or disallowing certain activities. The authority granted by the Section, however, requires the Superintendent to comply with the Administrative Procedures Act (6 USC Section 551), which requires public notice on actions with major impact on visitor use patterns, park resources or those that are highly controversial in nature.

Another example is 36 CFR 1.6 Permits, which allows the Superintendent to require a permit for certain uses and activities in the park. This Section, however, requires that a list of activities needing a permit (and a fee schedule for the various types of permits) be maintained by the park.

A final example is 36 CFR 2.1(c) (1) Preservation of Natural, Cultural and Archeological Resources, which provides the Superintendent the authority to designate certain fruits, nuts, berries or unoccupied seashells which may be gathered by hand for personal use or consumption. This activity can occur, however, only if a written determination shows that the allowed activity does not adversely affect park wildlife, the reproductive potential of a plant species, or otherwise adversely affect park resources.

This Compendium should be used in conjunction with Title 36 CFR, Parts 1-7, to more fully understand the regulations governing the use and enjoyment of all the areas of the national Park System.

A copy of Title 36, CFR, can be purchased from the U.S. Government Printing Office at: “www.gpo.gov”

OR

Superintendent of Documents
P.O. Box 371954
Pittsburgh, PA 15250-7954

The CFR is also available on the Internet at: “www.ecfr.gov”.

2. Laws and Policies Allowing the Superintendent to Develop This Compendium


The National Park Service (NPS) is granted broad statutory authority under Title 54 United States Code (U.S.C.) §100101(a) (formerly 16 U.S.C. 1a-1, “Organic Act”) 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 wild life in the System units and to provide for the enjoyment of the scenery, natural and historic objects, and wild life in such manner and by such means as will leave them unimpaired for the enjoyment of future generations.” In addition, Title 54 U.S.C. §100751(a) allows the NPS, through the Secretary of the Interior, to “prescribe such regulations as the Secretary considers necessary or proper for the use and management of System units.”

In 1970, Congress amended the NPS Organic Act to clarify its intentions as to the overall mission of the NPS. Through the General Authorities Act of 1970, Congress brought all areas administered by the NPS 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 further reaffirms, declares, and directs that the promotion and regulation of the various areas of the National Park System, as defined by Section 1 of this Title, shall be consistent with and founded in the purpose established by Section 1 of this Title, to the common benefit of all people of the United States.”
In addition to the above statutory authority, the Superintendent is guided by established NPS policy as found in the NPS Management Policies (2006). The Superintendent is also guided by more specific policies promulgated by the Director, National Park Service, in the form of Director’s Orders. As stated in the Management Policies, the primary responsibility of the NPS is to protect and preserve our national natural and cultural resources while providing for the enjoyment of these resources by visitor 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 not be appropriate in another. The 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 a reasonable basis to believe a resource is or would become impaired, than that Superintendent is obliged to place limitations on public use.

3. Consistency of This Compendium with Applicable Federal Law and Requirements

The Superintendent’s Compendium is not considered a significant rule requiring review by the Office of Management and Budget under Executive Order 12866. In addition, this Compendium will not have a significant economic effect on a number of small entities nor impose a significant cost on any local, state or tribal government or private organization, and therefore does not fall under the requirements of either the Regulatory Flexibility Act or the Unfunded Mandates Reform Act.

The actions and requirements described in this Compendium are found to be categorically excluded from further compliance with the procedural requirements of the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) in Department of the Interior (DOI) Guidelines 516 DM 6 and as such, an Environmental Assessment will not be prepared.

4. Development of the Requirements of the Superintendent’s Compendium

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

  • Is there use or activity consistent with the NPS Organic Act and NPS policy?
  • Is the use or activity consistent and compatible with the park’s enabling legislation, management objectives, and corresponding management plans?
  • Will the use or activity damage the park’s protected natural and cultural resources and other protected values?
  • Will the use or activity disturb or be in conflict with wildlife, vegetation, and environmental protection actions and values?
  • Will the use or activity conflict with or be incompatible with traditional park uses and activities?
  • Will the use or activity compromise employee or public safety?

5. Applicability of the Compendium

The rules contained in this Compendium apply to all persons entering, using, visiting or otherwise present on Federally owned lands, including submerged lands, and waters administered by the NPS within the legislative boundaries of the park. This includes all waters subject to the jurisdiction of the United States, including all navigable waters.

6. Enforcement of Compendium Requirements

NPS Law Enforcement Park Rangers enforce the requirements of the United State Code, 36 CFR, and this Superintendent’s Compendium.

7. Penalties for Not Adhering to the Compendium Requirements

A person who violates any provision of the regulations found in 36 CFR, Parts 1-7, or provisions of 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 shall be adjudged to pay all court costs associated with any court proceedings. You may receive a list of fines associated with any particular provision by contacting the Chief Ranger at the park address found below.

8. Comments on the Compendium

The Compendium is reviewed annually and revised as necessary. The park welcomes comments about its program and activities at any time. Written comments on the Compendium may be submitted to:

Superintendent
Hot Springs National Park
101 Reserve Street
Hot Springs, Arkansas 71901

9. Effective Date of the Superintendent Compendium

The Superintendent’s Compendium is effective on the approval date listed on the first page of this document, and remains in effect until revised for a period up to one year.

10. Additional Information

Some of the terms used in this Compendium may have specific meaning defined in 36 CFR 1.4 Definitions.

11. Availability

Copies of the Compendium are available at 101 Reserve Street Hot Springs, Arkansas 71901.

It may also be found at https://www.nps.gov/hosp

 

B. 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 54 U.S.C. §100751, the following provisions apply to all lands and waters administered by the National Park Service, within the boundaries Hot Springs National Park. 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.

I. 36 CFR §1.5 – VISITING HOURS, PUBLIC USE LIMITS, CLOSURES, AND AREA DESIGNATIONS FOR SPECIFIC USE OR ACTIVITIES

(a)(1) The following visiting hours and public use limits are established for all or for the listed portions of the park, and the following closures are established for all or a portion of the park to all public use or to a certain use or activity:

Visiting Hours:

  • The Visitor Center and Museum (at the former Fordyce Bathhouse) is open daily from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., unless otherwise posted. The Cultural Center (at the former Ozark Bathhouse) is open seasonally

  • The Bathhouse Row Emporium (at the former Lamar Bathhouse) is open daily from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., unless otherwise posted.

  • The Park Administration building is open Monday-Friday from 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., unless otherwise posted.

  • The following areas are closed to the public from 10 p.m. to 5 a.m.:

    • Arlington Lawn

    • Grand Promenade

    • The sidewalks on Bathhouse Row, Reserve Street, and Fountain Street, except for walk through traffic

    • The porches and lawns on Bathhouse Row, except as authorized by contract, lease or special use permits with the National Park Service

    • Hot Springs Mountain

    • North Mountain

    • West Mountain Summit

    • Pullman Road, from Congress St. to its terminus; this includes the trailhead and all structures, except for landowners and their guests

  • The following areas are closed to the vehicle traffic from 10 p.m. to 8 a.m.:

    • Hot Springs Mountain Road

    • North Mountain Road

    • West Mountain Summit Road

  • The following areas are closed to the public from sunset to sunrise daily:

    • Gulpha Gorge Picnic Area

    • Gulpha Gorge Campground, except for registered campers and groups

    • Gulpha Gorge Amphitheater, except as authorized by special use permit

Public Use Limits:

  • The National Park Service'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; help facilitate the protection of the innocent and the apprehension and prosecution of criminals.

  • This policy does not restrict the official use of CCTV in government administrative areas including administrative buildings, jail holding facilities, 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).

Determining factors: Security measures in place provide for the protection of facilities, people, and irreplaceable objects held in national trust. Utilizing guidance from the Department of the Interior for the safety and security, and information provided by other agencies charged with the protection of valuable resources and people, the National Park Service provides these security measures to repel potential threats and present an educational and enjoyable opportunity for all that visit.

  • Removal of objects or bathing in any of Hot Springs National Park’s thermal water features, except as provided at the bathhouses, is prohibited.

Determining factors: The water temperature of the springs is of such high temperature that prolonged contact may result in injury. Prohibiting activities which are potentially harmful to the public is in the best interest of the public.

  • Parking at the park’s water jug filling fountains is limited to 15 minutes while actively filling water containers, to allow for the fair and equitable use of facilities by patrons.

Determining factors: To provide Hot Springs water to the greatest number of park visitors, with a limited number of parking spaces available, parking restrictions are necessary.

  • Hiking or pedestrian use is restricted to the following trails or walkways:

    • Sunset Trail

    • Gulpha Gorge Trail

    • Goat Rock Trail

    • Dogwood Trail (upper and lower)

    • Hot Springs Mountain Trail

    • Floral Trail

    • Honeysuckle Trail

    • Oertel Trail (formally known as Dead Chief Trail)

    • Grand Avenue Trail

    • Reserve Trail

    • Short Cut Trail

    • Peak Trail

    • Grand Promenade

    • Old Carriage Road

    • Tufa Terrace Trail

    • Mountain Top Trail

    • West Mountain Trail

    • Oak Trail

    • Canyon Trail

    • Pullman Trail

    • Park walkways adjacent to: Fountain Street, Central Avenue, Reserve Street, and Whittington Avenue.

Determining factors: Reasonable visitation limitations are set to balance the needs of public access, resource protection, visitor safety, property protection and community concerns. Limiting hiking or pedestrian use to the listed trails provides a necessary protection to the park’s flora, fauna, cultural and archeological resources; as well as, provides a greater level of safety to park visitor.

  • Camping in the Gulpha Gorge Campground is limited to a total of 14 consecutive days and cumulative total of 30 days in any calendar year. Each 14 day consecutive stay must be followed by a minimum of a 7 day break.

Determining factors: Reasonable visitation limitations are set to balance the needs of public access, resource protection, visitor safety, property protection and community concerns. Limiting camping to 14 days in a calendar year enables more park visitor to enjoy camping in our limited number of camp sites.

Closures:

  • Launching, landing, or operating an unmanned aircraft from or on lands and waters administered by the National Park Service within the boundaries of Hot Springs National 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, and drones) that are used for any purpose, including recreation or commerce.

Determining factors: Until the NPS can determine whether specific uses of unmanned aircraft are appropriate and will not cause unacceptable impacts on park resources and values. Hot Springs National Park is closed to the use of these devices. The use of unmanned aircraft within the boundaries of the park has the potential to harm visitors, disturb wildlife, impact viewsheds, and cause and interfere with other visitors’ enjoyment of the area. This closure is being implemented as an interim measure while this new use can be properly evaluated. A less restrictive approach is not appropriate at this time due to the impacts the devices could potentially present to visitor safety, park values, and to park resources. The interim closure will safeguard these values while the NPS considers how to address this new use on a long-term basis.

  • The use of compression or “jake brakes” on Gulpha Gorge Rd (AR HWY 7 Spur) is prohibited.

Determining Factors: Noise exhibited by this type of braking system is inconsistent with park values and visitor use objectives. The noise of these braking systems consistently exceed a noise level of 60 decibels measured on the A-weight scale at fifty feet,

  • The use of coasting, drifting or spinning style trikes or similar devices is prohibited.

  • Definition: The terms “coasting, drifting or spinning” refers to devices that are designed to slide on, spin on or break free of the roadway surface in a semi uncontrolled manner.

Determining factors: The use of Coaster/Drifting style trikes or similar devices on park roadways pose a significant danger to pedestrians and motorists as well as trike operators. These devices are constructed in such a fashion as to allow the operator to "drift" or slide sideways while coasting downhill. Operators have limited control during these maneuvers and could cause significant injury to pedestrians walking along park roadways. These trikes are also constructed with a very low profile, making it difficult for motorist to see them and lack sufficient braking systems making it difficult for operators to stop.

    • All subterranean openings, including caves, mine shafts and crevices.

Determining factors: To protect bat habitat and other natural resources of the park. Bat species known to occur in the park are also susceptible to White Nose Syndrome, a disease that has killed millions of bats in North America since 2006. To ensure that threatened and endangered bats, as well as bats which are listed as candidate species, are not disturbed during hibernation or reproduction, it is necessary to protect their habitat from human intrusion.

  • The administrative area known as the “Graves Pit” located off Blacksnake Rd and Walter St adjacent to Hot Springs City Baseball Trail Park.

Determining factors: This area is an administrative storage area for debris and landfill. This area is not compatible with visitor use.

  • Picnicking is not allowed

    • On the lawns of the historic buildings on Bathhouse Row

    • At the park’s official entrance, between the Maurice and Fordyce Bathhouses

    • On the grounds around the Park Administration Building

Determining factors: Picnicking in this area is not compatible with the cultural landscape of the area.

    • Recreational activities such as throwing flying disks, ball games or sports etc., are not permitted along Bathhouse Row.

Determining factors: Restrictions are necessary due to the incompatibility of these activities with the cultural landscape of the area.

    • Parking off Central Ave in front of the Fordyce Bathhouse and Historic Entrance is restricted to vehicles/persons that are loading/unloading passengers, baggage, and or equipment. Parking is restricted to 15 minutes.

Determining factors: Restrictions are necessary due to this location serving as an active loading/unloading zone for commercial and private vehicles.

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

Camping:

  • Please refer to §2.10 for detailed camping area designations.

Other Power-Driven Mobility Device (OPDMD):

  • OPDMD is a mobility device powered by electricity or batteries, whether or not designed to be used primarily by individuals with mobility disabilities.

  • Credible assurance of an individual’s disability may be required for OPDMD use in the form of a State issued disability parking placard/card or State or Federally issued proof of disability. Individuals may also issue a verbal statement that he/she is disabled and that the OPDMD is being utilized because of the disability.

    • Using an OPDMD by persons without mobility impairments is prohibited.

    • Use OPDMDs, as outlined herein, is permitted under the following conditions:

    • No person under 16 years of age may operate OPDMD without adult supervision.

    • Maximum speed cannot exceed 5 mph.

    • The device utilized must not create emissions (Zero emission vehicles).

    • The device must be smaller than 36 inches in width at its widest point.

    • Group size is limited to no more than four OPDMDs at a time.

    • OPDMD use is prohibited in undeveloped areas.

    • Every OPDMD, shall be equipped with the following safety mechanisms:

      • Front, rear, and side reflectors.

      • A system that enables the operator to bring the device to a controlled stop.

      • If the OPDMD is operated between one-half hour after sunset and one-half hour before sunrise, a lamp emitting a white light that, while the OPDMD is in motion, illuminates the area in front of the operator and is visible from a distance of 300 feet in front of the OPDMD.

      • A sound emitting device that can be activated from time to time by the operator, as appropriate, to alert nearby persons.

      • A person riding any mobility assisted device upon and along a sidewalk, while crossing a roadway in a crosswalk or on any other surface shall have all the rights and duties applicable to a pedestrian under the same circumstances, except that the mobility assistive device operator must always yield to pedestrians.

Determining Factors: OPDMDs provide a reasonable alternative to people who would otherwise be unable to visit the park or find it difficult to visit due to their mobility limitations. The use of OPDMDs by able bodied persons is prohibited because these devices are motor vehicles and additional use, combined with the large volume of pedestrian and vehicle traffic would create a unacceptable safety hazard to visitors OPDMDs are not permitted to be operated on park roadways due to lack of a paved shoulders, bicycle lanes or the presence of fog lines.

Face Mask Requirement/Use:

  • When the COVID-19 Community Level is LOW or MEDIUM in the county or all the counties where the park is located based on data provided by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), individuals are not required to wear masks.
  • When the COVID-19 Community Level is HIGH in the county or all the counties where the park is located based on data provided by the CDC, all individuals over the age of two must wear masks, regardless of vaccination status, in all common areas and shared workspaces in buildings owned, leased, or otherwise controlled by the National Park Service, including, but not limited to, park visitor centers, administrative offices, lodges, gift shops and restaurants.
  • When the COVID-19 Community Level is HIGH in one or more, but not all, of the counties where the park is located based on data provided by the CDC, the superintendent will determine whether individuals are required to wear masks. The requirement, if any, will apply to all facilities within the park.
  • 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.

  • Regardless of the COVID-19 Community Level, individuals may wear masks if they choose to do so. Where a state, local, tribal, or territorial government where the park is located imposes more protective mask-wearing requirements than those indicated by the COVID-19 Community Level, individuals must follow those more protective requirements within the park. More protective state, local, tribal, or territorial maskwearing requirements are hereby adopted as federal requirements in all units of the National Park System located within that state, locality, area subject to a federally recognized Indian tribe’s regulatory jurisdiction, or territory, regardless of a particular park’s jurisdictional status.
  • Additionally, all individuals must wear masks in or on public transportation conveyances and transportation hubs/facilities, to the extent required by current orders or directives issued by the CDC, the Transportation Security Administration (TSA), or other federal agencies with jurisdiction over those conveyances or areas. As of March 4, 2022, CDC and TSA orders or directives require all individuals regardless of vaccination status to wear masks in indoor areas of all forms of public transportation conveyances, including busses, trains, and boats/ferries, and in the indoor premises of transportation hubs/facilities. Individuals are not required to wear masks while outdoors on conveyances or while outdoors on the premises of transportation hubs/facilities.

Determining Factors: This public use restriction is necessary to maintain public health and safety. As stated in E.O. 13991, it is the policy of the Administration 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). The CDC has conveyed that in addition to physical distancing and hand washing, masks are a critical step to help Page 11 of 23 MWR Compendium Template, 2017 prevent people from getting and spreading COVID-19. When you wear a mask, you protect others as well as yourself.
COVID-19 spreads mainly from person to person through respiratory droplets. Masks are a simple barrier to help prevent respiratory droplets from reaching others. Masks can prevent the spread of the disease even when the wearer is not sick. This is because several studies have found that people with COVID-19 who never develop symptoms (asymptomatic) and those who are not yet showing symptoms (pre-symptomatic) can still spread the virus to other people. Masks may not be necessary when you are outside by yourself away from others, or with other people who live in your household. It is especially important to wear a mask indoors with people you do not live with and when you are unable to stay at least 6 feet apart because COVID-19 spreads mainly among people who are in close contact with one another. Recommended masks include non-medical disposable masks, masks that fit properly (cover nose and mouth and fit snugly around the nose and chin with no large gaps around the sides of the face), masks made with breathable fabric (such as cotton), masks made with tightly woven fabric (i.e., fabrics that do not let light pass through when held up to a light source), masks with two or three layers, and masks with inner filter pockets. Novelty/non-protective masks, masks with ventilation valves, or face shields are not a substitute for the recommended mask.

Commercial Photography/Filming

The following types of filming activities may occur in areas open to the public without a permit and without advance notice to the NPS:

  • Outdoor filming activities involving five persons or less and equipment that will be carried at all times, except for small tripods used to hold cameras.

The organizer of any other type of filming activity must provide written notice to the Superintendent at least 10 days prior to the start of the proposed activity. Based upon the information provided, the Superintendent may require the organizer to apply for and obtain a permit if necessary to:

  • maintain public health and safety;
  • protect environmental or scenic values;
  • protect natural or cultural resources;
  • allow for equitable allocation and use of facilities; or
  • avoid conflict among visitor use activities.

If the Superintendent determines that the terms and conditions of a permit could not mitigate the concerns identified above in an acceptable manner, the Superintendent may deny a filming request without issuing a permit. The Superintendent will provide the basis for denial in writing upon request.

The NPS will consider requests and process permit applications in a timely manner. Processing times will vary depending on the complexity of the proposed activity. If the organizer provides the required 10 day advance notice to the NPS and has not received a written response from the NPS that a permit is required prior to the first day of production, the proposed filming activities may occur without a permit.

The following are prohibited:

  1. Engaging in a filming activity without providing advance notice to the Superintendent when required.
  2. Engaging in a filming activity without a permit if the Superintendent has notified the organizer in writing that a permit is required.
  3. Violating a term and condition of a permit issued under this action.

Violating a term or condition of a permit issued under to this action may also result in the suspension and revocation of the permit by the Superintendent.

Determining Factors: Filming activities that involve more than five people and hand carried equipment need to be evaluated to determine if the proposed activity may cause issues with public safety, environment or scenic values, damage to natural or cultural resources, conflict with other visitors and equitable use and access to park areas

 

II. 36 CFR §1.6 – ACTIVITIES THAT REQUIRE A PERMIT

(f) The following is a compilation of those activities for which a permit from the superintendent is required:

§2.4(d) Carry or possess a weapon, trap, or net (excluding legal firearms)

  • Carry or possess a weapon, trap, or net

  • When needed to support research activities conducted in accordance with 2.5.

  • For employees, agents or cooperating officials in the performance of official duties.

  • Not required for firearms and crossbows for individuals in compliance with state law.

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

§2.10(a) The following camping activities:

  • Overnight camping at designated campsites

§2.12 Audio Disturbances:

  • (a)(2) Operating a chain saw in developed areas

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

  • (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

§2.17 Aircraft & Air Delivery:

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

  • (c)(1) Removal of a downed aircraft

§2.23(b) The following special recreation activities (per 36 CFR Part 71):

  • Camping at Gulpha Gorge Campground

§2.37 Soliciting or demanding gifts, money goods or services (Pursuant to the terms and conditions of a permit issued under §2.50, §2.51 or §2.52)

§2.38 Explosives:

  • (a) Use, possess, store, transport explosives, blasting agents

  • (b) Use or possess fireworks

§2.50(a) Conduct 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 groups over 25 people in size.

§2.52 Sale or distribution of printed matter by group of over 25 people in size.

§2.60(b) Livestock use

§2.61(a) Residing on federal lands

§2.62 Memorialization:

  • (a) Erection of monuments (Requires approval from Regional Director)

  • (b) Scattering ashes from human cremation

§3.3 Use of a vessel

§4.11(a) Exceeding of established vehicle load, weight and size limits

§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 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

Determining Factors: The NPS has a substantial government interest in protecting park resources. Under the authority of 36 CFR 1.5 (a)(2).[1], superintendents can impose restrictions on activities within park areas when necessary to protect such resources.

 

III. GENERAL REGULATIONS

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

(a)(4) Dead wood on the ground may be collected for use as fuel for campfires within the park in the following areas:

  • Within 500 feet of Gulpha Gorge Campground.

Determining factors: Dead wood on the ground is an integral part of the ecosystem and beneficial to many plants and animals. To balance the needs of the visiting public with the protection of the parks resources the collection of dead wood is limited to the area specified.

(a)(5) The following conditions are in effect for walking, climbing, entering, ascending or traversing the listed archeological or cultural resource, monuments or statues:

(b) Hiking or pedestrian traffic is restricted to the trail or walkway as listed in Section 1.5 of this document.

(c)(1), (c)(2) The following fruits, nuts, berries or unoccupied seashells may be gathered by hand for personal use or consumption, in accordance with the noted size, quantity, collection sites and/or use or consumption restrictions:

  • Plums – 1 pint per person per day
  • Blackberries – 1 pint per person per day
  • Hickory nuts – 1 pint per person per day
  • Persimmons – 1 pint per person per day
  • Grapes – 1 pint per person per day
  • Muscadines, – 1 pint per person per day
  • Blueberries – 1 pint per person per day
  • Juneberries. – 1 pint per person per day
  • Fungi, Edible – 1 pint per person per day, must be cut (not pulled or dug)

Determining factors: Quantities are currently abundant; as a result, gathering or consumption will not adversely affect park wildlife, the reproductive potential of the plant species, or park resources.

36 CFR §2.2 - WILDLIFE PROTECTION

(d) The transporting of lawfully taken wildlife through the park is permitted under the following conditions and procedures:

  • On the following roads:
    • Gulpha Gorge Road
    • Park Avenue
    • Sleepy Valley Road
    • Blacksnake Road
    • Cedar Glades Road
  • In the following manor:
    • In a direct and continuous journey between any of the following locations:
      • Place of taking
      • Hunter's residence
      • Place of processing.
    • By a properly licensed hunter who took the wildlife.
    • With all state required tags and checks.
  • Stopping with game, except for emergency is prohibited
  • The wildlife and the hunter's license shall be subject to inspection

(e) The viewing of wildlife with artificial light is prohibited in all areas within the park boundaries.

36 CFR §2.3 – FISHING

(a) Except in designated areas or as provided in this section fishing shall be in accordance with the laws and regulations of the State within whose exterior boundaries a park area or portion thereof is located. Non- conflicting State laws are adopted as a part of these regulations.

Determining factors: Fishing is an appropriate recreational activity within the National Park. This authorization enables the park to manage this recreational use in a safe manner.

36 CFR §2.10 – CAMPING and FOOD STORAGE

(a) The sites and areas listed below have been designated for camping activities as noted. A permit system has been established for certain campgrounds or camping activities, and conditions for camping and camping activities are in effect as noted:

  • Camping or staying overnight is permitted only in designated sites in Gulpha Gorge Campground.
  • Camping in Gulpha Gorge Campground is limited to a total of 14 consecutive days and cumulative total of 30 days in any calendar year. Each 14 day consecutive stay must be followed by a minimum of a 7 day break.
  • Each camping group must register and pay a fee at the registration station covering all days that a campsite is occupied.
  • Checkout time is 12:00 p.m.
  • Use of generators are restricted to the hours between 9am - 8pm
  • The registration receipt must be displayed on the campsite post.
  • Camping groups must register prior to site occupancy.
  • Site registration renewal must be done by 3:00 p.m.
  • Maximum occupancy is limited to eight people/two vehicles (one RV and one tent OR two tents) per site.
  • Campsites may not be reserved.
  • Trailers and other vehicles must remain on the pavement.
  • Livestock are prohibited in the campground.

Determining Factors: With the ever increasing popularity of camping at Hot Springs National Park it has been necessary to establish limits on camping use, to ensure camping sites are available to as many people as possible. Policies related to registration times and camping limitations are established to avoid conflicts between visitors, to provide for protection of the resource and maintain compatible uses.

(b)(3) Camping within 25 feet of a fire hydrant or main road, or within 100 feet of a flowing stream, river or body of water is authorized only in the following areas, under the conditions noted:

  • Camping within 100 feet of a flowing stream, river or body of water is authorized at designated campsites at Gulpha Gorge Campground.

36 CFR §2.11 – PICNICKING

Certain areas have been closed to picnicking and are listed in section 1.5(a)(1) “Closures”.

36 CFR §2.13 – FIRES

(a)(1) The lighting or maintaining of fires is generally prohibited, except as provided for in the following designated areas and/or receptacles, and under the conditions noted:

Designated Areas:

  • Gulpha Gorge Campground sites
  • Designated picnic sites
  • At the group fire ring at the Gulpha Gorge Campground Amphitheater.

Receptacles Allowed:

  • Provided fire grills
  • Self-contained portable stoves or grills

Established Conditions for Fires:

  • Self-contained portable stoves or grills may be used when off the ground and away from overhanging vegetation.
  • Ground fires are prohibited throughout the park, except in fire rings provided at camp sites in the campground and at the fire ring next to the amphitheater, with a valid permit.

Determining factors: Open ground fires are prohibited to prevent fire from spreading to vegetation.

36 CFR §2.14 – SANITATION and REFUSE

(a)(2) The use of government refuse receptacles or facilities for dumping household, commercial or industrial refuse, brought as such from private or municipal property is allowed under the following conditions:

  • The dump station at the Gulpha Gorge Campground is for the exclusive use of registered campers only.

Determining factors: Solid human waste can spread disease and must be disposed of away from water sources to minimize the potential for pollution.

36 CFR §2.15 – PETS

(a)(1) The following structures and/or areas are closed to the possession of pets:

  • All park buildings. This restriction does not apply to service animals.

(a)(5) Pet excrement must be disposed of in accordance with the following conditions:

  • Immediate cleaning up of pet excrement is required.
  • All pet owners must curb their animals. (The use of newspaper, or a plastic bag over your hand as a glove, is recommended to pick up excrement. The excrement and wrappings are to be placed in a sealed plastic bag and dispose of in a trash receptacle.)

Determining factors: It is inappropriate to allow pets in a visitor use facilities or where their presence creates a sanitary problem. This does not apply to service animals.

36 CFR §2.16 – HORSES and PACK ANIMALS

(b) The use of horses or pack animals is allowed on the following trails, routes or areas:

  • Sunset Trail
  • Gulpha Gorge Trail
  • Goat Rock Trail
  • Dogwood Trail (upper and lower)
  • Hot Springs Mountain Trail
  • Floral Trail
  • Honeysuckle Trail
  • Oertel Trail (formally known as Dead Chief Trail)
  • Grand Avenue Trail
  • Reserve Trail
  • Short Cut Trail
  • Peak Trail
  • Old Carriage Road
  • Mountain Top Trail
  • West Mountain Trail
  • Oak Trail
  • Canyon Trail

(g) Other conditions concerning the use of horses or pack animals:

  • The use of horses or pack animals on Bathhouse Row, the Grand Promenade and the Pullman Trail is prohibited.
  • Off Trail/cross-country travel is prohibited.
  • Establishing new trails and short cutting trails/switchbacks is prohibited.
  • Stock parties must travel in single file whenever possible.
  • Grazing is prohibited.
  • When picketed, stock must be tied so they cannot chew on tree bark or eat the leaves of woody vegetation.

Determining factors: To provide for the safety multiple user groups as well as for the protection of resources.

36 CFR §2.20 – SKATING, SKATEBOARDS and SIMILAR DEVICES

The use of roller skates, skateboards, roller skis, coasting vehicles, or similar devices are allowed only in the following areas:

  • Gulpha Gorge Campground (restricted to paid overnight guests).

Determining factors: Allows for the management of public safety, protection of natural resources and avoidance of conflict among visitor activities.

36 CFR §2.21 – SMOKING

(a) The following portions of the park, or all or portions of buildings, structures or facilities are closed to smoking as noted:

  • All public buildings and public areas of concession/leased buildings (including restrooms)
  • Within 25 feet of any building entrance.
  • Inside shared government housing
  • Other areas as posted
  • Smoking while traveling on trails is prohibited. Persons who wish to smoke must stop and remain in one location until they have extinguished their smoking material.

Determining factors: Smoking is prohibited in the areas listed above to protect park resources, reduce the risk of fire, or prevent conflicts among visitor use activates. Smoking within any public building or structure poses a health and fire risk. NPS policy memorandum 15-03 determined that the use of electronic nicotine delivery systems should be treated in the same manner as other forms of smoking.

36 CFR §2.23 – RECREATION FEES

(b) Recreation fees, and/or a permit, in accordance with 36 CFR part 71, are established for the following entrance fee areas, and/or for the use of the following specialized sites, facilities, equipment or services, or for participation in the following group activity, recreation events or specialized recreation uses:

  • Gulpha Gorge Campground

Determining factors: Consistent with fee policy and regulations. 80 percent of fees benefit the park.

36 CFR §2.51 - DEMONSTRATIONS

The following areas are designated for demonstrations and assemblies (gatherings standing in place):

  • The middle section of Arlington lawn, between the sidewalks, southeast and level with Central Avenue (see attached map in Appendix 1. for exact location).
  • Between the lower stairs and sidewalk, In front of the Hot Springs National Park Administrative Building, located at 101 Reserve St (see attached map in Appendix 1 for exact location).
  • Hot Springs Mountain Overlooks (see attached map in Appendix 2 for exact location).
  • North Mountain Overlooks (see attached map in Appendix 2 for exact location).
  • West Mountain Overlooks (see attached map in Appendix 2 for exact location).


The following areas are designated for marches and processions (continuous movement from Fountain Street to Reserve Avenue which does not impede pedestrian flow and encompasses the entire city block)

  • Sidewalk fronting Central Avenue and Bathhouse Row (see attached map in Appendix 1 for exact location)
  • The Grand Promenade (see attached map in Appendix 1 for exact location)


Determining factors: The areas listed above are designated to allow individuals and groups to meet in a manner that does not interfere with visitor use activities and public use.

36 CFR §2.52 - SALE OR DISTRIBUTION OF PRINTED MATTER

Distribution or sale of printed materials is allowed, without a permit for groups ranging in size from1 to 25 people, or with a permit, in the following areas:

  • Arlington lawn, middle section fronting Central Avenue (see attached map in Appendix 1 for exact location).
  • Between the lower stairs and sidewalk, In front of the Hot Springs National Park Administrative Building, located at 101 Reserve St (see attached map in Appendix 1 for exact location).


Determining factors: The areas indicated above are designated to allow individuals and groups to sell or distribute printed matter in a manner that does not interfere with visitor activities and public safety.

36 CFR §2.62 – MEMORIALIZATION

(b) A permit is required for the scattering of ashes from cremated human remains, or in the following designated areas without a permit, in accordance with the following terms and conditions:

  • A permit is required for the scattering of ashes from cremated human remains in the park. The following terms and conditions will be in effect:
  • The remains to be scattered must have been cremated and pulverized.

  • The scattering of remains by persons on the ground is to be performed at least 100 yards from any trail, road, developed facility, developed areas (designated picnic area, camping areas, Bathhouse Row, the Grand Promenade, parking lots, overlooks), or body of water.

  • The scattering of remains from the air is to be performed at a minimum altitude of 2000 feet above the ground.

  • No scattering of remains from the air is to be performed over developed areas, facilities, or bodies of water.

Determining factors: Allows for the management of public health and safety, protection of natural resources and avoidance of conflict among visitors.

36 CFR §4.11 – VEHICLE LOAD, WEIGHT AND SIZE LIMITS

(a) The following load, weight and size limits, which are more restrictive than State law, apply to the roads indicated under the terms and conditions, and/or under permit as noted:

  • Motor vehicles, trucks, and truck/trailer combinations which are longer than 30 feet are prohibited on Hot Springs Mountain Road.

Determining factors: Motor vehicles, trucks, and truck/trailer combinations size limits have been established to provide for visitor safety due to the narrow windy nature of the road.

36 CFR §4.21 – SPEED LIMITS

(b) The following speed limits are established for the routes/roads indicated:

The speed limit for the following park roads is 25 MPH, except at trail crossings were the speed limit is 15 MPH:

  • Hot Springs Mountain Road

  • North Mountain Road

  • West Mountain Drive

  • West Mountain Summit Drive

Determining factors: Park speed limits have been reduced due to the narrow windy nature of the roads. The speed limits established allow for reasonable speeds while providing for safety.

36 CFR §4.30 – Bicycles

(d) Existing Trails
The following trails have been authorized for bicycle and e-bike use.

Pullman Trail

  • E-bikes are allowed in Hot Springs National Park where traditional bicycles are allowed. E-bikes are prohibited where traditional bicycles are prohibited. Except where 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).

Determination: Implementation of the action defined in 36 CFR 1.4 and 4.30(i). Should future unanticipated impacts regarding public health and safety, natural and cultural resource protection, and / or other management activities and objectives be witnessed as a result of this action, management will reevaluate use and / or activity restrictions.

36 CFR §21.3 - USE OF THERMAL WATER

(b) The use of thermal water of Hot Springs National Park, for purposes other than those authorized by the Superintendent, is prohibited:

  • Attaching a hose to any thermal water feature is prohibited.

Determining factors: A hose attached to a thermal feature puts the water source at risk of contamination by substances drawn up the hose. Prohibiting activities which are potentially harmful to the public is in the best interest of the public.

 
Two first amendment areas just south of Arlington Lawn and south of the Administration building, highlighted in red.
Appendix one: First Amendments rights area


Appendix 1

36 CFR 2.51 – Public Assembly and Meetings (designated Areas)

The middle section of Arlington Lawn is available for First Amendment Activities for groups of 26 or more persons as approved by law. (shaded yellow).

Bathhouse Row sidewalk is available for First Amendment Activities as long as there is continuous movement along the walkway and does not impede pedestrian traffic.

For fewer than 25 persons. (Between the lower steps and sidewalk in front of the Hot Springs N.P Administrative Building located at 101 Reserve St.)


 
Circled on the map, the three overlooks on West Mountain, North Mountain, the Amphitheater, and Whittington Park.
36 CFR 2.51 Public Assemblies and Meetings (areas)
Appendix 2

Last updated: March 10, 2022

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Hot Springs , AR 71901

Phone:

501 620-6715

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