SUPERINTENDENT'S COMPENDIUM: of Designations, Closures, Permit Requirements and Other Restrictions Imposed Under Discretionary Authority - 36 CFR 1.7(b)
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 lands and waters administered by the National Park Service, within the boundaries of New River Gorge National Park and Preserve, Gauley River National Recreation Area and Bluestone National Scenic River. 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.
Visitors may obtain a copy of this compendium, additional information or permit applications by contacting:
P.O. Box 246
104 Main Street
Glen Jean, WV 25846
Approved: /s/ Carmen Chapin 09/27/2021
Carmen Chapin, Acting Superintendent
New River Gorge National Park and Preserve
Bluestone National Scenic River
Gauley River National Recreation Area
36 CFR § 1.5 Visiting Hours, Public Use Limits, Closures and Area Designations Activities that Require a Permit
36 CFR Part 2 Resource Protection, Public Use and Recreation
36 CFR § 2.1 Preservation of Natural, Cultural, and Archeological Resources
(b) Restricted Hiking or Public Use Trails
(c)(3) Prohibitions36 CFR § 2.2 Wildlife Protection
(a) Designated Waters
(d)(4) Commercial Fishing (to Include Commercial Bait Collection)
(d)(8) Fishing from Boat Launches36 CFR § 2.10 Camping and Food Storage
36 CFR § 2.11 Picnicking
36 CFR § 2.13 Fires
(a)(1) Fire Prohibited36 CFR § 2.15 Pets
(a) Extinguishing a Fire
(a)(3) Pet Restrictions36 CFR § 2.16 Horses and Pack Animals
(a)(5) Pet Excrement
(b) Hunting Dogs
36 CFR § 2.17 Aircraft and Air Delivery
36 CFR § 2.19 Winter Activities
36 CFR § 2.20 Skating, Skateboarding, and Similar Devices
36 CFR § 2.21 Smoking
36 CFR § 2.22 Property
(a)(2) Leaving Property Unattended36 CFR § 2.35 Alcoholic Beverages
(b)(4) Impoundment and Storage Fees
(a)(3)(i) Areas Closed to Alcohol Consumption36 CFR § 2.38 Explosives (Includes Fireworks)
36 CFR § 2.51 Demonstrations
36 CFR § 2.52 Sale or Distribution of Printed Matter
36 CFR § 2.62 Memorialization
36 CFR Part 3 - Boating and Water Use Activities
36 CFR § 3.2 Boating Laws and Regulations
36 CFR § 3.7 Personal Floatation Devide (PFD)
36 CFR § 3.8 Vessel Operations Prohibited
36 CFR § 3.13 Towing a Person by Vessel
36 CFR § 3.14 Sunken Vessel
36 CFR § 3.16 Swimming or Wading
36 CFR § 3.17 Swimming Areas or Beaches
36 CFR § 3.18 Snorkeling or Underwater Diving
36 CFR Part 4 Vehicle and Traffic Safety
36 CFR § 4.11 Load, Weight, and Size Limits
36 CFR § 4.13 Obstructing Traffic
36 CFR § 4.21 Speed Limits
36 CFR § 4.30 Bicycles
(b) Administrative Roads36 CFR § 4.31 Hitchhiking
(d) Existing Trails
(f) Closures and Public Use Limits
(h)(4) Operating Bicycle Abreast of Another
36 CFR Part 5 - Commercial and Private Operations
Appendix A Locations for Public Assemblies and Meetings AND the Sale or Distribution of Printed Material
Appendix B Supporting Maps
Updates and Changes
1. Compliance was completed for the e-bike use in the Park. The Superintendent has completed a review of the compliance and determined that the Park would continue to allow limited e-bike use. The Stone Cliff Trail will remain the only trail open to e-bike use.
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 lands and waters administered by the National Park Service, within the boundaries of the New River Gorge National Park and Preserve, Gauley River National Recreation Area and the Bluestone National Scenic River. Unless otherwise stated, these regulatory provisions apply in addition to the requirements contained in 36 CFR, Chapter 1, Parts 1-7.
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.
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:
Superintendent of Documents
P.O. Box 371954
Pittsburgh, PA 15250-7954
2. Laws and Policies Allowing the Superintendent to Develop This Compendium
The National Park Service (NPS) is granted broad statutory authority under 16 United States Code (U.S.C.) Section 1 et.seq. (Organic Act of 1916, as amended) to" ... regulate the use of the Federal areas known as national parks, monuments, and reservations... by such means and measures as conform to the fundamental purposes of the said parks... which purpose is to conserve the scenery and the natural and historic objects and the wildlife therein and to provide for the enjoyment of the same in such manner and by such means as will leave them unimpaired for the enjoyment for future generations" (16 U.S.C. Section 1). In addition, the NPS Organic Act allows the NPS, through the Secretary of the Interior, to "make and publish such rules and regulations as he may deem necessary or proper for the use and management of the parks, monuments, and reservations under the jurisdiction of the National Park Service" (16 U.S.C. Section 3).
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 (16 U.S.C. Sections 1a1-1a8), 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."
16 U.S.C. Section 1c defines the National Park System as "any areas of land and water now or hereafter administered by the Secretary of the Interior through the National Park Service for park, monument, historic, parkway, recreational, or other purposes."
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, then that Superintendent is obliged to place limitations on public use.
3. 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.
4. Enforcement of Compendium Requirements
NPS Law Enforcement Park Rangers enforce the requirements of the United State Code, 36 CFR, and this Superintendent's Compendium.
5. 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.
6. Comments on the Compendium
The Compendium is reviewed annually and r:evised as necessary. The park welcomes comments about its programs and activities at any time.
7. 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.
Copies of the Compendium are available at Park Headquarters, 104 Main Street, Glen Jean, West Virginia. It may also be found at www.nps.gov/neri.
36 CFR PART 1 - GENERAL PROVISIONS
I. 36 CFR § 1.5 Visiting Hours, Public Use Limits, Closures, and Area Designations for Specific Uses or Activites.
(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:
A. Unmanned Aircraft
Unmanned Aircraft - a device that is used or intended to be used for flight in the air without the possibility of 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 camera, sensors, communication links). This term includes all types of devices that meet this definition (e.g. model airplanes, quad-copters, drones) that are used for any purpose, including recreation or commerce.
Justification: With the dramatic growth in the use of unmanned aircraft in the country, and the observed use of these types of craft operating within the New River Gorge, Gauley and Bluestone, the superintendent has determined that a careful review of the use of these devices is necessary because of the unacceptable impact potential including possible harm to visitors, interference with rescues, excessive noise, impact to view sheds, and disturbance of wildlife. These issues have been observed at other National Park Service areas. NPS Management Policy, Section 1.5, provides that a new form of park use may be allowed only C?fter a determination has been made that it will not result in unacceptable impacts on park resources and values. Similarly, Section 8.2 also states that a new form of recreation will not be allowed within a park until a superintendent has made a determination that it will be appropriate and not cause unacceptable impacts.
a) The Sandstone Visitor Center grounds (including the grounds adjacent to the visitor center and the gated parking lots).
b) Park Headquarters complex in Glen Jean, except when authorized by the Superintendent.
Justification: Sandstone Visitor Center and the Park Headquarters in Glen Jean offer no visitor services after regular business hours and also have a history of inappropriate behavior and vandalism after daylight hours.
c) The area of Beauty Mountain from Short Creek to Beauty Mountain electrical substation is closed to public use one-half hour after sunset until sunrise.
Justification: The area known as Beauty Mountain formerly owned by the Nuttall Estate is closed one-half hour after sunset until sunrise. The area used to be host to late night and often rowdy parties which not only disturbed park neighbors, but also placed the parties involved in great danger due to the close proximity of sheer cliffs and uneven terrain.
a) Commercial Climbing. In order to limit the impact to the climbing complex known as the Bridge Area, all groups will be limited to a maximum of 15 persons per trip, including the guide(s}, with guest-to-guide ratio not to exceed four guests to one guide. Groups in all other climbing areas will be limited to a maximum of 10 persons per trip, including the guides(s}, with guest-to-guide ratio not to exceed four guests to one guide. Guest count will include individuals in the group watching the climbing activity. All climbing groups are limited to four trips per day park-wide.
Justification: Group size limits are computed to ensure adequate safety and support for visitors on guided commercial trips, and to help ensure non-commercial visitors have access to visitor use areas both for parking and trail use.
b) Commercial Hiking/Biking. In order to limit the impact to park trails and other park visitors, all groups biking and hiking on designated trails will be limited to a maximum of 22 persons, including the guide(s) per trip, with a guest-to-guide ratio not to exceed 10 guests to one guide. In addition, biking and hiking groups will be limited to four trips per day park-wide.
c) Commercial Horse Trips. In order to limit the impact to permitted trails and minimize conflict with other trail users, horse packing trips will be limited to a maximum of 22 horses and 22 persons (including the guides) per trip, with a guest-to-guide ratio not to exceed 10 guests to one guide. Trips are confined to the Brooklyn Mine Access Trail and Bluestone Turnpike Trail and are limited to day use only with a maximum of four trips per day per designated horse trail. In order to reduce trail damage and minimize conflict with other trail users, a time period of 30 minutes must lapse between the start of each trip onto a designated horse trail. Grazing is not permitted. Horses are prohibited from being tied to trees, shrubs or vegetation and must maintain a distance of at least 100 feet from a water source. Noxious weed-seed free pellets may be utilized if necessary, but hay is prohibited.
Justification: Group size limits are computed to ensure adequate safety and support for visitors on guided commercial trips, and to help ensure non-commercial visitors have access to visitor use areas both/or parking and trail use.
2.. The following COVID-19 guidelines will be adhered to for all transmission levels as determined by the Center for Disease Control (CDC)
Regardless of vaccination status or local community transmission levels, all individuals over the age of two must wear masks, except when actively eating or drinking, in all common areas and shared workspaces in federally owned buildings administered by the National Park Service and in office space leased by the National Park Service.
Federally owned buildings administered by the National Park Service include, but are not limited to, visitor centers, administrative offices, maintenance facilities, and shared government quarters; buildings assigned to concessioners or other park partners; and buildings leased for commercial purposes to individuals or entities other than the National Park Service.
All individuals over the age of two, regardless of vaccination status or local community transmission levels, must wear masks in the following outdoor areas when others are present, except when actively eating or drinking, where the superintendent has determined that physical distancing (staying at least six feet apart) cannot reasonably be maintained:
Masks not designed to be protective, masks with ventilation valves, and face shields do not meet the requirement.
Regardless of vaccination status, all individuals must comply with all orders regarding masks issued by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).
CDC prevention measures continue to apply to all travelers on public transit, regardless of vaccination status. Masks remain required on all forms of public transit that operate within parks, including busses, trains, and boats/ferries, and in transportation hubs.
Justification: As stated in Executive Order 13991, Protecting the Federal Workforce and Requiring MaskWearing, 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).
3. The following types of filming activities may occur in areas open to the public without a permit and without advance notice to the NPS:
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:
If the Superintendent determines that the terms and conditions of a permit could not mitigate the concerns identified 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 activity takes place in areas managed as wilderness or 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 is subject to enforcement action and/or the suspension and revocation of the permit by the Superintendent.
Justification: On January 22, 2021, the United States District Court for the District of Columbia issued its decision in Price v. Barr, No. 19-3672, (D.D.C. Jan. 22, 2021). The court held that the requirements in 54 U.S.C. § 100905, 43 C.F.R. Part 5, and 36 C.F.R. § 5.5 that those engaged in “commercial filming” must obtain permits and pay fees are unconstitutional under the First Amendment. The court entered a 11 permanent injunction preventing the National Park Service (NPS) from implementing and enforcing those permit and fee requirements. The Department is currently determining whether to recommend appealing the decision. This regulation shall serve as interim guidance.
a) Are registered with valid state registration
b) Have proof of insurance
c) Have a current valid state safety inspection sticker (if required by the state where registered), and
d) Display a current valid state license plate
Justification: All park roads are open to vehicles meeting accepted state registration and safety requirements.
2. All park roads are closed to all vehicles that are designed for off-highway use as defined by West Virginia Motor Vehicle Code, Section 17A-1-1 (ii) [ATVs].
Justification: Off-road vehicles are designed for off-highway use and do not meet the requirements set forth for use on park roads. Travel OFF road by ANY vehicle on park land is prohibited.
3. To limit the spread of the exotic forest pest known as the emerald ash borer, it is prohibited to transport firewood into the New River Gorge National River and the Gauley River National Recreation Area.
Justification: Resource management has ident/fied imported wood increases the spread of the emerald ash borer.
4. The area known as Beauty Mountain Boulders is closed to the possession of spray paint, paint, and marking pens.
Justification: This area is heavily vandalized by taggers. Thousands of square feet of boulders and cliff edges have been painted with often offensive language and pictures. Numerous efforts to prevent the vandalism have been unsuccessful.
5. The eagle nesting site on Brooks Island. Three Hundred (300) feet circumference from the northwest end of Brooks Island (approximately 37°44'0.95"N 80°54'36.19"W).
Justification: This area currently has an active eagle nest occupied by a breeding pair of eagles. Currently, they reside year round. Resource Management staff have indicated ground disturbance near the nesting site can cause the pair to abandon the nest.
6. Recreational rock climbing and rappelling is prohibited at Grandview.
Justification: The rock at Grandview is not the most conducive to climbing in the park. The rock in the lower gorge is a much better grade of rock for climbing. Rock climbing at Grandview could cause a conflict between user groups. With over 1,400 established climbing routes in the park, Grandview is one area where the focus around the cliffs is the enjoyment of the scenery in a peaceful, non sport-like setting.
7. The use of hammocks is allowed so long as they do not cause resource damage, interfere with public use, create a safety hazard or violate any other regulation (e.g., sleeping in a hammock at night in an area closed to camping would be a violation). Hammocks may not be placed more than 10 feet off the ground from the base of teh anchoring tree(s).
Justification: Hammocks are a common way for people to hang out and enjoy the outdoors. As with other recreational equipment, if used properly they can be part of the park experience without damaging resources or impacting other users
(f) The following is a compilation of those activities for which a permit (approved in advance) from the superintendent is required (See APPENDIX A):
A 1.5 (d) Reservation of Burnwood, Dun Glen, and Grandview picnic shelters; group climbing,hiking, biking, horse packing and tours (see Public Use Limits, page 2 for group sizes).
B. 2.5 (a) Collecting (form PRP-1, research specimens)
C. 2.10 (a) Camping in the back country or at designated campgrounds Group camping at Burnwood and Dun Glen group camping areas
D. 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
E. 2.17 Air Craft and Air Delivery
(a)(3) Delivery or retrieval of a person or object by parachute, helicopter or other airborne Means. Parachuting (or BASE jumping), whether from an aircraft, structure, or natural feature, is prohibited without a permit. The issuance of a permit will be considered for organized BASE landings
(c)(1) Removal of downed aircraft
F. 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)
G. 2.38 Explosives
(a) Use, possess, store, transport explosives, blasting agents
(b) Use or possess fireworks
H. 2.50 (a) Special events, weddings, marathons and any other activities of organized groups
I. 2.51 (a) Demonstrations (“includes demonstrations, picketing, speechmaking, marching, holding vigil or religious services, and all other like forms of conduct that involve the communication or expression of views or grievances engaged by one or more persons, the conduct of which is reasonably likely to attract a crowd of onlookers”.)
J. 2.52 (a) Distribution or sale of printed matter that is not solely commercial advertising.
K.. 2.60 (b) Agricultural Use
L. 2.61(a) Residing on Federal lands
M. 2.62 (b) Scattering of Human Ashes
M. 5.1 Advertisements (Display, posting, or distribution)
N. 3.3 Operating a vessel in a park area (May be required under 1.5 and 1.7)
O. 3.19 Operating a submersible in a park area
P. 4.11 Vehicle load, weight and size limits
Q. 5.2 Sale of intoxicants
R. 5.3 Business operations
S. 5.5 Commercial filming, still photography, and audio recording (Also see 43 CFR part 5)
T. 5.6(c) Use of commercial vehicles on park area roads (to access otherwise inaccessible private lands)
U. 5.7 Construction of buildings, facilities, trails, roads, boat docks, path, structure, etc.
For more information on permit requirements and to obtain appropriate applications, please contact the office of the Program Specialist for Commercial/Special Park Uses at 304-465-6517 or visit www.nps.gov/neri/.
36 CFR PART 2- RESOURCE PROTECTION, PUBLIC USE, AND RECREATION
A. Dead wood on the ground may be collected only for use as campfire fuel in campsites within parkboundaries.
The collection of dead wood on the ground for immediate use as campfire fuel does not pose any particular threat to the ecosystem as fluctuating river levels regularly replenish wood in the areas where camping is popular.Justification:
(a)(5) Walking, climbing, entering, ascending, descending, or traversing an archeological or cultural resource, monument or statues.
A. The superintendent has not designated any areas or established any conditions that would allow walking, climbing, entering, ascending, descending, or traversing an archeological or cultural resource, monument or statue.
(b) Restrict hiking or pedestrian use
A. The superintendent has not restricted hiking or pedestrian foot traffic to a designated trail or walkway in any park area. Off-Trail hiking is not prohibited in any park area.
A. The following berries and other fruits growing on federally-owned lands within the park may be gathered for personal consumption:
The berries, other fruits, mushrooms and roots set forth in this section are sufficiently available so as to sustain gathering in limited quantities for personal use. Justification:
A. Except for those plants and plant parts specifically designated above, it is prohibited to possess, destroy, injure, deface, remove, dig, or otherwise disturb from its natural state all other plants or the parts or products thereof on federally-owned lands within the park [36 CFR §2.1 (1 )(1 )(ii)]. This includes various other fruits, berries, nuts, greens, bulbs, tubers, roots, and other plant parts or products which may, traditionally, have been considered to be edible or to have medicinal uses. Of particular note is American Ginseng which is regulated by the state of West Virginia but illegal to harvest or possess on NPS land.
Justification: The gathering or possession of other fruits, berries, nuts, greens, bulbs, tubers, roots, etc. not designated in 2.1 (c)(2) is prohibited
(a)(2) Feeding, touching, teasing, frightening, or intentionally disturbing of wildlife nesting, breeding, or other activities
Note: Birdwatching is encouraged as a recreational opportunity for visitors; however, the use of any type of bird call, manual or electric, in order to draw birds in for viewing is intentionally disturbing nesting, breeding, and other activities, and is therefore prohibited. This prohibition does not apply to game species (e.g. turkey, waterfowl) or nuisance species (crow) as identified in the WV State Hunting Regulations.
A. Hunting is specifically mandated by Federal statutory law within the New River Gorge National Park and Preserve (NERI), The Gauley River National Recreation Area (GARI) and the Bluestone National Scenic River (BLUE).
Justification: As directed in the enabling legislation.
A. Trapping is specifically mandated by Federal statutory law within the Gauley River National Recreation Area (GARI) and the Bluestone National Scenic River (BLUE).
B. Trapping in prohibited within the New River Gorge National River (NERI).
Justification - Trapping within the Gauley NPS areas is allowed under the parks’ enabling legislation. Trapping on the Bluestone National Scenic River is allowed under the state license agreement; trappers must be registered with the Bluestone Wildlife Management Area Department of Natural Resources manager pursuant to WV state law.
(b)(4) Hunting and trapping regulations
A. As appropriate to the National Park Service unit, hunting and trapping shall be in accordance with Federal regulations and adopted West Virginia State law.
Justification: NERI, GARI and BLUE are all located within the State of West Virginia.
(c) Hunting and trapping conditions and restrictions
In accordance with WV State hunting regulations, it is illegal to shoot a firearm within 500 feet of a school, church or a dwelling, or on or near a park or other place where persons are gathered for pleasure. Within NERI, GARI and BLUE, designated visitor centers, campgrounds, and day use areas have been established as safety zones where no hunting is allowed.
A. Hunting is not allowed within 500 feet of an established campground, day use area, or visitor center.
Justification: Hunting is prohibited at established campgrounds, day use areas and visitor centers as a safety measure in these heavy visitation areas.
B. Grandview - Hunting is prohibited on the old State Park property from Grandview Road to Glade Creek Road. (see map in appendix).
Justification: Within the area formerly known as Grandview State Park, specifically Grandview Top, hunting is prohibited because of the dense concentration of visitors engaged in picnicking, hiking, sightseeing, theater and athletic recreational activities such as softball and basketball. Additionally, hunting was prohibited in this area when it was under State ownership.
C. Burnwood - Hunting is prohibited within the Burnwood area (from the north rim of the New River Gorge along the western and northernmost boundary and south along U. S. 19 to the rim of the gorge as posted (see map in appendix).
Justification: The area known as Burnwood is closed to hunting due to the multiple visitor opportunities at Burnwood, which includes camping and picnicking and the use of the Laing Loop Trail for resource education programs.
D. Park Loop Trail Area - Hunting is prohibited in the Park Loop Trail area from Wolf Creek along the eastern cliff line to the northern old road trace, then following the western park boundary to area behind cemetery and south back to Wolf Creek (see map in appendix).
Justification: The Park Loop Trail area is closed to hunting as a safety measure as this is a heavy visitor use area.
E. Arrowhead Trail System - Hunting is prohibited within 500 feet of the Arrowhead Trail system to include all interior areas of the trail system created by the Dalton Trail and the Craig Branch Trail (see map in appendix).
Justification: Hunting is prohibited in the Arrowhead Trail area as a visitor safety measure and to mitigate user conflicts in this high traffic area.
F. Camp Brookside - Hunting is prohibited on Camp Brookside Island.
Justification: Hunting is prohibited in this area because it is a designated youth activities camp and it is leased for various overnight and daytime functions year-round.
(d) Transporting legally taken wildlife
A. Grandview - Legally taken game shall not be transported across the park area known as Grandview, which is the old State Park property from Grandview Road down to Glade Creek Road.
Justification: Transporting game in this area is restricted because there is no hunting in this area and the possibility of user conflicts. This area is not open to through traffic so the restriction does not create a conflict for hunters looking to transport their legally taken game home.
(e) Viewing wildlife with artificial light
A. The superintendent has not established any park area that is closed to the viewing of wildlife with artificial light.
Note: In accordance with West Virginia State hunting regulations, the use or attempt to use any artificial light or any night vision technology, including image intensification, thermal imaging or active illumination while hunting, locating, attracting, taking killing or trapping wild birds or wild animals is prohibited. However, artificial lights or night vision technology, including image intensification, thermal imaging, or active illumination may be used for taking coyote, fox, racoon, skunk and opossum. See WV State hunting regulations for additional information.
(a) Designated fishing areas
A. Fishing is allowed in all areas of the NERI, GARI and BLUE.
Justification: Fishing within NERI, GARI and BLUE is authorized by each park units’ enabling legislation. All waters located within the legislative boundary of the park are open to fishing in accordance with the regulations found in 36 CFR 2.3 and all not conflicting West Virginia State fishing regulations.
A. Live or dead minnows, other bait fish, and amphibians, except as identified below, may be possessed or used as bait or fishing in the waters of the park, in accordance with West Virginia State fishing regulations. However, The collection and possession of the following rare salamanders are prohibited:
Justification: Bait collection and use are consistent with West Virginia State fishing regulations. The salamanders listed are protected species.
(d)(4) Commercial fishing (to include commercial bait collection)
A. The commercial collection of bait is prohibited.
Justification: Commercial fishing is prohibited except where specifically authorized by Federal Statutory Law. There is no law allowing commercial fishing within NERI, GARI or BLUE and bait collection is regulated by the West Virginia State fishing regulations.
(d)(8) Fishing from boat launch areas
A. Fishing is not allowed within 100 feet of boat launch/take-out areas while watercraft are using the launch/take-out area.
Justification: This restriction is in place to provide for visitor safety and to minimize use conflicts.
IV. 36 CFR § 2.4 – Weapons, traps and nets
Note: The possession of firearms follows the laws of the State in which the National Park unit is located. Since NERI, GARI and BLUE are all located in West Virginia, West Virginia State law will apply the possession of firearms in these units. As of May 24, 2016, West Virginia became a constitutional carry state. Any person, resident or non-resident to West Virginia that is 21 years or older and who is legally able to own a handgun may carry the weapon concealed without the need of obtaining a permit. A permit is required for individuals 18-20 years old who wish to carry a handgun concealed. Additional information concerning West Virginia State gun laws can be found in Chapter 61 of the West Virginia State Code.
However, in accordance with 18 USC §930, the possession of a firearm is prohibited in a Federal facility. The term “Federal facility” means a building or part thereof owned or leased by the Federal Government, where Federal employees are regularly present for the purpose of performing their official duties. Therefore, all visitor centers and administrative offices such as park headquarters, including any attached restrooms would be considered a Federal facility and the possession of firearms (with or without a permit) would be prohibited. However, restrooms that are completely detached from a visitor center, such as a comfort station on the grounds of a visitor center (e.g., Sandstone Visitor Center) or in a campground or day use area would be open for legal carry.
A. . Camping is allowed on federally-owned lands within the park except where specifically excluded. In 36 CFR 1.4(a), Camping is defined as “the erecting of a tent or shelter or natural synthetic materials, preparing a sleeping bag or other bedding material for use, parking of a motor vehicle, motor home or trailer, or mooring of a vessel for the apparent purpose of overnight occupancy.”
B. Back country camping is allowed on the riverbanks of the New and Gauley Rivers on NPS-owned land so long as there is no resource damage.
C. Group camping is allowed by special use permit only at the Dun Glen and Burnwood group camping areas.
D. “Primitive Drive In” campsites have been developed at the following locations:
“Walk-In” campsites have been developed at the following locations:
E. Camping is prohibited within 100 feet of all the following unless at a designated or developed campsite. (see APPENDIX B for additional information):
Note: Back country camping along the New River is permitted, except in restricted areas as listed above.
F. Specifically, camping is prohibited in the following areas:
G. In developed/designated camping areas, the following limits will apply:
H. In undeveloped or back country camping areas, the following limits will apply:
I. No person, party, or organization shall be permitted to camp for more than a total of 14 days within a 28-day period within any park campground and/or camping area. This includes back country camping. Moving from one campsite or camping area to another, or the changing of the registered name of the group or individual in order to circumvent the 14-day camping limit is prohibited.
J. Campers will be required to register with park rangers as required.
Justification: These camping regulations are in effect to protect the park natural resources from abuse and over use, and 2) the quality of the visitor’s camping experience. Limitations on camping duration and site capacities work to achieve this protection while still providing adequate camping opportunities to park visitors. Commercial and group size restrictions seek to avoid conflicts with other user groups
K. Commercial group camping is prohibited in all developed campgrounds from the third Saturday in May through September 30. All camping regulations, to include group size and stay regulations apply to commercial groups using developed or undeveloped (back country) campsites
Justification: Developed campgrounds are closed to commercial use May through September to eliminate conflicts between user groups. Only a limited number of spaces are available and would not support commercial use during peak season.
B. Picnickers using vacant designated campsites will yield the site to those wishing to occupy the site for camping.
C. No picnicking within the Camp Brookside area is allowed without the approval of the superintendent.
Justification: Picnicking is allowed throughout the park, with the exception of Camp Brookside, and in all park campgrounds in accordance with the food storage regulations of Section 2. JO(d). Picnicking in Camp Brookside is limited due to the nature and use of the property as a residential or leasedfacility.
(a)(1) Fires prohibited
A. Campfires are allowed at developed sites and must be contained within the receptacles that are provided. Campfires are also allowed at backcountry campsites and must be contained within a fire pan or fire ring.
B. Lighting or maintaining a fire is prohibited at:
C. Unless a receptacle is provided, lighting or maintaining a fire is prohibited within 300 feet of any:
Developed River Access Area. This closure includes Fayette Station, Cunard, McCreery, Grandview Sandbar, Glade Creek, Meadow Creek, Sandstone Falls, Tug Creek, Akers, Gauley Tailwaters, Woods Ferry, Mason Branch and Swiss. This closure does not include Stone Cliff, Brooklyn, Dun Glen Thayer, or Hellums Beach.
Developed trailhead area
Top edge and the bottom of any cliff
Park structure or historical ruin
Justification: The prohibitions within this section serve the purpose of protecting park natural, historic and archaeological resources from the detrimental effects of campfires. In addition, restricting fires to receptacles (where provided) prevents fire scars from affecting campers sleeping on the ground and contains fire debris to a small area.
(b) Extinguishing a fire
A. Upon immediate termination of use, all fires will be doused with enough water to extinguish all flames, embers or otherwise lighted material. Sand, dirt or other materials will not be used to bury the fire to remove the oxygen supply
Justification: The use of water to extinguish a fire is a proven method. Th use of sand or dirt to smother a fire is not always successful or quick and can leave the fire to smolder in a buried state thus creating a hazard
VIII. 36 CFR § 2.14 – Sanitation and refuse
(a)(2) Use of government refuse receptacles
A. Burnwood – The Superintendent has authorized the use of the recycling center at Burnwood for use by the general public. Recyclable material from private households may be deposited in the recycling center. This does not apply to commercial, industrial or municipal use.
(b) Conditions concerning disposal of human waste
A. The Superintendent has not established any conditions concerning the disposal, containerization, or carrying out of human waste.
A. At park visitor centers, pets may be left unattended and tied, on a leash not to exceed six feet, to an object, specified by visitor center personnel, for up to one hour.
B. At other locations of federally-owned lands, pets may be left unattended and tied, on a leash not to exceed six feet, to objects for up to four hours. Pets will not be tied to trees or other woody plants. Pets will not be tied to trash cans.
C. Pets left unattended and tied to an object must have direct access to drinking water, fresh air, and shade. At all times and in all places, pets must be secured on a leash not to exceed six feet.
D. No pets will be permitted at Camp Brookside (service animals excepted).
Justification: Leash requirement provides for the protection of the pet as well as other park visitors, while preventing pets from disturbing or harassing native wildlife. All other regulations in this section are in effect to protect unattended pets from exposure to high temperatures and dehydration. Camp Brookside is a designated youth programs area and pets would be detrimental to programs and activities at the camp.
(a)(5) Pet Excrement
A. At all campgrounds, visitor centers, and developed areas, to include developed trails, pet excrement must be picked up immediately and disposed of by the person in control of the pet.
Justification: Pet excrement poses a public health hazard in high use areas such as park campgrounds, visitor centers, and developed areas.
(b) Hunting with dogs
A. NERI, GARI and BLUE allow hunting as established within each unit’s enabling legislation. As such, dogs may be used to hunt certain wildlife in accordance with West Virginia State hunting regulations. The Superintendent has not established any conditions specific to hunting with dogs outside of already established Federal and State regulations.
(b) Horses and Pack Animals
A. Horses and pack animals are prohibited on all park trails unless the trail is signed as open to horse/pack animal use.
B. Administrative roads that are closed to motorized vehicles are also closed to horse use.
C. Overnight horse use is prohibited except in designated areas.
Justification: The use of horses and pack animals is restricted to areas where they will not present a safety hazard or other user group conflicts to visitors. The impact of stock on trail surfaces is also a consideration in determining where they can be used.
(c)(1) Removal of downed airplane
A. These deviced are prohibited within the park except at Grandview overflow lots when they are closed to vehicle traffic.
Justification: The overflow lots at Grandview (when closed to motor vehicles) are the only areas in the park where skateboards, skates and similar devices may be safely operated without interfering with other visitor uses or vehicle traffic.
A. All National Park Service buildings and other structures are closed to smoking and the use of all electronic cigarettes and other electronic nicotine delivery systems (ENDS).
Justification: Smoking within any public building or structure poses a health and fire risk. Acting (1) out of an abundance of caution in light of the scientific findings and uncertainty to date, and (2) in the interest of equity, the purpose of this regulation is to afford all NPS employees and park visitors the same protections from exposure to nicotine and other harmful substances that may be found in electronic cigarettes and other electronic nicotine delivery systems (ENDS) vapor that are currently in place for exposure to tobacco smoke.
1. The use of ENDS will be treated as tobacco smoking. All provisions of Director's Order #50Dincluding in particular sections 4. I. I and 4. 1.2-will apply to ENDS use.
a) ENDS use will not be permitted within any Government-owned or -leased vehicle, including heavy equipment, watercraft or aircraft.
b) ENDS will be prohibited in shared government quarters, but generally permissible in nonshared residential accommodation.
c) With regard to concessions facilities, ENDS use will be treated just the same as smoking. Generally, all NPS concessions facilities will be smoke free. The only exceptions-which the Service does not encourage-will be specifically designated smoking areas and rooms if allowed by State and local law.
(a)(2) Leaving property unattended
A. The following public use areas are closed to the consumption of alcoholic beverages and the possession of a bottle, can or other receptacle containing an alcoholic beverage that is open, or has been opened, or whose seal is broken or the contents of which have been partially removed:
Justification: At Park Headquarters and Dun Glen, the use of alcoholic beverages is inappropriate given the nature of the government business which occurs on or near these properties. At Stone Cliff visitor use areas, the irresponsible, unsafe and often violent behavior which traditionally resulted/ram alcohol use is inappropriate and was not able to be controlled by traditional enforcement means. The area known as Grandview Top was formerly a WV State Park where alcohol was prohibited. The public use activities at Grandview include large gatherings, family reunions, church groups and an outdoor drama theater. Bluestone National Scenic River is co-managed with the state of West Virginia, which does not permit the use of alcoholic beverages in the wildl[fe management area. The Thayer visitor use area is located within the residential community of Thayer and the use of alcohol would be inappropriate due to the proximity of local residents.
A. The Superintendent has not established any areas or conditions under which fireworks would be lawful.
(c) Designated available park areas
A. Designated areas for such activities at New River Gorge National Park and Preserve, Gauley River National Recreation Area and Bluestone National Scenic River include the areas listed in APPENDIX A.
Some specific sites may not be available at all times due to the constraints listed in 36 CFR §2.51. Permit conditions specific to each site and event may be established in accordance with 36 CFR §2.51. See APPENDIX A.
(b) Designated available park areas
Designated areas at New River Gorge National Park and Preserve, Gauley River National Recreation Area and Bluestone National Scenic River where the sale or distribution of printed matter is allowed pursuant to a written permit is listed in APPENDIX A. Some specific sites may not be available at all times due to the constraints listed in 36 CFR 2.52. Permit conditions specific to each site and event may be established in accordance with 36 CFR 2.52. See APPENDIX A.
(b) Scattering of human ashes
A. The scattering of human ashes is done by permit. The Superintendent has not established a specific area or conditions for the scattering of human ashes outside of the permit process.
36 CFR Part 3 – BOATING AND WATER USE ACTIVITIES
Note: In addition to the regulations contained in this part, the NPS adopts applicable laws and regulations of the United States Coast Guard. The USCG laws and regulations are found in Title 14 United States Code, Title 33 United States Code, Title 46 United States Code, and 33 CFR chapter I, 46 CFR chapter I and III and 49 CFR chapter IV. NPS applies the adopted laws and regulations to vessels and their operation on all waters (navigable and non-navigable) subject to NPS jurisdiction. Except to the extent that directives of the USCG have expressly or implicitly preempted inconsistent state laws and regulations or as otherwise provided by subsection (a), vessels and their operation on all waters subject to NPS jurisdiction are governed by non-conflicting boating safety laws and regulations of the State within whose interior boundaries a park area or portion thereof is located. Therefore, NERI, GARI and BLUE fall under the West Virginia State boating safety laws and regulations.
A. The Superintendent has not established any additional conditions outside of NPS, USCG and WV State law that would require a PFD to be worn or carried on designated waters, at designated times, and/or during designated water based activities.
(a)(4) Vessel restrictions
A. The Superintendent has not established any additional vessel restrictions outside of NPS, USCG, and WV State boating regulations. 24
(a) Towing in designated waters
A. The Superintendent has not designated any waters for towing a person by vessel outside of NPS, USCG, and WV State boating regulations.
(b) Removing a sunken vessel
A. The Superintendent has not established standing removal procedures for the recovery of sunken vessels. Each incident would be evaluated based on the totality of the circumstances and the Superintendent would determine if the vessel shall be removed or if the removal shall be prohibited. The Superintendent would develop applicable removal procedures based on the regulations found in parts (a) and (b) of this subsection
(a) Waters closed to swimming or wading
A. The Superintendent has not closed or restricted any waters in NERI, GARI or BLUE to swimming or wading.
(a) Designated swim areas or beaches
A. The Superintendent has not designated any swim areas or beaches on the waters of NERI, GARI or BLUE.
(a) Waters closed or restricted to snorkeling or diving
A. The Superintendent has not closed or restricted any waters in NERI, GARI and BLUE to snorkeling or underwater diving.
36 CFR Part 4 – VEHICLE AND TRAFFIC SAFETY
(a) More restrictive load, weight and size limits
A. The Superintendent has not established more restrictive load, weight or size limits for any roads in NERI, GARI or BLUE.
(a) Parking or stopping a vehicle
A. The Superintendent has not designated any roadways in NERI, GARI or BLUE, where a person may stop or park a vehicle.
(b) Designated speed limits
A. The Superintendent has designated speed limits on the following park roads or sections thereof because the speed limits established by this section are unreasonable, unsafe, or inconsistent with the purpose for which the park area was established.
(b) Administrative Roads and (d) Existing Trails
Note: The regulations for bicycling at NERI are found in the special regulations found in 36 CFR 7.89(b).
(f) Closures and other use restrictions
A The Superintendent has established the following closures and use restrictions for electronic bicycles (a.k.a., e-bikes):
Note: 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.). Class 1 e-bike shall mean an electric bicycle equipped with a motor that provides assistance only when the rider is pedaling, and that ceases to provide assistance when the bicycle reaches the speed of 20 miles per hour. Class 2 e-bike shall mean an electric bicycle equipped with a motor that may be used exclusively to propel the bicycle, and that is not capable of providing assistance when the bicycle reaches the speed of 20 miles per hour. Class 3 e-bike shall mean an electric bicycle equipped with a motor that provides assistance only when the rider is pedaling, and that ceases to provide assistance when the bicycle reaches the speed of 28 miles per hour.
Devices with electric motors of 750 watts (1 h.p.) or more are not considered e-bikes for this regulation and will be managed as a motor vehicle in accordance with Part 4 of 36 CFR. Under 36 CFR 4.10, motor vehicles are allowed on park roads and on routes and areas designated for off-road motor vehicle use.
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(i). Except as specified in this Compendium, the use of an e-bike within the 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.
(h)(4) Operating bicycle abreast of another
A. The Superintendent has not authorized any area where bicyclists may ride abreast of one another.
Note: In 36 CFR 4.30(g)(2) it states that state law governing bicycle use is adopted as part of this code. Therefore, under West Virginia State Code, bicyclists are allowed to ride abreast of each other so long as it is no more than two bicyclists in a single lane of traffic.
A. Hitchhiking is allowed throughout the NERI, GARI and BLUE.
Justification: NERI, GARI and BLUE are all very linear park units with recreational activities that are dispersed over many miles. Shuttles are often required for boaters and even hikers and bicyclists to get back to their point of origin.
36 CFR Part 5 – COMMERCIAL AND PRIVATE OPERATIONS
Note: Filming and photography activities – whether commercial or noncommercial – will be allowed provided that activities do not cause unacceptable impacts to park resources or public use.
All commercial and certain non-commercial filming requires a permit. Commercial filming is defined as digital or film recording of a visual image or sound recording by a person, business, or other entity for a market audience, such as for a documentary, television or feature film, advertisement, or similar project.
Still photography activities, whether commercial or non-commercial, require a permit when: (a) the activity takes place at location(s) where or when members of the public are generally not allowed; or (b) the activity uses model(s), sets(s), or prop(s) that are not a part of the location’s natural or cultural resources or administrative facilities; or (c) the park would incur additional administrative costs to monitor the activity; or (d) the park needs to provide management and oversight to (1) avoid impairment or incompatible use of the resources and values of the park, or (2) limit resource damage, or (3) minimize health or safety risks to the visiting public.
News coverage does not require a permit, for either filming or still photography, but is subject to time, place, and manner restrictions, if warranted, to maintain order and ensure the safety of the pubic and the media, and to protect natural and cultural resources.
II. 36 CFR § 5.7 – Construction of buildings or other facilities
Note: Constructing or attempting to construct a building, or other structure, boat dock, road, trail, path, or other way, telephone line, telegraph line, power line, or any private or public utility, upon, across, over, through, or under any park areas, except in accordance with a valid permit, a contract or written agreement with the United States, is prohibited. For the application of this policy constructing, by definition, includes synonyms such as erecting, putting up, setting up, raising, establishing, assembling, fabricating, and forming and it does not speak to the permanency of the structure. As such, structures such as zip lines, high lines, slick lines/ropes, tight lines/ropes are prohibited unless erected under a valid permit.
36 CFR 2.51 PUBLIC ASSEMBLIES, MEETINGS
Last updated: September 27, 2021