2021 Superintendent's Compendium

September 21, 2021

Consistent with applicable legislation and Federal administrative policies, and based upon a determination that such action is necessary for the maintenance of public health and safety, protection of environmental or scenic values, protection of natural or cultural resources, aid to scientific research, implementation of management responsibilities, equitable allocation and use of facilities, or the avoidance of conflict among visitor use activities, the Superintendent makes the following changes to Sequoia and Kings Canyon National Parks Regulations.
Regulation Change:

Regulation Change:

The following area is temporarily closed to all individuals.

• All lands within the boundaries of Sequoia National Park west of the Pacific Crest Trail, all lands of Kings Canyon National Park west of the Pacific Crest Trail and south of the ridgeline which lies north of Ionian Basin, as depicted on the attached map. This regulation shall not apply to the following:

• Firefighters, emergency services personnel and overhead personnel assigned to the KNP Complex, or any fires that are within the boundary or directly impact or threaten the park.

• Other individuals approved by the Incident Commander. A firefighter escort will be required in areas of active fire or upon direction of the Incident Commander.

• Residents of National Park Service housing and residents of the Wilsonia Community.

• Travel directly through the Grant Grove along the Highway 180 corridor will continue to be permitted, stopping in the Highway 180 is prohibited.


Previous regulations affected by this change:

This closure will further expand upon the area previously closed due to the Paradise and Colony Fires by Administrative Order 21-022.


Reasons for change:

The KNP Complex Fire is creating hazardous conditions for park employees and the public, including active flames, heavy smoke impeding activities and aircraft, rolling rocks and logs, and snags. Fire progression has the potential to impact travel on Highway 180 and strand visitors and employees east of the Big Stump Entrance Station.

Effective Dates:

The temporary closure will be effective from September 20, 2021 at 1800 hours until the fire activity has subsided to a point at which there is minimal risk to the public, as determined by the Incident Commander.

Authority for adoption: Code of Federal Regulations, 36 CFR, Part 1.5
 
September 19, 2021

Consistent with applicable legislation and Federal administrative policies, and based upon a determination that such action is necessary for the maintenance of public health and safety, protection of environmental or scenic values, protection of natural or cultural resources, aid to scientific research, implementation of management responsibilities, equitable allocation and use of facilities, or the avoidance of conflict among visitor use activities, the Superintendent makes the following changes to Sequoia and Kings Canyon National Parks Regulations.

Regulation Change:

The following area is temporarily closed to all individuals:

• All lands within the boundaries of Sequoia National Park west of the Pacific Crest Trail. • All lands of Kings Canyon National Park west of the Generals Highway and south of Highway 180.

• All lands within the wilderness of Kings Canyon National Park west of the Pacific Crest Trail and south of the ridgeline which lies north of Ionian Basin As depicted on the attached map.

This regulation shall not apply to the following:

• Firefighters, emergency services personnel and overhead personnel assigned to the KNP Complex, or any fires that are within the boundary or directly impact or threaten the park.

• Other individuals approved by the Incident Commander. A firefighter escort will be required in areas of active fire or upon direction of the Incident Commander.

Previous regulations affected by this change:

This closure will further expand upon the area previously closed due to the Paradise and Colony Fires by Administrative Order 21-021.

Reasons for change:

The KNP Complex Fire is creating hazardous conditions for park employees and the public, including active flames, heavy smoke impeding activities and aircraft, rolling rocks and logs, and snags. Wilderness users attempting to exit to the west may find egress routes blocked and be stranded. 2

Effective Dates:

The temporary closure will be effective from September 19, 2021 at 0600 hours until the fire activity has subsided to a point at which there is minimal risk to the public, as determined by the Incident Commander.

Authority for adoption: Code of Federal Regulations, 36 CFR, Part 1.5
 
August 30, 2021

Consistent with applicable legislation and Federal administrative policies, and based upon a determination that such action is necessary for the maintenance of public health and safety, protection of environmental or scenic values, protection of natural or cultural resources, aid to scientific research, implementation of management responsibilities, equitable allocation and use of facilities, or the avoidance of conflict among visitor use activities, the Superintendent makes the following changes to Sequoia and Kings Canyon National Parks Regulations.

Regulation Change:

Administrative Order 21-013 is rescinded.

The following area is temporarily closed to all individuals:

• The Tar Gap Trail from Mineral King to Hockett Meadow.
• The Atwell Mill Trail from Atwell Mill Campground to Hockett Meadow.
• The South Fork Trail from Garfield Grove to Hockett Meadow.
• The general area (as shown on the attached map) beginning from the southern boundary of Sequoia National Park at Falcon Peak, generally northwest along the ridgeline to White Chief Peak, Hengst Peak, west along the ridge to the intersection of the Atwell Mill Trail and the Tar Gap Trail, generally south along the plateau to the South Fork Trail west of Hockett Lakes, generally south to the park boundary just east of the Touhy Trail (excluded), east and then north back to Falcon Peak.

EXCEPTIONS: This regulation shall not apply to the following:

• Firefighters and overhead personnel assigned to the Walkers Fire, or any fires that directly impact or threaten resources or occupants.
• Government employees authorized by chain of command.
• Cooperators conducting work that is authorized by chain of command.
• Other individuals approved by the Incident Commander.

Previous regulations affected by this change:

Lands in the Soda Springs Drainage were closed on August 20, 2021 due to fire impacts.

Reasons for change:

The Walkers Fire was discovered on August 15, 2021 at 1123 in the Golden Trout Wilderness of Sequoia National Forest near 36.2778 N 118.5501 W. As of today, it has grown to approximately 7,638 acres and has crossed the Sequoia National Park boundary into the Soda Spring Creek Drainage. Based on recent assessments, there is a strong possibility that despite control efforts the fire will continue to spread within the park.

The Walkers Fire is continuing to grow and is creating hazardous conditions for the public, including active flames, rolling rocks and logs, and snags. Smoke impacts to wilderness users who have no area to find shelter would be exposed to significant risk of respiratory injury. Smoke impacts the ability to conduct search and rescue activities both on foot and by air.

The expanded area includes lakes that are approved to be used for dip sites for aerial fire suppression and are inconsistent with visitor use in or around the lakes, or beneath a helicopter carrying hundreds of gallons of water.

Effective Dates:

The temporary closure will be effective from August 29, 2020 at 1800 hours until the fire activity has subsided to a point at which there is minimal risk to the public, as determined by the Incident Commander.

Authority for adoption: Code of Federal Regulations, 36 CFR, Part 1.5
 
August 24, 2021

Consistent with applicable legislation and Federal administrative policies, and based upon a determination that such action is necessary for the maintenance of public health and safety, protection of environmental or scenic values, protection of natural or cultural resources, aid to scientific research, implementation of management responsibilities, equitable allocation and use of facilities, or the avoidance of conflict among visitor use activities, the Superintendent makes the following changes to Sequoia and Kings Canyon National Parks Regulations.

Regulation Change:

Big Pete Meadow (39-2) is temporarily closed to grazing. Previous regulations affected by this change: Grazing was permitted in 2021 with an estimated 50 nights of forage available.

Reasons for change:

Meadow 39-2 has received 51 reported stock use nights this year. The meadow is uniformly close cropped at 1” to 3” of growth. There are areas of bare ground in the forage area and root sheering is occurring at creek crossings. Continued grazing would cause unacceptable resource damage. The Kings Canyon District Ranger ordered the closure in consultation with the park Plant Ecologist.

Effective Dates:

The closure is temporary from August 24, 2021 through the remainder of the year.

Authority for adoption: Code of Federal Regulations, 36 CFR, Part 1.5
 
August 25, 2021

Previous Administrative Order Administrative Order 21-004, regarding mask wearing is rescinded.

Restrictions and Public Use Limits:

Under the authority provided to the Superintendent in 36 CFR 1.5 (a)(2), the following activities are restricted in Sequoia and Kings Canyon National Parks, effective immediately, until further notice:

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.

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 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.

Authority: 36 CFR 1.5(a)(1)(2)

Notice:

This administrative order applies to all individuals subject to the regulatory authority of the National Park Service (NPS) within the boundaries of Sequoia and Kings Canyon National Parks, including park visitors, government employees, concession employees, park residents and stakeholders. Concessioners, commercial use authorization holders, lessees with public-facing business operations, and other partners operating in units of the National Park System are required to meet this order as a baseline for their operations; they may, however, make an independent business decision to institute a masking requirement for its customers or employees that is more stringent than the Federal requirement.

Finding:

The NPS issues this administrative order for the purposes meeting current Center for Disease Control guidance for maintaining public health and safety during the COVID-19 pandemic emergency. This order is consistent with Executive Order 13991, Protecting the Federal Workforce and Requiring Mask-Wearing.

This order is effective immediately and will remain in effect until further notice. The effectiveness of this order will be assessed on an ongoing basis, and the order will be modified or rescinded when conditions warrant.
 
August 23, 2021
Consistent with applicable legislation and Federal administrative policies, and based upon a determination that such action is necessary for the maintenance of public health and safety, protection of environmental or scenic values, protection of natural or cultural resources, aid to scientific research, implementation of management responsibilities, equitable allocation and use of facilities, or the avoidance of conflict among visitor use activities, the Superintendent makes the following changes to Sequoia and Kings Canyon National Parks Regulations.

Regulation Change:

The following area is temporarily closed to all individuals:

• All lands in the Soda Spring Creek Drainage within the exterior boundary of Sequoia National Park.

EXCEPTIONS:

This regulation shall not apply to the following:

• Firefighters and overhead personnel assigned to the Walkers Fire, or any fires that directly impact or threaten resources or occupants.
• Government employees authorized by chain of command.
• Cooperators conducting work that is authorized by chain of command.
• Other individuals approved by the Incident Commander.

Previous regulations affected by this change: None

Reasons for change:

The Walkers Fire was discovered on August 15, 2021 at 1123 in the Golden Trout Wilderness of Sequoia National Forest near 36.2778 N 118.5501 W. As of today, it has grown to approximately 2,600 acres and has crossed the Sequoia National Park boundary into the Soda Spring Creek 2 Drainage. Based on recent assessments, there is a strong possibility that despite control efforts the fire will continue to spread within the park.

The Walkers Fire is continuing to grow and is creating hazardous conditions for the public, including active flames, rolling rocks and logs, and snags. Smoke impacts to wilderness users who have no area to find shelter would be exposed to significant risk of respiratory injury. Smoke impacts the ability to conduct search and rescue activities both on foot and by air.

Effective Dates:

The temporary closure will be effective from August 20, 2020 at 1800 hours until the fire activity has subsided to a point at which there is minimal risk to the public, as determined by the Incident Commander.

Authority for adoption: Code of Federal Regulations, 36 CFR, Part 1.5
 
August 20, 2021

Consistent with applicable legislation and Federal administrative policies, and based upon a determination that such action is necessary for the maintenance of public health and safety, protection of environmental or scenic values, protection of natural or cultural resources, aid to scientific research, implementation of management responsibilities, equitable allocation and use of facilities, or the avoidance of conflict among visitor use activities, the Superintendent makes the following changes to Sequoia and Kings Canyon National Parks Regulations.

Regulation Change:

The Pinewood Picnic Area is closed to all use and or entry, to include all facilities, picnic tables, parking areas, dumpsters and restrooms.

Previous regulations affected by this change:

2021 Sequoia and Kings Canyon National Park Superintendent’s Compendium closes the Pinewood Picnic Area to all use from dusk to dawn, except by permit.

Reasons for change:

The Pinewood Picnic Area has high public use and is being frequented by food habituated bears. The bears are rapidly learning behavior that allows them to obtain human food either through food being left unsecured or by forcing open facilities in which food is stored. The closure will allow Sequoia and Kings Canyon National Park employees to apply aversive behavior techniques to the bears to prevent the continued learning of the behaviors.

Effective Dates:

The temporary closure will be effective from August 20, 2020 at 1800 hours.

Authority for adoption: Code of Federal Regulations, 36 CFR, Part 1.5
 
August 9, 2021

Consistent with applicable legislation and Federal administrative policies, and based upon a determination that such action is necessary for the maintenance of public health and safety, protection of environmental or scenic values, protection of natural or cultural resources, aid to scientific research, implementation of management responsibilities, equitable allocation and use of facilities, or the avoidance of conflict among visitor use activities, the Superintendent makes the following changes to Sequoia and Kings Canyon National Parks Regulations.

Regulation Change:

Upper Crabtree Meadow (83-4) is temporarily closed to grazing.

Previous regulations affected by this change:

Grazing was permitted in 2021 with an estimated 120 nights of forage available.

Reasons for change:

Upper Crabtree Meadow (83-4) has 118 reported stock use nights. The vegetation is closely cropped, very dry conditions are present, and in there is insufficient forage to support further grazing. Continued grazing would cause unacceptable resource damage. The closure is supported in consultaion with with the Chief of Resources Management and Science.

Effective Dates:

The closure is temporary from August 9, 2021 for the remainder of the year.

Authority for adoption:

Code of Federal Regulations, 36 CFR, Part 1.5
 
August 12, 2021

Consistent with applicable legislation and Federal administrative policies, and based upon a determination that such action is necessary for the maintenance of public health and safety, protection of environmental or scenic values, protection of natural or cultural resources, aid to scientific research, implementation of management responsibilities, equitable allocation and use of facilities, or the avoidance of conflict among visitor use activities, the Superintendent makes the following changes to Sequoia and Kings Canyon National Parks Regulations.

Regulation Change:

Baxter Creek Drift Fence Meadow (58-3) is temporarily closed to grazing.

Previous regulations affected by this change:

Grazing was permitted in 2021 with an estimated 40 nights of forage available.

Reasons for change:

Meadow 58-3 has received 30 reported stock use nights this year. There are areas of bare ground and mechanical impacts in the forage area. Hoof indentations of greater than 1” are present with root shearing. Continued grazing would cause unacceptable resource damage. The Kings Canyon District Ranger approved the closure in consultation with the park Plant Ecologist.

Effective Dates:

The closure is temporary from August 12, 2021 through the remainder of the year.

Authority for adoption:

Code of Federal Regulations, 36 CFR, Part 1.5
 
August 9, 2021

Consistent with applicable legislation and Federal administrative policies, and based upon a determination that such action is necessary for the maintenance of public health and safety, protection of environmental or scenic values, protection of natural or cultural resources, aid to scientific research, implementation of management responsibilities, equitable allocation and use of facilities, or the avoidance of conflict among visitor use activities, the Superintendent makes the following changes to Sequoia and Kings Canyon National Parks Regulations.

Regulation Change:

Upper Colby Meadow (33-4.1) grazing nights are increased to 20 nights for the 2021 season. Darwin Pocket Meadow (33-4.2) grazing nights are increased to 22 nights for the 2021 season.

Previous regulations affected by this change:

Grazing nights were limited to 10 nights at Upper Colby Meadow (33-4.1) and 12 nights at Darwin Pocket Meadow (33-4.2) for the 2021 season based on the estimated capacity.

Reasons for change:

The local area Wilderness Ranger reported that they had observed non-impacted meadow conditions with additional available preferred grazing forage in Upper Colby (33-4.1) and Darwin Pocket (33-4.2) Meadows and recommended an increase of allowable grazing beyond the original estimated capacity. The Kings Canyon District Ranger, in consultation with the SEKI Plant Ecology staff concur with this extension.

Effective Dates: August 9, 2021.

Authority for adoption: Code of Federal Regulations, 36 CFR, Part 1.5
 
Regulation change:

Pursuant to the procedures in Appendix M of the parks’ Fire and Fuels and Fire Management Plan, Stage 3 Fire Restrictions are effective at 12:00 p.m. on July 1, 2021. This means:

• Wood and charcoal fires (including wood-burning stoves) are illegal at all elevations and locations. o Employee housing and private property throughout the parks are included.

• Gas, propane, alcohol (with and without a shutoff valve), and tablet/cube stoves are permitted in all areas.

• No smoking at any elevation except within an enclosed vehicle, a building in which smoking is allowed, or a designated smoking area.


Previous regulations affected by this change:

Stage 2 Fire Restrictions implemented on June 4, 2021.


Date of this regulation change: July 1, 2021.

Reasons for change: Due to extreme fire danger, record setting temperatures, drought, and commitment of firefighting resources both regionally and nationally.


Effective Dates:

The restrictions will become effective at 1200 hours on July 1, 2021. These restrictions will remain in effect until conditions in the area have progressed to a point where minimal public hazard remains, as determined by the Superintendent.

Authority for adoption: Code of Federal Regulations, 36 CFR § 2.13
 
Consistent with applicable legislation and Federal administrative policies, and based upon a determination that such action is necessary for the maintenance of public health and safety, protection of environmental or scenic values, protection of natural or cultural resources, aid to scientific research, implementation of management responsibilities, equitable allocation and use of facilities, or the avoidance of conflict among visitor use activities, the Superintendent makes the following changes to Sequoia and Kings Canyon National Parks Regulations.

Regulation Change: The following area is temporarily closed to all individuals:

• All lands within the Dillonwood Expansion at the southern boundary of Sequoia National Park, as shown on the map.

EXCEPTIONS: This regulation shall not apply to the following:

• Employees, partners, and researchers with official work assignments in the area.
• Other individuals as authorized by the Superintendent.

Previous regulations affected by this change:

• This closure started as a limited area due to the Rattlesnake Fire beginning 9/4/2020.
• The fire closure was further expanded on 9/6/2020 due to fire potential and growth.
• On 9/13/2020, a closure of the Generals Highway and surrounding areas to Giant Forest was added due to voluntary evacuations in the Three Rivers area by the SQF Complex Fires.
• On 9/15/2020, all of Sequoia National Park was closed to visitors due to a voluntary evacuation warning in the Three Rivers area by the SQF Complex Fires.
• On 9/18/2020, the Mineral King Subdistrict was closed to Cabin Owners due to a mandatory evacuation order.
• On 9/29/2020, the closure was relaxed to permit residents access to real property. All previous closures are hereby rescinded and replaced.

Reasons for change: The fires no longer threaten life or property in Sequoia National Park. This closure represents a relaxation to strictly the Dillonwood Expansion of Sequoia National Park. This closure remains in place to protect life and property:

• The area had multiple cabins containing metallic hazards that are now buried in ash and represent a threat to injury.
• The area contains burnout holes that have burned out that have yet to settle and fill that could injure individuals.
• Cultural resources that may remain in the area need to be surveyed and protected prior to opening to the public.
• The road to the area contains threats of erosion and washout that could cause potential injury to individuals walking on it.

Multiple opportunities exist to visit areas in Sequoia National Park and the surrounding public lands that contain resources similar to those that are closed.

Effective Dates:

This order will be effective from March 6, 2021 at 0600 hours until the area can be evaluated and determined to be reasonably clear of serious risk to the public and resources. Authority for adoption: Code of Federal Regulations, 36 CFR, Part 1.5
 
March 3, 2021

Determination to Change Sequoia and Kings Canyon Regulations

Restrictions and Public Use Limits: Under the authority provided to the Superintendent in 36 CFR 1.5 (a)(2), the following activities are restricted in Sequoia and Kings Canyon National Parks, effective immediately, until further notice:

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 outside of areas managed as wilderness 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 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.

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.

Authority: 36 CFR 1.5(a)(1)(2)

Notice: This administrative order applies to all individuals subject to the regulatory authority of the National Park Service (NPS) within the boundaries of Sequoia and Kings Canyon National Parks, including the media, park visitors, government employees, concession employees, park residents and stakeholders.

Finding: 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 permanent injunction preventing the National Park Service (NPS) from implementing and enforcing those permit and fee requirements.

Commercial Filming Laws and Regulations.

54 U.S.C. § 100905 mandates that the Secretary of the Interior require a permit and charge a fee for commercial filming activities in park areas. The statute also requires the NPS to recover costs incurred as a result of filming activities, including administrative and personnel costs. This “cost recovery” authority is separate and in addition to the fee requirement, which the NPS refers to as the “location fee.” The statute imposes a separate permit requirement for “still photography” that applies in limited circumstances.

Department regulations at 43 C.F.R. Part 5 implement the statutory requirements for all DOI bureaus. These regulations restate the permit requirements for commercial filming and still photography and provide more information about permits, location fees, and cost recovery.

Price v. Barr.

Gordon Price, an independent filmmaker from Yorktown, VA, challenged the constitutionality of

the commercial filming permit and fee requirements explained above.

In its decision in Price, the court acknowledged that the NPS has a substantial government interest in protecting park resources but determined that the permit requirement was not related closely enough to achieving this interest. The court objected to the fact that all commercial filming activities must obtain a permit no matter the potential for resource impacts. According to the court, this was an overly broad burden on First Amendment speech. The court suggested that a permit requirement more closely tailored to the threat posed by high-impact filming may be acceptable. The court also held that the NPS did not have a sufficient interest to support charging location fees for commercial filming.

The court issued a permanent injunction preventing the NPS from implementing and enforcing the permit and fee requirements for commercial filming. The injunction does not extend to any provisions in the statute or regulations related to still photography, nor does it expressly extend to the cost recovery authority for commercial filming.
Authority to Require a Permit for Filming Activities.
The court in Price recognized that the NPS has a legal obligation to protect the resources within the National Park System and to provide for visitor enjoyment of the same. 54 U.S.C. § 100101. One tool superintendents have to meet this responsibility is the authority in 36 CFR 1.5(a)(2). This authority allows superintendents to impose restrictions on activities within park areas when necessary for:

• the maintenance of public health and safety;
• protection of environmental or scenic values;
• protection of natural or cultural resources;
• aid to scientific research;
• implementation of management responsibilities;
• equitable allocation and use of facilities; or
• the avoidance of conflict among visitor use activities.

This authority allows Superintendents to restrict filming activities, whether they are commercial or not, by requiring a permit for activities that pose a threat to park resources, values or the visitor experience. The court in Price emphasized that filming activities are a form of speech protected by the First Amendment. For purposes of this interim guidance, imposing a permit requirement on filming activities should only be done when necessary to address the NPS’s substantial interest in protecting park resources and the visitor experience.

In recent years, the NPS has seen an increase in low impact filming activities within park areas. These activities involve minimal equipment and crews, such as individuals or small groups that film using smartphones or other handheld devices, in many cases with nothing more than a tripod for equipment. These types of productions are highly unlikely to need a permit because the potential for impacts to resources and the visitor experience is no greater than the potential for impacts from visitors engaged in casual filming. This is true whether or not the footage is used for commercial purposes, such as by posting footage online for profit. This establishes objective criteria that will allow these small-scale productions to proceed in areas open to the public without a permit and without advance notice to the NPS. Other filming activities must be proposed to the NPS in advance so that the superintendent can determine whether or not a permit is required.


Applicability of Other Laws and Regulations
All activities in park areas – including filming even if a permit is not required – must comply with all visitor use regulations in 36 C.F.R., including but not limited to those prohibiting resource damage (36 C.F.R. § 2.1), protecting wildlife (36 C.F.R. § 2.2) or mitigating audio disturbances (36 C.F.R. § 2.12), and any restrictions on visitor use in the park’s compendium, such as restrictions on the use of unmanned aircraft systems (i.e., drones). Filming of any kind may not occur in closed areas without written authorization. Filming activities may not violate applicable laws, such as the Endangered Species Act, the Archeological Resources Protection Act, or the Wilderness Act. All filming must comply with laws protecting the NPS’s intellectual property, such as laws and regulations governing the use of the NPS Arrowhead and images of NPS employees.


Fees and Cost Recovery
The court in Price struck down the location fee requirements as unconstitutional. As a result, the NPS may not charge location fees for any filming activities.


News Gathering Activities.
The injunction in Price does not expressly extend to the regulations about “news gathering activities” in 43 C.F.R. § 5.4. In order to ensure the NPS does not violate the court’s Order, however, the NPS should no longer evaluate “news gathering activities” under 43 C.F.R. § 5.4. News gathering activities that involve filming should be treated like other filming activities.

Filming in Wilderness.
Filming activities may not violate the provisions of the Wilderness Act, including prohibitions on structures, installations, motor vehicles, mechanical transport, motorized equipment, motorboats or landing of aircraft in wilderness areas. 16 U.S.C. § 1133. The following additional guidance applies to filming activities in areas managed by the NPS as wilderness, including eligible, study, proposed, recommended, and designated wilderness:

• In order to help preserve wilderness character, the Superintendent must require a permit for all filming activities in wilderness areas other than casual filming by visitors, no matter the group size or equipment used.
• Before issuing a permit to film in wilderness, the Superintendent will work with the permittee to identify substitute filming locations outside of wilderness and may not issue a permit if there are suitable filming locations outside of wilderness.
• If a permit is issued, the terms and conditions must prohibit the use of structures, installations, motor vehicles, mechanical transport, motorized equipment, motorboats or landing of aircraft. The permit should contain other terms and conditions necessary to limit impacts to the qualities of wilderness character and the wilderness experience of other visitors, including potentially limiting crew size and equipment, sets, and props.
• Until further guidance is issued pending the resolution of the Price litigation, Superintendents should not evaluate commercial filming as a “commercial service” or a “commercial enterprise” under the Wilderness Act. Commercial filming should be evaluated like any other type of filming in wilderness using the framework in this guidance.
 
36 CFR Part 1 — General Provisions
Section 1.5 — Closures and public use limits

(a)(1) Visiting hours, public use limits, closures, and area designations for specific use or activities.

PUBLIC USE LIMITS

  • The Pinewood Picnic Area is closed to all use from dusk to dawn, except by permit.1
  • The Moro Rock/Crescent Meadow Road is closed to single vehicles over 22 feet long and all combination vehicles when the Park’s shuttle bus system is in operation and closure signs are posted.2
  • Snow play is prohibited within fifty feet of buildings and roads, except in designated snow play areas (Wolverton, Columbine and Big Stump Picnic Areas). The Superintendent may close areas to snow play by posting signs in conspicuous locations; snow play in violation of posted signs is prohibited.3
  • Recreational vehicles (RVs) are prohibited in all group camp sites except Dorst. A maximum of two RVs or trailers are permitted for each Dorst group site. Use is limited to the inside of the RV (cooking, sleeping, recreation, etc.) All other activities must take place out of the parking area.4
  • Possession of a glass container within 50 feet of any river is prohibited, except in designated campsites and picnic areas.5
  • Cloth Face Coverings6

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

1. All common areas and shared workspaces in buildings owned, rented or leased by the National Park Service, including, but not limited to, park visitor centers, administrative offices, lodges, gift shops and restaurants.
2. The following outdoor areas, when others are present, where the superintendent has determined that physical distancing (staying at least six feet apart) cannot reasonably be maintained:

  • Park Amphitheaters (Cedar Grove, Grant Grove, Dorst, Lodgepole, Foothills)
  • Shuttle busses
  • Moro Rock
  • Crystal Cave Trail
  • Crystal Cave
  • In the area surrounding government buildings where physical distancing is not possible, including any time you are within six feet of a uniformed/identified government employee, volunteer, partner, or cooperator engaged in official duties.

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.

  • FILMING7

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 outside of areas managed as wilderness 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 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.

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.


CLOSURES

  • The following roads are closed to public vehicular traffic during the winter months (when posted or gated).8:
  • Mineral King Road above the Conifer Gate at milepost 17.64.9
  • Middle Fork Road from Hospital Rock to Buckeye Flat Campground and to the Middle Fork Trailhead.
  • Crystal Cave Road
  • Crescent Meadow / Moro Rock Road
  • The Generals Highway between Red Fir Maintenance Area and the Wye, or portions thereof
  • Panoramic Point Road
  • All roads within the Cedar Grove area
  • The following roads are closed to all vehicular traffic:
    • All roads within the Dillonwood Grove area.10
  • All Roads within the Oriole Lake Road complex within Sequoia National Park except for property owners accessing private residences.11
  • The following roads are closed to public vehicular traffic:
  • The Shepherd Saddle Road (except bicycles).12
  • The following former roads, which are located within recommended or eligible wilderness, are closed to public vehicular traffic, including bicycles: 13
    • Colony Mill Trail from the Crystal Cave Road to the Sequoia National Park boundary.
  • North Fork / West Boundary Trail from Yucca Flat to Hidden Spring.
  • Redwood Canyon Trail
  • Moro Rock / Crescent Meadow Road is closed to all vehicular traffic each Saturday, Sunday, and federal holiday weekend while the park shuttle is operating except for:14
  • Vehicles transporting visitors with valid wilderness permits for the Crescent Meadow Trailhead,
  • Vehicles bearing disabled placards,
  • Commercial passenger carrying motor vehicles less than 22 feet in length, or
  • Sequoia National Park shuttles
  • The following areas are closed to public entry, except when accompanied by a park official, or when entry is authorized by the Superintendent:
  • All facilities and buildings used for the storage, treatment, or transmission of electricity, gas, telephone, waste disposal, and domestic water. The roads that service these facilities are also closed to public access when gated and/or posted.15
  • All park helibases and helispots.16
  • All management class 4, 5, and 6 caves.17
  • Moro and Chimney Rocks are closed to rock climbing from April 1 through August 15 in the areas described below. All or parts of the closure may be rescinded if it is determined by the Superintendent to be unnecessary to protect nesting Peregrine Falcons. When a closure has been lifted, signs on the areas bulletin boards will be posted showing all or parts of the areas that are open to rock climbing.18
  • CHIMNEY ROCK SEASONAL AREA CLOSURE DESCRIPTION
    • The following describe a triangle that encompasses the area closure (GPS Data Format UTM NAD83) (Attachment 1 – Chimney Rock Seasonal Peregrine Closure Map):
    • From 332897e, 4058397n southeasterly along the USFS/NPS border to 333321e, 4057713n From 333321e, 4057713n northwesterly, in a straight line to 332486e, 4058128n
    • From 332897e, 4058397n in a straight line southwesterly to 332486e, 4058128n
  • This closure includes, but is not limited to, the following climbing areas: Chimney Rock and Chimney Spire, The Monk, Camp Ridge (Crystal Wall), and Chartreuse Dicephalon. Access to Sasquatch Spire, Moccasin Ridge, and Moccasin Spire is also closed during closures.
  • MORO ROCK SEASONAL AREA CLOSURE DESCRIPTION:

All rock climbing routes between (and including) “South Face” and “Full Metal Jacket”.

  • Unmanned Aircraft Closure:
  • 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, communications 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.
  • Closure: Launching, landing or operating an unmanned aircraft from or on lands and waters administered by the National Park Service within the boundaries of Sequoia and Kings Canyon National Parks is prohibited except as approved in writing by the Superintendent.19
  • Storing non-food items in shared food storage lockers is prohibited.
  • Storing caches of food in shared food storage lockers is prohibited. The owner of food in a shared food storage locker must remain camped nearby.

(a)(2) Specific use or activity designations, conditions, and restrictions

  • Climbing or attempting to climb Giant Sequoia (Sequoiadendron giganteum) trees is prohibited without a permit.20
  • Prior to entering park caves, clothing (worn or carried) and other supplies and equipment (cameras, purses, packs, pads, food, or other portables) that have been inside any cave, mine or other environment that could potentially expose these items to white-nose syndrome fungus must first be disinfected according to the US Fish and Wildlife Service protocols.21
  • The use of flotation devices, boats, or rafts is prohibited on the South Fork of the Kings River from Bubbs Creek Bridge downstream to the Kings Canyon National Park boundary.22
  • Generators may not be used in the following campground areas: Lodgepole sites 36- 60 (RV’s and tents) and sites 69 – 150 (tents only) and Dorst sites 74 – 127 (tents only).23
  • Generators use is restricted in Lodgepole and Dorst Campgrounds to the following hours: 8 a.m. – 11 a.m. and 5 p.m. – 8 p.m. in designated sites.24
  • Passenger buses are subject to the following condition/restriction on all park roads within Sequoia and Kings Canyon National Parks:25
  • Buses must shut down their engines when not underway.
  • Buses are allowed to idle up to 15 minutes to allow the driver to complete their legally required Pre-Trip Vehicle Inspection.
  • All other idling shall not exceed 5 minutes.
 

Section 1.6(f) – Activities requiring a permit26

§1.5(a)(2) Outdoor filming activities in of areas managed as wilderness; outdoor filming involving six or more persons or equipment that cannot be carried at all times, except for small tripods used to hold cameras.
§2.4(d) Carrying or possessing a weapon, trap, or net
§2.5(a) Specimen collection (taking of plants, fish, wildlife, rocks or minerals)
§2.10(a) Overnight camping

§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.

§2.13(a) Lighting or maintaining a fire
§2.15(e) Possession of pets by park residents
§2.16(g) Overnight use of horses and pack animals in wilderness areas
§2.17 Aircraft and 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) Entry to the park and use of campgrounds
§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, and §2.52).
§2.38 Explosives

  • Use, possess, store, or transport explosives or blasting agents
  • Use or possess fireworks

§2.50(a) Conducting a sports event, pageant, regatta, public spectator attraction, entertainment, ceremony, or similar events.
§2.51(a) Public assemblies, meetings, gatherings, demonstrations, parades, and other public expressions or views in groups exceeding 25 people.
§2.52(a) Sale or distribution of printed matter that is not solely commercial advertising (printed material that is solely commercial advertising is prohibited) in groups exceeding 25 people.
§2.60(a) Grazing of horses and pack animals (wilderness permit)
§2.60(b) Stock use (except day use). Stock is defined as horses, mules, donkeys, burros, and llamas only.
§2.61(b) Residing on federal lands.
§2.62 Memorialization: Erection of monuments (requires approval from Regional Director)
§4.11(a) Exceeding of established vehicle load, weight and size limits.
§5.1 Advertisements (display, posting or distribution).
§5.2(b) Sale of intoxicants on private lands.27
§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).
§5.4(a) Commercial transportation of passengers by motor vehicles.
§5.5(a) Commercial photography: 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 and adjacent to the park when access is otherwise not available).
§5.7 Construction of buildings, facilities, trails, roads, boat docks, paths, structures, etc.
§5.10(a) Operation of eating, drinking, or lodging establishments
§7.8 Special Regulations: Sequoia and Kings Canyon National Parks

  • (c)(1) Constructing, rebuilding, or altering any building, water supply, or sewage disposal system.
  • (e)(2) Snowmobile use – limited to providing access to owners of private property in Wilsonia and Mineral King.
 

36 CFR PART 2 – RESOURCE PROTECTION, PUBLIC USE AND RECREATION

Section 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 parks in all areas except:28

  • Where campfires are prohibited,
  • Sequoia Groves listed in Table 5 (p. 65) in the Wilderness Stewardship Plan (WSP)
  • All other areas listed in Section 2.13

(c)(1)(2) The following fruits, nuts, and berries may be gathered by hand for personal consumption, in accordance with the noted size, quantity, collection sites and/or use consumption:29

One (1) pint per person, per day, wherever found, for immediate consumption for:

  • Blackberries
  • Bilberries and Huckleberries (Genus Vaccinium)
  • Currants and Gooseberries (Genus Ribes)
  • Elderberries
  • Fungi, edible*
  • Raspberries
  • Strawberries
  • Currants
  • Thimbleberries
  • Elderberries
  • Watercress (leaves only)*
  • Wild onions (tops only)*

* Must be cut, not pulled

Section 2.2 – Wildlife Protection

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

1. The carcass must be tagged in accordance with state law; AND
2. Game must be kept out of sight as much as practicable; AND
3. Legally taken wildlife may only be transported in the following areas:

Grant Grove Highway: 180 through Grant Grove, and the Generals Highway to Highway 180 in Grant Grove, in order for hunters to leave the park by the most direct route without delay from adjacent National Forest lands, and for Hume Lake, Wilsonia, and park residents to access their private residences.
Cedar Grove: Cedar Grove Road from the park boundary to private residences within the park (park residents only).
Lodgepole: Those portions of the Generals Highway and access roads from the northern boundary of Sequoia National Park to Wuksachi, Lodgepole or Giant Forest (park residents only).
Ash Mountain: Generals Highway from the Ash Mountain Entrance at Highway 198 to private residences within the park (private landowners and park residents only).
Mineral King: Mineral King Road from the park boundary to private residences within the park in Mineral King and Silver City (cabin-owners, cabin-permittees, and park residents only), or from wilderness trailheads to the park boundary or private residences within the park.

(e) All areas of the parks are closed to the viewing of wildlife with the use of an artificial light.

Section 2.3 – Fishing

Definition:
Developed Area: area within one-quarter (1/4) mile of buildings, campgrounds, picnic areas, or parking lots that accommodate more than five (5) vehicles.30

The following Special Regulation applies in addition to Federal and State law:

In waters below 9,000 feet elevation31 that are not located in a Developed Area:

  • Rainbow Trout, Sacramento Sucker, Kern Rainbow, Sculpin, and Roach Fish must be released.
  • Only barbless artificial flies or lures are authorized

Section 2.10 – Camping and Food Storage

(a) The Superintendent may require permits, designate sites or areas, and establish conditions for camping:

NON-WILDERNESS CAMPING
Permits:

  • Expanded amenity fees, if applicable, shall be paid immediately upon campsite occupancy.
  • Permits cannot be transferred, sold, or purchased beyond initial issuance.
  • First-come first-served campsites may not be reserved for individuals that may be arriving later. A campsite is considered occupied when it has been paid for, the permit receipt is attached to the numbered post, and there is some evidence of occupancy (chairs, tent, camping equipment, etc.) in the site.
  • Campsites may not be sublet.


Designated Non-wilderness Campgrounds:

  • Ash Mountain / Foothills: Buckeye Flat, Potwisha, South Fork
  • Cedar Grove: Canyon View, Moraine, Sentinel, Sheep Creek
  • Grant Grove: Azalea, Crystal Spring, Sunset
  • Lodgepole: Dorst Creek, Lodgepole
  • Mineral King: Atwell Mill, Cold Springs

Conditions:

  • Camping in designated campgrounds is limited to 30 days total during the calendar year, with no more than 14 days falling between the night of June 14th and the night of September 14th.
  • No more than six individuals are permitted to sleep in a single (non-group) site.
  • No more than one vehicle is permitted to park at any site in the Buckeye Campground. Vehicles must be in the designated parking area, and may not obstruct traffic.
  • No more than two vehicles are permitted to park at any non-group site. Not all sites will accommodate more than one vehicle.
  • Vehicles must be in the designated parking area and may not obstruct traffic.
  • Group sites (mid-size and large) are designated on campground maps in Canyon View, Crystal Springs, and Dorst Campgrounds.
  • Check-out time is 12:00 pm (noon).

WILDERNESS CAMPING32:
Permits:

  • All persons entering areas managed as wilderness and remaining overnight (on foot or with stock) must possess a valid Wilderness Use Permit issued by one of the following:
  • The National Park Service
  • The National Forest Service
  • The Pacific Crest Trail Association (PCTA) - This permit is valid for those traveling more than 500 miles along the Pacific Crest Trail (PCT). Permit holders may conduct day trips off of the PCT, but may not camp more than ½ mile from the PCT.
  • Permits for overnight use are only valid for entry to the wilderness at a specified location, date, and party size.
  • Permits issued by the PCTA are only valid for continuous travel in the direction indicated on the permit. PCTA permits are valid only within 35 days of arrival at Kennedy Meadows South at PCT mile 702 (northbound direction of travel) or Sonora Pass at PCT mile 1017 (southbound direction of travel).
  • Exiting from wilderness in Sequoia and Kings Canyon National Parks and remaining outside of wilderness overnight shall invalidate a SEKI Wilderness Use Permit.
  • A permit issued by the NPS shall serve as a campfire permit. All others must obtain a Campfire Permit at: https://www.readyforwildfire.org/permits/campfire-permit/. Terms and conditions of the campfire permits are listed in Section 2.13 (below).
  • The SEKI Minimum Impact Restrictions constitute additional terms and conditions of the permit; violation of any term or condition is prohibited. (See Attachment 2: SEKI Minimum Impact Restrictions).
  • The Annual Stock Use and Grazing Restrictions (See Attachments 4 and 5: Sequoia/Kings Canyon Stock Use and Grazing Restrictions) constitute additional terms and conditions of the permit for groups with stock; violation of any term or condition is prohibited.


Designated Wilderness Campsites and Camping Area Restrictions33:

  • Camping is prohibited within 1 mile of any road or developed area.
  • Camping is prohibited between the trailhead and the “First Allowable camp” listed in the WSP except when those areas are completely snow covered.34
  • Camping in cross-country areas is prohibited within one mile of roads and developed areas.
  • Camping on vegetation is prohibited.
  • Camping or staying overnight in the John Muir Memorial Shelter near Muir Pass and in the Mount Whitney Shelter on the summit of Mount Whitney is prohibited.
  • Camping is prohibited between the Crabtree Ranger Station and the summit of Mount Whitney for hikers traveling on PCTA issued permits.

Specific areas closed to camping are:

  • Bullfrog Lake - within ¼ mile of the lake;
  • Lakes Trail area – at Heather Lake and in the Marble Fork drainage below Emerald and Pear lakes;
  • Eagle Lake - no camping between the trail and Eagle Lake;
  • Mosquito Lake - no camping within ¼ mile of Mosquito Lake #1;
  • Hockett Meadow - no camping between the trail and Whitman Creek; and
  • Timberline Lake area - Lake – within ¼ mile of the lake;
  • Columbine Lake – within 100 feet of the lake;
  • The following sequoia groves: Atwell, Big Stump, Clough Cave, Coffeepot, Dillonwood,
    Forgotten, Giant Forest, Grant, Lost, Muir, Sequoia Creek, and Suwanee;
  • Buena Vista, Big Baldy, Little Baldy, Tokopah Falls Valley, Giant Forest and Crystal Cave areas,
    and Marble Falls.35


Specific areas where camping is only allowed in designated sites/campgrounds:

  • In designated sites in Lower Paradise Valley
  • In designated sites at Emerald Lake and Pear Lake
  • In the designated campground at Bearpaw Meadow


Length of Stay/Night Limits

  • Camping is limited to stays of 14 consecutive nights within ¼ mile radius at a single location, 25 total nights per trip, and 75 total nights in SEKI wilderness per year, except:
    • 3 night limit: Emerald and Pear Lakes (combined); and Lower and Upper Soldier Lakes (combined).
    • 2 Night Limit: Charlotte Lake; Colony Mill Road Trail; Crabtree/Whitney Creek area; Don Cecil Trail; Dusy Basin (basin-wide); Guitar Lake/Mt. Whitney area; JMT from Woods Creek Crossing to Vidette Meadow (any one location, excluding Rae Lakes Basin, see below); Kearsarge Lakes Basin (basin-wide); North Dome; Paradise Valley (valley-wide);and Redwood Canyon (area-wide):
    • 1 Night Limit: Hamilton Lake (basin-wide); and Rae Lakes Basin from Dollar Lake to Glen Pass (per-lake)
 

Party Size Limits36

  • Parties with separate wilderness permits, but sharing the same affiliation (school, church, club, scout group, family, friends, etc. or any combination thereof) may not travel or camp within one half (0.5) mile of each other if the total number of people exceeds fifteen.37

Non-stock parties:

  • On-trail day use – 25 people
  • On-trail overnight use – 15 people
  • Off trail in excess of ½ mile from a maintained trail – 12 people
  • Area specific restrictions
    • 10 people – Redwood Canyon
    • 8 people – Colony Mill Road Trail; Don Cecil Trail; Dusy Basin; Darwin Canyon / Lamarck Col Mount Whitney Management Area / Mount Langley; (Sixty Lake Basin; and Sphinx Lakes. Area specific limits apply to all class 1 trails in areas listed.
 

Stock Parties

  • The maximum number of stock allowed per camping party in SEKI wilderness areas is twenty (20). Some areas have more restrictive limits (See Attachments 4 and 5).
  • Day Rides – 20 People, 20 Stock, 40 Combined total
  • On-trail overnight, spot and dunnage trips – 15 people, 20 Stock, 28 Combined total
  • Off-trail – 12 People, 12 Stock, 14 Combined
  • Area specific restrictions:
    • Redwood Canyon (10 People, 10 Stock)
    • Upper Goddard Canyon/Martha Lake (12 People, 12 Stock, 14 Combined)
    • Day Rides Only – 8 Combined, on-trail only:
      • Sixty Lakes Basin – Trail is closed to stock 1.8 miles from JMT Junction
      • Miter Basin above Penned Up Meadow – on the Class 1 trail.
 

(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 only authorized in the following designated areas:

  • Previously well-established campsites that are more than 25 feet from the water.

(d) Conditions for the storage of food are in effect, as noted, for the following areas:

For the purpose of the following food storage restrictions, “food items” shall be defined as food (human, pet and stock), food-tainted garbage and recyclables (empty cans and bottles, food wrappers, etc.), toiletries such as soap, toothpaste, and cosmetics, and any creams, ointments, or lotions. Food containers, such as ice chests and coolers shall also be considered “food items”, unless they are completely empty and free of food particles. Dirty, non-disposable tableware and cookware must be washed or stored as a food item.

Failure to store food by one of the following acceptable methods is prohibited.

Non-Wilderness Areas:
All food items must be stored in food storage lockers except:

  • When food is being used, prepared or consumed,
  • In residences and lodging, food items must be stored inside and not be visible from the exterior.
  • In hard-sided motor homes or travel trailers that contain built-in refrigerators, food items must be stored inside and not be visible from the exterior. Vehicle doors and windows must be closed and shades must be drawn when the vehicle is not occupied.
  • Food items may not be stored in soft-topped vehicles.
  • In areas where food storage lockers are not provided, food items must be stored inside a vehicle trunk or, if the vehicle has no trunk, must be placed as low in the vehicle as possible and not be visible from the exterior. Vehicle doors and windows must be closed.

Wilderness Areas:
Food items must be stored in one of the following ways, in descending order of preference:

  • In a portable food storage container (pannier, steel drum with a locking metal lid, or a portable container) that is allowed by SEKI for use in the Parks (Attachment 5: SEKI Allowed Food Storage Containers for Use).36 All other container models and sizes not specifically listed are prohibited as the sole method of food storage, including those by the same manufacturers and with the same construction.
  • In a designated food storage locker.
  • Suspended from a branch with the food remaining at least twelve (12) feet above the ground, five (5) feet below the branch, and ten (10) feet horizontally from the tree trunk, or other vertical support, using the SEKI counterbalance technique. (ww.nps.gov/seki/planyourvisit/bearhang.htm). In locations without access to a food storage locker or trees adequate to hang food within these parameters, an allowed portable food storage container is required.
 

Specified Restricted Wilderness Areas (Attachment 6 – Container Requirement Areas):
The following areas are defined as the Specified Restricted Wilderness Area:

  • Within the wilderness area bordered by the following landmarks: Sawmill Pass and the Woods Creek drainage on the north, Forester Pass and the Kings/Kern Divide on the south, the Sierra Crest on the east, and Cedar Grove, South Fork of the Kings River, and Sphinx Crest on the west. (All trail corridors and cross-country routes within the area are included in this restriction.)
  • Within the Dusy Basin wilderness areas including all camp areas from Bishop Pass to the junction with the John Muir Trail in LeConte Canyon and all cross-country areas in Dusy Basin and Palisades Basin.
  • Within the Rock Creek wilderness areas of Sequoia National Park including all camp areas in the Rock Creek drainage, including Miter Basin, Soldier Lake, Siberian Outpost and Rock Creek proper. Specifically, the area is defined as areas (including cross country routes) in the Rock Creek drainage west of Cottonwood and New Army Passes, south of Crabtree Pass, south of Guyot Pass, and northnorthwest of the Sequoia National Park boundary and Siberian Pass.
  • • Climbing routes on North Dome.
  • Within the Emerald and Pear Lake Basins, encompassing the legal campsites for those lakes.


The following food storage regulations apply in the Specific Restricted Wilderness Area:

1. From May 1 through October 31, all parties must have SEKI allowed food storage containers with the capacity to store all food items.37 All food items must be stored in these containers when food is not being used, prepared or consumed.
2. Stock parties must have SEKI allowed panniers and/or steel drums with locking lids.

Section 2.13 – Fires

(a)(1) The lighting or maintaining of fires is prohibited, except in designated areas under established conditions:40

Definitions:
Campfires: Open fires (on the ground or in a container including burn barrels, enclosed fireplace stands, and charcoal grills) using natural or native fuels or charcoal.
Gas Fires: Fires with a contained fuel source including propane, butane, kerosene, natural gas, white gas, chafing fuel, etc. that use no other solid fuels (wood, charcoal, paper, cardboard, etc.) to remain ignited.

Designated Areas and Conditions:
Campfires:

  • Developed front country campgrounds with a valid camping permit.
  • Picnic areas shown on the park map within the established or visitor provided cooking receptacles with a valid park entrance permit.
  • Park residential areas including inholdings with a valid housing agreement, travel authorization, special use permit, or property deed.
  • Various locations designated by special permit that may be issued by the Superintendent to private property owners or contractors for the purpose of burning slash or debris piles.
  • Wilderness areas with a valid Wilderness Use Permit, except in the following areas41:
  • Kings Canyon National Park:
  • Above 10,000 feet elevation
  • Granite Basin
  • Redwood Canyon
  • Kaweah River Drainage:
  • Above 9,000 feet elevation
  • Hamilton Lakes Basin
  • Mineral King Valley above the Mineral King Ranger Station
  • Pinto Lake.
  • Kern River drainage:
  • Above 10,000 feet elevation
  • Tule River Drainage
  • Above 9,000 feet elevation
  • Summit Lake Basin
  • Only dead and down wood may be used for campfires. Chopping or removing wood from trees or other vegetation is prohibited. Campfires must be attended at all times.
  • Fires are prohibited in Sequoia Groves, except Cahoon Creek, Castle Creek, Cedar Flat, Dennison, Devils Canyon, Douglass, East Fork, Eden Creek, Garfield, Granite Creek, Horse Creek, Little Redwood Meadow, Oriole Lake Grove, Redwood Meadow, South Fork, and Squirrel Creek.

Gas Fires:

  • Developed front country campgrounds with a valid camping permit
  • Established picnic areas and within 20 feet of picnic tables not located in established picnic areas with a valid park entrance permit.
  • Park residential areas including inholdings with a valid housing agreement, travel authorization,
    special use permit, or property deed.
  • Wilderness areas with a valid Wilderness Use Permit.

Other Conditions:

  • At the discretion of the Superintendent, fires may be prohibited during some periods and/or at specified locations when poor air quality conditions exist.

(c) During periods of high fire danger, the superintendent may close all or a portion of a park area to the lighting or maintaining of a fire.42

  • Further restrictions will be posted and published upon the superintendent’s approval of heightened Fire Restrictions. (See Attachment 7). These restrictions will replace the “Designated Areas and Conditions” section of 2.13(a)(1) listed above.
 

Section 2.15 – Pets

(a)(1) Possessing a pet is prohibited except within 100 feet of the edge of established roads or
parking areas open to the public, and within established campgrounds and picnic areas. Pets
are prohibited on established trails.

(a)(3) Park residents may leave their pets unattended and tied within the boundaries of their yards.

(a)(5) Pet feces in campgrounds, campsites, residential areas, lawns, and within 100 feet of public buildings must be properly disposed of by the person responsible for the pet.

(e) Park residents (NPS employees, concession employees and contractors) may keep pets in
accordance with the current Management Directive No. 46 - Pet Policy. See Attachment 8:
Management Directive No. 46 – Pet Policy).

Section 2.16 – Horses and Pack Animals43

 
 

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

  1. Routes and areas designated for the use of horses and pack animals are all areas except designated campgrounds, picnic areas, amphitheaters, paved roads and paved trails and such closures as identified in the annual Stock Use and Grazing Restrictions handouts.
  2. Stock Access and Travel (including grazing conditions) in wilderness is quantified in the WSP, Alternative 2, Element 8, pages 71-75. In those areas where overnight stock use is allowed, stock may travel up to ½ mile from trails to access campsites. In areas only open to day-use, stock may travel up to 100 yards from trails.
  3. The Sixty Lake Basin Trail is closed to stock beyond a point 1.8 miles from the junction of the JMT and the Sixty Lake Basin Trail.

(d) Free-trailing or loose-herding is allowed only as necessary for crossing steep rock passes or where exposure is great and there is danger of animals falling off the trail.

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

  • Grazing is permitted in accordance with the terms and conditions pursuant to the annual SEKI Stock Use and Grazing Restrictions handouts, Stock Users Guide, and annual opening date announcements (See Attachments 4 & 5). Specific meadow grazing permissible dates may change due to actual field conditions. It is the responsibility of the user to check on meadow status with the Wilderness Office before beginning a trip.
  • Meadows may be further restricted and/or closed to grazing based on conditions – see WSP, Alternative 2, Element 8, and Appendix D.
  • The maximum number of stock allowed per party is twenty (20) – see Party Size Limits under Section 2.10 above. Some areas have lower limits pursuant to the WSP, and as identified in the annual SEKI Stock Use and Grazing Restrictions and in the Stock User’s Guide.
  • When confinement of stock is necessary, use existing hitch rails or a picket line between two trees or rocks on a flat, hard, non-vegetated site at least 100 feet away from the trail, water, and camp.
  • All manure shall be removed and scattered from within 100 feet of campsites.
  • Dead stock must be moved at least 300 feet from trails, designated campsites, water and water sources within 72 hours. A park employee must be notified of the location of the animal within 72 hours of death.
  • California or Nevada certified weed-free forage (baled or loose hay, hay cubes, or straw bedding) is required when using hay products as supplemental or substitute forage or bedding in frontcountry zones. Feed carried into wilderness must be commercially processed pellets, rolled grains, or fermented hay (e.g., Chaffhaye™). Baled or loose hay and compressed hay cubes are prohibited in wilderness.
  • The areas between the park boundary near the Kern Ranger Station and Laurel Creek are closed to public grazing.
  • Grazing of meadows between Laurel Creek and the Kern-Kaweah River is limited to parties accessing the canyon from the west, north, or east. Parties entering the park from the south passing through USFS lands are prohibited from grazing and required to hold stock once velvet grass begins flowering.
  • Violation of any restriction in the Annual SEKI Stock Use and Grazing Restrictions (Attachments 4 and 5) is prohibited.

Section 2.17 – Aircraft and Delivery

(c)(1) The removal of downed aircraft, components, or parts thereof is subject to procedures established by the superintendent through written authorization.

Section 2.20 – Skating, Skateboards, and Similar Devices

The use of roller skates, skateboards, scooters, coasting vehicles, and similar non-motorized devices is prohibited, except within residential areas.

Section 2.21 – Smoking

(a) Smoking is prohibited in the following locations:

  • All government owned buildings and structures, including all restrooms, except employees’ residences with consent of the occupant(s).
  • All government owned or leased vehicles.
  • Within 50 feet of gasoline pumps and flammable substance storage areas.
  • Further restrictions will be posted and published upon the superintendent’s approval of heightened Fire Restrictions (See Attachment 7).

Section 2.22 – Property

(a)(2) Property may be left unattended for periods longer than 24 hours in following areas and under the following conditions:

  • Motor vehicles may be left unattended for up to 30 days at trailhead parking and residential areas.
 

Section 2.23 – Recreation Fees

(a) 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:

Entrance Fee Areas:
Park entrance fees are collected at the following locations:

  • Big Stump Entrance, Grant Grove
  • Ash Mountain Entrance, Ash Mountain
  • Mineral King Ranger Station, Mineral King

Non-Commercial Fees:

  • Vehicle Pass - $35.00
  • Motorcycle Pass - $30.00
  • Individual Entry Pass - $20.00
  • Non-Commercial Group in 16+ passenger vehicle - $15.00 per person (excludes driver and individuals under 16 years of age)

Commercial Group Fees:

  • Commercial Group, 1-6 Passenger Capacity - $25.00 plus $10 per person
  • Commercial Group, 7-15 Passenger Capacity - $75.00
  • Commercial Group, 16-25 Passenger Capacity - $100.00
  • Commercial Group, 26+ Passenger Capacity - $200.00

Daily Site Use Fee Areas:
Campgrounds (Non-group, 1-6 people)

  • Atwell Mill $12
  • Azalea (summer) $18
  • Azalea (winter) $10
  • Buckeye Flat $22
  • Cold Springs $12
  • Crystal Springs $18
  • Dorst $22
  • Lodgepole $22
  • Moraine $18
  • Potwisha $22
  • Sentinel $22
  • Sheep Creek $18
  • South Fork $6
  • Sunset $22

Group Campgrounds (Maximum occupancy)

  • Canyon View B (30 people) $50
  • Canyon View A, C, & D (40 people) $60
  • Canyon View G Sites (19 people) $40
  • Crystal Springs (15 people) $40
  • Dorst A & B (25 people) $50
  • Dorst C (50 people) $70
  • Dorst D (40 people) $60
  • Sunset A&B (30 people) $50
Wilderness Camping Fees:

During the trailhead quota season (from late May to late September) a wilderness fee of $10 per permit, plus $5 per person is required.

 

Section 2.50 – Special Events

  • Permits are required for any special event utilizing park areas.
  • Special events such as walk-a-thons, races, endurance runs or competitive events, commercial or otherwise, will not be permitted in wilderness areas.
  • Solicitation activities (per 36 CFR 2.37) require a permit.

Section 2.51 – Demonstrations/ Section 2.52 – Sale or Distribution of Printed Matter

(b) Demonstrations of more than 25 people are allowed within park areas designated as available under paragraph (c)(2) when the superintendent has issued a permit for the activity.

(c)(2) The areas listed below are designated for demonstrations and the sale or distribution of printed matter. These areas may be occupied by groups of 25 or fewer persons without a permit provided that all the terms of 36 CFR 2.51 and 2.52 are met and when these locations are not being utilized for previously scheduled public or administrative purposes. (See Attachment 9 – Maps):
Ash Mountain: On the lawn adjacent to the picnic area that is directly across the Generals Highway from the Foothills Visitor Center as depicted on the map.
Mineral King: The area immediately south of the Mineral King Ranger Station as depicted on the map.
Lodgepole:

1) The area southeast of the Lodgepole Visitor Center adjacent to the visitor parking lot as depicted on the map,
2) The area northwest of the Giant Forest Museum as depicted on the map,
3) The Lodgepole Campground Amphitheater, or
4) The Dorst Campground Amphitheater.

Grant Grove:

1) The area next to the footpath just southeast of the Grant Grove restaurant as depicted on the map, or
2) The Sunset Campground Amphitheater.

Cedar Grove:

1) The east-west oriented sidewalk on the north side of the Cedar Grove Lodge, excluding the intersection with the north-south sidewalk on the west side of the Cedar Grove Lodge as depicted on the map, or
2) The Cedar Grove Amphitheater.42

Section 2.62 – Memorialization

(b) The scattering of ashes from cremated human remains is allowed without a permit under the following terms and conditions:

  • The remains to be scattered must have been process by pulverization after cremation.
  • The scattering of remains by persons on the ground is to be performed at least 100 yards from any trail, road, developed facility, or body of water
  • The scattering of remains from the air is to be performed at a minimum altitude of 2000 feet above ground level.
  • No scattering of remains from the air is to be performed over developed areas, facilities, or bodies of water.
  • No markers are permitted.
  • No publicity may be given to this activity. When a permit is issued, except for the authorization to disperse human remains by scattering, nothing in the permit shall be construed as authorizing an entry or activity otherwise prohibited or restricted by law or regulation.
 

36 CFR PART 4 – VEHICLES AND TRAFFIC SAFETY

Section 4.10 – Travel on Park Roads and Routes

(a) Park roads open for travel by motor vehicles are indicated in the “Official Map and Guide for Sequoia and Kings Canyon National Parks”.

Section 4.11 – Load, Weight, and Size Limits

(a) The following load, weight and size limits, which are more restrictive than State law, apply to the following roads (does not apply to snow plowing equipment or emergency vehicles):

Crystal Cave Road:

  • All vehicles with a cumulative length over 22 feet are prohibited.


Generals Highway between Potwisha and Giant Forest Museum:

  • Single vehicles over 40 feet long are prohibited.
  • Combination vehicles over 50 feet long are prohibited.


Mineral King Road:

  • Single vehicles over 40 feet long are prohibited.
  • Combination vehicles over 50 feet long are prohibited.


Moro Rock/Crescent Meadow Road:

  • Single vehicles over 22 feet long are prohibited.
  • All combination vehicles are prohibited.

This exclusion shall not apply to the following vehicles:

  • Government vehicles
  • Park shuttle busses
  • Vehicles with current/valid handicap placards displayed
  • Vehicles with current/valid Commercial Use Authorizations or Special Use Permit for Sequoia and Kings Canyon National Parks with access as a specific term of permit

Motorhomes and trailers are prohibited in the following campgrounds and roads:

  • Atwell Mill
  • Cold Springs
  • Buckeye Flat
  • Canyon View
  • Panoramic Point Road

Section 4.21 – Speed Limits

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

(i) 10 MPH:

  • Panoramic Point Road.

(ii) 15 MPH:

  • On the Generals Highway where posted:

From Canyon View Drive to North of the Entrance Station
South of the Visitor Center to Alder Creek
Encompassing the Tunnel Rock visitor use area
Encompassing the Hospital Rock visitor use area
Encompassing the Giant Forest Museum visitor use area

  • Sycamore Drive
  • On the Mineral King Road where posted:
Encompassing Silver City
West of Faculty Flat to east of the Mineral King Ranger Station
  • Grant Tree Road below Columbine Picnic Area
  • On Highway 180 encompassing the Big Stump Entrance Station

(iii) 25 MPH:

  • On the Generals Highway where posted:

From Alder Creek to Tunnel Rock
From Tunnel Rock to Hospital Rock
From Hospital Rock to the Giant Forest Museum
From the Giant Forest Museum to North of the General Sherman Tree main accessible parking
Encompassing the Lodgepole Road and River Road intersections
Encompassing the Little Baldy Trailhead parking
Encompassing the Dorst Creek Campground access road
Encompassing the Lost Grove visitor use area

  • On the Mineral King Road except the 15 MPH areas described above
  • On the Crystal Cave Road where posted
  • On the Crescent Meadow / Moro Rock Road where posted
  • On Highway 180 where posted:

Encompassing The Wye
From Park Road to the Grant Grove Corrals

  • On the Redwood Saddle Road

Northside Drive
Westside Drive

(iv) 30 MPH:

On the Generals Highway from north of the Entrance Station to Park Headquarters

(v) 35 MPH:

  • On the Generals Highway where posted

From the General Sherman Tree to Lodgepole

From Lodgepole to the Red Fir Gate

  • On the Wolverton Road where posted
  • On Highway 180 where posted:

from the Big Stump Entrance Station to the Wye
From the Wye to Park Road
From the Grant Grove Corrals to the North Boundary
From the West Park Boundary at Lewis Creek to Roads End

Section 4.30 – Bicycles

(b) Routes may only be designated for bicycle use based on a written determination that such use is consistent with the protection of a park area's natural, scenic and aesthetic values, safety
considerations and management objectives and will not disturb wildlife or park resources.43

The following routes in developed areas or special use zones have been designated for bicycle use:
  • The Shepherd Saddle Road from the government corrals to the park boundary.
  • The Park Ridge Fire Road from near the Panoramic Point parking lot to the Park Ridge Fire Lookout.

(f) Closures and other use restrictions.

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

E-bikes are allowed in Sequoia and Kings Canyon National Parks 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).

Except as specified in this Compendium, the use of an e-bike within Sequoia and Kings Canyon National Parks 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.46

When used as an ‘Other Power-Driven Mobility Device’ (OPDMD) as defined by the Americans with Disabilities Act, e-bikes are permitted as OPDMDs where pedestrian traffic is allowed with the following exceptions and restrictions:

In Structures: OPDMDs will be permitted within structures and on paved walkways where the size of the OPDMD will permit easy access to turn and navigate. Their speed is limited to the flow of pedestrian traffic, or 3 MPH, whichever is less.

On Trail: In general, individuals will be responsible to determine for themselves the feasibility of utilizing an OPDMD based on the nature of the pedestrian traffic and condition of the trail. Their speed is limited to the flow of pedestrian traffic, or 5 MPH, whichever is less.

Off Trail: OPDMDs are generally not permitted off trail, except within areas impacted by roadside corridors, within campgrounds, or other areas where travel will not significantly adversely impact natural resources. Their speed is limited to the flow of pedestrian traffic, or 5 MPH, whichever is less.

Prohibitions: Several locations are not suitable for OPDMDs. In general, unpaved trails do not provide a stable surface and may include hazards (steps, switchbacks, water bars, etc.) that would impede an OPDMD. They are specifically prohibited on Moro Rock, Beetle Rock, and Muir Rock.

Certification: Employees are authorized to ask the person using OPDMDs to provide credible assurance that the device is used because of a disability. If the person presents a valid, State-issued disability parking placard or card or a State-issued proof of disability, that must be accepted as credible assurance on its face. If the person does not have this documentation, but states verbally that the OPDMD is being used because of a mobility disability, that also must be accepted as credible assurance, unless the person is observed doing something that contradicts the assurance. For example, if a person is observed running and jumping, that may be evidence that contradicts the person's assertion of a mobility disability. It is very important to understand that the fact that a person with a disability is able to walk for a short distance does not necessarily contradict a verbal assurance -- many people with mobility disabilities can walk, but need their mobility device for longer distances or uneven terrain. This is particularly true for people who lack stamina, have poor balance, or use mobility devices because of respiratory, cardiac, or neurological disabilities.47

Using an e-bike as an OPDMD in violation of this section is prohibited.

Section 4.31 – Hitchhiking

Hitchhiking is permitted under the terms and conditions noted:
  • No person shall stand in a roadway for the purpose of soliciting a ride, and visitor safety and traffic flow must not be adversely affected.
 

1 The Giant Forest area has a long history of bear problems dating to the 1920’s. It was typically one of the worst areas in the park for bear problems of every type: bears breaking into cars, cabins, and the cafeteria; bears bluff charging visitors; bears stealing food; and occasionally bears injuring visitors. When the buildings were removed, the human food source was largely eliminated and the bear problem decreased significantly. However, bears remain in the area and will be attracted to improperly handled food items in the Pinewood Picnic Area. The nighttime closure results from the increased difficulty of keeping food items away from bears after dark; staff is less available for monitoring proper food storage and disposal, and educating visitors on the importance of such practices, after dark.

2 This closure is for visitor safety. The Moro Rock/Crescent Meadow Road is narrow; limiting the number of large vehicles on this road decreases the risk of motor vehicle accidents and enhances response times for emergency vehicles.

3 Sledding, sliding, tubing, skiing, snowboarding, and the use of similar devices for the purpose of snow play can present multiple hazards to visitors in certain locations. The closure around roads and buildings is meant to prevent injury to the snow players and other visitors where a loss of control can lead to pedestrians in roadways and visitors striking buildings where snow accumulation on roofs can have a potential risk of sliding and burying such individuals. Snow play areas have been established in both parks to facilitate the enjoyment of the parks by the visitors with reasonable limitations for safety concerns. Additionally, specific areas may be required to be posted as closed to snow play at the discretion of the superintendent. Factors involved may include the potential for damage to park resources, the potential for serious bodily injury due to the nature of the terrain, specific hazards hidden from visitors by snow, etc. These activities, outside of the designated areas, interfere with safe and efficient snow removal, which negatively impacts the safety and enjoyment of all visitors. “Roadside” and “parking lot” activities
force plow operators to slow down or divert their efforts in order to not injure visitors or damage vehicles parked along the road. Snow blowing operations are hampered by visitors who congregate in meadows and pullouts where the operator is intending to broadcast snow from the parking areas or roadways. These roadside activities also interfere by occupying pullouts needed for chain control operations and turning around heavy equipment.

4 No group camp sites except Dorst are large enough to accommodate even small RVs. Roads are not constructed to permit RV access. Dorst has adequate parking. Permitting two RVs per group provides reasonable access issues for individuals. Camping activities in the parking lot are a safety hazard. Sleeping, eating, recreation, etc. is provided for within the given campsite.

5 Visitors recreate in rivers in bare feet. Park employees are picking up an increasing number of glass containers, both whole and broken, as shown by data collection from 2016-2018.

6 PEPC 100980: The NPS issues this administrative order for the purposes of maintaining public health and safety during the COVID-19 pandemic emergency. This order is consistent with Executive Order 13991, Protecting the Federal Workforce and Requiring Mask-Wearing. These directives require the NPS to take the actions identified, as appropriate and consistent with applicable law, to require compliance with Centers for Disease Control and Prevention guidelines with respect to wearing masks, maintaining physical distance, and other public health measures by: on-duty or on-site Federal employees; on-site Federal contractors; and all persons in Federal buildings or on Federal lands.In addition to physical distancing and hand washing, masks are a critical step to help 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.

This order is effective immediately and will remain in effect until further notice. The effectiveness of this order will be assessed on an ongoing basis, and the order will be modified or rescinded when conditions warrant.

7PEPC 100980: 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 permanent injunction preventing the National Park Service (NPS) from implementing and enforcing those permit and fee requirements.

Commercial Filming Laws and Regulations.

54 U.S.C. § 100905 mandates that the Secretary of the Interior require a permit and charge a fee for commercial filming activities in park areas. The statute also requires the NPS to recover costs incurred as a result of filming activities, including administrative and personnel costs. This “cost recovery” authority is separate and in addition to the fee requirement, which the NPS refers to as the “location fee.” The statute imposes a separate permit requirement for “still photography” that applies in limited circumstances.

Department regulations at 43 C.F.R. Part 5 implement the statutory requirements for all DOI bureaus. These regulations restate the permit requirements for commercial filming and still photography and provide more information about permits, location fees, and cost recovery.

Price v. Barr.
Gordon Price, an independent filmmaker from Yorktown, VA, challenged the constitutionality ofthe commercial filming permit and fee requirements explained above.

In its decision in Price, the court acknowledged that the NPS has a substantial government interest in protecting park resources but determined that the permit requirement was not related closely enough to achieving this interest. The court objected to the fact that all commercial filming activities must obtain a permit no matter the potential for resource impacts. According to the court, this was an overly broad burden on First Amendment speech. The court suggested that a permit requirement more closely tailored to the threat posed by high-impact filming may be acceptable. The court also held that the NPS did not have a sufficient interest to support charging location fees for commercial filming.

The court issued a permanent injunction preventing the NPS from implementing and enforcing the permit and fee requirements for commercial filming. The injunction does not extend to any provisions in the statute or regulations related to still photography, nor does it expressly extend to the cost recovery authority for commercial filming.Authority to Require a Permit for Filming Activities.

The court in Price recognized that the NPS has a legal obligation to protect the resources within the National Park System and to provide for visitor enjoyment of the same. 54 U.S.C. § 100101. One tool superintendents have to meet this responsibility is the authority in 36 CFR 1.5(a)(2). This authority allows superintendents to impose restrictions on activities within park areas when necessary for:

    • the maintenance of public health and safety;
    • protection of environmental or scenic values;
    • protection of natural or cultural resources;
    • aid to scientific research;
    • implementation of management responsibilities;
    • equitable allocation and use of facilities; or
    • the avoidance of conflict among visitor use activities.

This authority allows Superintendents to restrict filming activities, whether they are commercial or not, by requiring a permit for activities that pose a threat to park resources, values or the visitor experience. The court in Price emphasized that filming activities are a form of speech protected by the First Amendment. For purposes of this interim guidance, imposing a permit requirement on filming activities should only be done when necessary to address the NPS’s substantial interest in protecting park resources and the visitor experience.

In recent years, the NPS has seen an increase in low impact filming activities within park areas. These activities involve minimal equipment and crews, such as individuals or small groups that film using smartphones or other handheld devices, in many cases with nothing more than a tripod for equipment. These types of productions are highly unlikely to need a permit because the potential for impacts to resources and the visitor experience is no greater than the potential for impacts from visitors engaged in casual filming. This is true whether or not the footage is used for commercial purposes, such as by posting footage online for profit. This establishes objective criteria that will allow these small-scale productions to proceed in areas open to the public without a permit and without advance notice to the NPS. Other filming activities must be proposed to the NPS in advance so that the superintendent can determine whether or not a permit is required.

Applicability of Other Laws and Regulations
All activities in park areas – including filming even if a permit is not required – must comply with all visitor use regulations in 36 C.F.R., including but not limited to those prohibiting resource damage (36 C.F.R. § 2.1), protecting wildlife (36 C.F.R. § 2.2) or mitigating audio disturbances (36 C.F.R. § 2.12), and any restrictions on visitor use in the park’s compendium, such as restrictions on the use of unmanned aircraft systems (i.e., drones). Filming of any kind may not occur in closed areas without written authorization. Filming activities may not violate applicable laws, such as the Endangered Species Act, the Archeological Resources Protection Act, or the Wilderness Act. All filming must comply with laws protecting the NPS’s intellectual property, such as laws and regulations governing the use of the NPS Arrowhead and images of NPS employees.

Fees and Cost Recovery
The court in Price struck down the location fee requirements as unconstitutional. As a result, the NPS may not charge location fees for any filming activities.

8 These roads are closed due to snow accumulations and/or muddy conditions, and there is no winter maintenance on these roads to keep them passable to vehicular traffic. Trash collection service, water, and other visitor services are not available along these road corridors during the winter months. Staff to meet these needs, provide for visitor services and resource protection throughout the winter months is cost prohibitive. Unlimited vehicular access on an unmaintained road during the winter months can adversely affect the condition of the road surface, damaging it, and increasing both the time and cost needed to recondition the road in the spring.

9 The purpose of this gate is to deter access for illegal marijuana cultivation, to insure public health and safety, and to protect natural and cultural resources.

10 This road is closed to vehicular traffic for visitor safety. The Dillonwood area was formerly a small residential community that is now a recently acquired property of Sequoia National Park. All properties are under evaluation for use; the roads, buildings and use areas are not currently maintained.

11These roads and portions of road are within Designated Wilderness, and are closed to vehicular traffic, except for right-of-way access to private property owners and by permit or authorization from the superintendent.

12This old road is for administrative use only. NPS owned stock forages in the area and could present a hazard to passing vehicles or the stock themselves. Gates must remain locked to ensure the NPS owned stock does not escape. To this end, public vehicular access is not feasible.

13 These former roads, which are located in designated wilderness, have been closed by locked gates and/or boulder placements to protect natural and cultural resources from illegal activities and the effects of unauthorized vehicles. These closures are also necessary to protect the wilderness experience of park visitors seeking solitude and quiet. The Colony Mill Trail, the North Fork / West Boundary Trail, and the Redwood Canyon Trail are located in designated wilderness. The Wilderness Act prohibits motor vehicles and other forms of mechanical transport.

14 This closure is identified in the SEKI General Management Plan to reduce traffic congestion on the narrow roadway, prevent resource degradation by eliminating roadside parking on Giant Sequoia and other tree roots and plants, and to prevent parking congestion and minor motor vehicle collisions in overcrowded parking areas. During the period in question, the Sequoia National Park shuttle service will stop at the popular visitor attractions (Auto Log, Crescent Meadow, Tunnel Log and Moro Rock.) Visitors may take their private vehicles during the evening hours.

15 These facilities are closed to public entry to ensure both employee and visitor safety.

16 The reason for this closure is for both employee and visitor safety. Operations involving helicopters, especially during takeoffs and landings, are regarded as hazardous. Standard operating practices set forth in both the Department of Interior Manual and the Interagency Helicopter Operations Guidelines require that the access of persons and their movement around helicopter operations be strictly controlled.

17 These caves are closed to public entry because for the following reasons:

Class 4 – These caves have been recently discovered and require further exploration and/or inventory of features to evaluate how they should be managed, or they have been known for years but have not been sufficiently inventoried.

Class 5 – These caves contain paleontological, archeological, biological, or other resources of special scientific value that would be easily altered, even by careful use of the cave.

Class 6 – These caves are closed to all use because of extreme, unavoidable hazards (rockfall, disease, dangerous atmosphere, etc.) for even the most skilled caver.

[Reference: Sequoia and Kings Canyon National Parks Cave Management Plan, approved January 1999.]

18 Chimney and Moro Rocks have been traditional nesting sites for Peregrine Falcons, and are expected to continue to be nesting sites in the future. Peregrine Falcons are an endangered species in California; they are extremely sensitive to human activity and may abandon their nests if disturbed. When upset they have been known to dive bomb intruders. Closures protect both visitors and the falcons. Dates are determined by the averages of nesting chronology, considering potential of disturbance that would impact the nesting population.

19 The use of unmanned aircraft potentially presents unacceptable risks to visitors (collisions between unmanned aircraft and visitors, the uncontrolled fall of unmanned aircraft, contact with spinning propellers or rotors of unmanned aircraft). The use of unmanned aircraft adversely impacts visitor experience by negatively affecting scenic and natural sound opportunities, and by potentially interfering with terrestrial and avian wildlife. The use of motorized equipment is also prohibited in areas managed as wilderness (eligible, proposed, recommended or designated wilderness); approximately 96% of park lands are managed as wilderness by NPS policy. Additionally, the unregulated use of unmanned aircraft would potentially violate several other regulations in Title 36 of the Code of Federal Regulations, including §2.2 Frightening Wildlife, §2.12 - Creating an Audio Disturbance, §2.17 - Delivering or Retrieving an Object by Airborne Means, §2.34 - Making Unreasonable Noise, §2.34 - Creating or Maintaining a Hazardous Condition, and §5.13 - Creating or Maintaining a Nuisance.

20Giant Sequoia trees are found only on the western slope of the southern Sierra Nevada. Many of the world’s finest specimens are located within Sequoia and Kings Canyon National Parks. Every effort is made to protect them from potential damage and for park visitors to view them undisturbed by other humans.

21 The spread of White-nose syndrome in park caves could cause threats to wildlife. Scoping provided under programmatic PEPC Project 37818.

22 The management of this portion of the South Fork of the Kings River must meet the needs of all park users, including but not limited to photographers, fishermen, and those visitors wishing to see undisturbed sections of a free flowing river. The use of flotation devices, boats, and rafts is contrary to the needs of other park users. This closure is also necessary due to safety hazards – such as fallen trees – to floaters, boaters, and rafters. Removal of these hazards would be contrary to park resource management policy, so this portion of river is unsafe for floating, boating, or rafting.
23 The use of generators adds an unnatural sound to a natural setting and experience. By restricting the areas in which generators may be used, parties using generators and those preferring a natural ambiance will both have the opportunity to enjoy their park camping experience.
24 The use of generators adds an unnatural sound to a natural setting and experience. By restricting the hours during which generators may be used; parties using generators and those preferring a natural ambiance will both receive opportunities to enjoy their park camping experience.
25 The idling of bus engines adds unnecessary exhaust fumes to the air and diminishes the enjoyment by park visitors of the stillness and tranquility of the park. This regulation conforms to state bus regulations.
26 Permits may be issued by the superintendent for these activities pursuant to authority vested by the various sections of the CFR.
27 Note: This section requires that the permit be issued from the Regional Director for the sale of liquor on private lands under the legislative jurisdiction of the United States.
28 Fires are prohibited in these areas due to sensitive natural ecosystems and an inability for the forests to provide adequate fuel for fires.
29 Permitting collection of limited amounts of berries and other natural products for immediate consumption will not affect the regeneration of the plants.
30 16 USC 45b directs the Secretary of the Interior to provide for fishing by hook and line from park waters. Historical use has included these waters provided for recreational activity in support of the Organic Act of the National Park Service. Additionally, it is almost impossible to eradicate a fish population by sport fishing.
31 In areas above 9,000 elevation, the species indigenous to the park are not known to naturally exist. They were transplanted and stocked by early visitors. Since these native species at or above that elevation are considered nonnaturally occurring, it is of interest to the park to remove them. These non-naturally occurring fish are also eating native indigenous frog populations.
32 The Wilderness Stewardship Plan (2015) applies limits and restrictions for camping.
33 In addition to the direction of the Wilderness Stewardship Plan (2015), the superintendent may approve recommendations annually in a memorandum titled, “Recommendations for temporary public use restrictions in wilderness”.

34 WSP Table 19 Page 116
35 WSP Table 19 Page 116
36 Party Size Limits (see WSP, Alternative 2, Element 6, pages 114-115):
37 Large groups in off-trail areas have the potential for two types of impacts; biophysical and social. The biophysical impacts include; vegetation trampling and removal; trail incising; social trail development; water pollution (e.g. via human waste); and campsite developments. Social impacts are primarily loss of solitude, compounded by higher visitor expectations for solitude in “off-trail” areas. These parks have seen notable, and likely unacceptable, levels of physical impacts in several popular “off-trail” areas, including those listed above. This restriction is discussed in the annual “Recommendations for temporary public use restrictions in wilderness” memorandum.
38 Note: listed panniers or containers may be disallowed at any time due to failures in the field.
39 This applies to all groups, regardless of party size, whether hiking on trail or cross-country, whether traveling with stock or receiving stock support (i.e. drop trips and/or spot trips).
40 Developed areas where fires are permitted have grills provided to contain and control ash left behind by visitors. The use of campfires outside of designated areas poses a risk of wildfire. The use of campfires in wilderness areas described is inconsistent with resource conservation. There is inadequate native fuel supply in those areas leading to the destruction of live fuel, and downed fuel that provides habitat for flora and fauna. The use of gas fires in wilderness is unrestricted. The use of gas fires in developed areas has been limited to areas established for camping and the preparation of food with picnicking. Unrestricted cooking using gas grills currently is causing issues in congested parking areas and on roadway access areas where gas grills are utilized to prepare food for dozens of visitors without adequate seating capacity or areas to stand that are out of the roadway. It is a safety concern where children and adults are wandering through traffic while attempting to eat
and socialize. There have been documented cases where a single group fills a high visitor use traffic area that is designed for rapid turnover (General Grant Tree Parking Lot in particular) and does not allow adequate visitation from other parties. Noise associated with these impromptu gatherings is also a concern for visitor use areas where serenity is a valued commodity. It is contrary to the traditional use and serenity of park visitation areas to permit these types of gatherings with cooking and eating outside of established areas designated for picnicking.
41 In addition to, and based on, the Wilderness Stewardship Plan (2015), the superintendent may approve recommendations annually in a memorandum titled, “Recommendations for temporary public use restrictions in wilderness”.
42 In accordance with the Sequoia and Kings Canyon Fire and Fuels Management Plan, Appendix M, the superintendent may limit fires based on set criteria to include Stage 1 – 3 Fire Restriction Levels.
43 In addition to the Wilderness Stewardship Plan (2015), Alternative 2, Element 8, and Appendix D (Stock Use and Meadow Management and Monitoring Strategy) ), the superintendent may annually approve recommendations in a memorandum titled, “Recommendations for temporary stock use restrictions”.
44 Determination: The above selected areas have been designated based on their suitability for such activities. Other
locations are not suitable due to:

1) Fragile nature of park resources – large groups often tend to stray from paved areas and consistently trample park resources the NPS is legally bound to protect.
2) Atmosphere of peace and tranquility – visitors to Sequoia and Kings Canyon arrive with an expectation to “get away” from the hustle and bustle of city life. The National Parks are a place to reconnect with natural settings in an uninterrupted manner. The peace and tranquility in these visitor use areas, especially wilderness locations, would be severely impacted by allowing any groups to demonstrate or distribute printed matter. Even small groups may disrupt the visitor experience for which other visitors have paid.
3) Interference with program or administrative activities – the NPS provides interpretive talks, walks, programs, and other visitor services as part of the general admission fee to the park. Other visitors have paid for these services, provided by recreation fee dollars and other funds, and are not expected to suffer a disruption to the quality of experience of NPS sponsored programs and activities.
4) Interference with non-NPS programs and activities – individuals, commercial groups, contractors, concessioners, etc. obtain permits and contracts to conduct business and other activities within the National Parks, many at a cost. Even small groups may disrupt the activities of these special permit holders and contractors.
5) Public health and safety – these areas have been selected to promote the safety of all visitors, whether part of the groups or not. Utilizing public roads, narrow trails, congested walkways or trails for these activities could force non-participating visitors and activists to step into areas where footing is uncertain or other hazards, such as motor vehicles, are present and could lead to injury up to and including death.
6) Contrary to traditional use – many of the areas in the National Parks have come to have a traditional use expected by the visitors. Areas outside of these high profile visitor use areas are incompatible with disruptions and changes to traditional use of the National Parks lands. Both small and large groups could disrupt the traditional use of these lands.

45 These roads are active administrative roads and have administrative vehicular traffic. Permitting bicycles on these roads will have no adverse impact on the resources.
46 PEPC Project 94763
47PEPC 100980: On November 2, 2020, the National Park Service (NPS) published its final rule on the use of e-bikes in national parks. Effective December 2, 2020, this rule authorizes Superintendents to allow e-bikes, where appropriate, on park roads, parking areas, and administrative roads and trails that are open to traditional bicycles.

The NPS is subject to section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, as amended (Section 504), which prohibits discrimination on the basis of disability in federally assisted and federally conducted programs and activities. The NPS notes that the Department of Justice interprets requirements under Section 504 consistently with those under Title II of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), which include requirements governing “Other Power-Driven Mobility Devices” (OPDMDs) at 28 C.F.R. § 35.137. When used by persons with disabilities, the NPS considers e-bikes to be OPDMDs, and, therefore, the requirements and policies governing OPDMDs under the ADA will apply to the use of e-bikes for purposes of compliance with Section 504.

OPDMDs are defined under the ADA as “any mobility device powered by batteries, fuel, or other engines . . . that is used by individuals with mobility disabilities for the purpose of locomotion . . . or any mobility device designed to operate in areas without defined pedestrian routes, but that is not a wheelchair.” 28 C.F.R. § 35.104. The NPS must make reasonable modifications to its policies, practices, and procedures to allow the use of OPDMDs by individuals with disabilities in its facilities, unless the NPS can demonstrate that the class of devices cannot be operated in accordance with legitimate safety or resource protection requirements.

Section 504 requires the NPS to make its programs and activities accessible to persons with disabilities. Individuals with disabilities may request a reasonable modification to a park’s policies, practices, and procedures, which includes requesting to use an OPDMD, like an e-bike, in areas that are not designated for e-bike use.

 

Last updated: September 21, 2021

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