Superintendent's Compendium

Superintendent’s Compendium Of Designations, Closures, Permit Requirements and Other Restrictions Imposed Under Discretionary Authority

Signed: Robert J. DeGross, Superintendent, April 20, 2017. Signature on file.

1. Superintendent’s Compendium Described

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

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

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

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

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

This Compendium should be used in conjunction with Title 36 CFR, Parts 1-7, to more fully understand the regulations governing the use and enjoyment of all the areas of the National Park System. The CFR can be located at www.ecfr.gov.

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

The National Park Service (NPS) is granted broad statutory authority under the National Park Service Organic Act (54 USC 100101(a)) to “…regulate the use of the Federal areas known as national parks, monuments, and reservations…by such means and measures as conform to the fundamental purposes of the said parks…which purpose is to conserve the scenery and the natural and historic objects and the wildlife therein and to provide for the enjoyment of the same in such manner and by such means as will leave them unimpaired for the enjoyment for future generations”. In addition, the NPS Organic Act allows the NPS, through the Secretary of the Interior, to “make and publish such rules and regulations as he may deem necessary or proper for the use and management of the parks, monuments, and reservations under the jurisdiction of the National Park Service”.

In 1970, Congress amended the NPS Organic Act to clarify its intentions as to the overall mission of the NPS. Through the General Authorities Act of 1970, the National Park System General Authorities Act (54 USC 100101(b)), Congress brought all areas administered by the NPS into one National Park System and directed the NPS to manage all areas under its administration consistent with the Organic Act of 1916.

In 1978, Congress amended the General Authorities Act of 1970 and reasserted System-wide the high standard of protection defined in the original Organic Act by stating “Congress further reaffirms, declares, and directs that the promotion and regulation of the various areas of the National Park System, as defined by Section 1 of this Title, shall be consistent with and founded in the purpose established by Section 1 of this Title, to the common benefit of all people of the United States.”

The National Park System is any areas of land and water now or hereafter administered by the Secretary of the Interior through the National Park Service for park, monument, historic, parkway, recreational, or other purposes.”

In addition to the above statutory authority, the Superintendent is guided by established NPS policy as found in the NPS Management Policies (2006). The Superintendent is also guided by more specific policies promulgated by the Director, National Park Service, in the form of Director’s Orders. As stated in the Management Policies, the primary responsibility of the NPS is to protect and preserve our national natural and cultural resources while providing for the enjoyment of these resources by visitor and other users, as long as use does not impair specific park resources or overall visitor experience. The appropriateness of any particular visitor use or recreational experience is resource-based and will vary from park to park; therefore, a use or activity that is appropriate in one park area may not be appropriate in another. The Superintendent is directed to analyze overall park use and determine if any particular use is appropriate. Where conflict arises between use and resource protection, where the Superintendent has a reasonable basis to believe a resource is or would become impaired, than that Superintendent is obliged to place limitations on public use.

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

The Superintendent’s Compendium is not considered a significant rule requiring review by the Office of Management and Budget under Executive Order 12866. In addition, this Compendium will not have a significant economic effect on a number of small entities nor impose a significant cost on any local, state or tribal government or private organization, and therefore does not fall under the requirements of either the Regulatory Flexibility Act or the Unfunded Mandates Reform Act.
The actions and requirements described in this Compendium are found to be categorically excluded from further compliance with the procedural requirements of the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) in Department of the Interior (DOI) Guidelines 516 DM 6 and as such, an Environmental Assessment will not be prepared.

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

As outlined above, the NPS has broad authority and responsibility to determine what types of uses and activities are appropriate in any particular National Park System area. The requirements of the Superintendent’s Compendium are developed through an analysis and determination process. The decision criteria used during this process are:
  • Is the use or activity consistent with the NPS Organic Act and NPS policy?
  • Is the use or activity consistent and compatible with the park’s enabling legislation, management objectives, and corresponding management plans?
  • Will the use or activity damage the park’s protected natural and cultural resources and other protected values?
  • Will the use or activity disturb or be in conflict with wildlife, vegetation, and environmental protection actions and values?
  • Will the use or activity conflict with or be incompatible with traditional park uses and activities?
  • Will the use or activity compromise employee or public safety?
5. Applicability of the Compendium

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

6. Enforcement of Compendium Requirements

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

7. Penalties for Not Adhering to the Compendium Requirements

A person who violates any provision of the regulations found in 36 CFR, Parts 1-7, or provisions of this Compendium, is subject to a fine as provided by law (18 U.S.C. 3571) up to $5,000 for individuals and $10,000 for organizations, or by imprisonment not exceeding six months (18 U.S.C. 3559), or both, and shall be adjudged to pay all court costs associated with any court proceedings. You may receive a list of fines associated with any particular provision by contacting the Chief Ranger at the park address found below.

Chief of Visitor and Resource Protection
Voyageurs National Park
360 Highway 11 East
International Falls, MN 56649

8. Comments on the Compendium

The Compendium is reviewed annually and revised as necessary. The park welcomes comments about its program and activities at any time.

Written comments on the Compendium may be submitted to:

Superintendent
Voyageurs National Park
360 Highway 11 East
International Falls, MN 56649

9. Effective Date of the Superintendent’s Compendium

This Superintendent’s Compendium is effective on the approval date listed on the first page of this document and remains in effect until new revision, review, and signature from the park superintendent.

10. Additional Information

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

11. Availability

The Compendium can be found at:

http://www.nps.gov/voya/learn/management/superintendents-compendium.htm

 
 
B. SUPERINTENDENT’S COMPENDIUM

In accordance with regulations and the delegated authority provided in Title 36, Code of Federal Regulations (“36 CFR”), Chapter 1, Parts 1-7, authorized by Title 16 United States Code, Section 3, the following provisions apply to all lands and waters administered by the National Park Service, within the boundaries of Voyageurs National Park. Unless otherwise stated, these regulatory provisions apply in addition to the requirements contained in 36 CFR, Chapter 1, Parts 1-7.

Written determinations, which explain the reasoning behind the Superintendent’s use of discretionary authority, as required by Section 1.5(c), appear in this document identified by italicized print.
 
I. 36 CFR §1.5 – VISITING HOURS, PUBLIC USE LIMITS, CLOSURES, AND AREA
DESIGNATIONS FOR SPECIFIC USE OR ACTIVITIES

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

Public Use Limits
Camping and Day Use

(Additional site closures are short term in nature and are based on research findings to enhance the protection of fish and wildlife during breeding periods when human disturbance must be avoided to enhance reproductive success.)
 
(a)(2) The following areas have been designated for a specific use or activity, under the conditions and/or restrictions as noted:

Boating
  • Draining bait containers, other boating-related equipment holding water (excluding marine sanitary systems), and live wells and bilges by removing the drain plug is required when:
Transporting watercraft and associated equipment on park roads, trails or across park land from the waters of Rainy, Kabetogama, Namakan, and Sand Point Lakes (except across the Kettle Falls portage)

(This prohibition is implemented to prevent the introduction of aquatic based exotic species and fish diseases, in particular spiny water flea- Bythotrephes longimanus, into waters free of exotic or invasive species and fish diseases. Water sampling efforts on Rainy and Namakan Lakes during 2006 revealed the presence of spiny water flea. The Minnesota DNR has identified all four major lakes within the park as infested with spiny water flea. The impact of Spiny water flea can be potentially devastating to aquatic organisms as it competes with native zooplankton and minnows for food. This competition can disrupt the food chain at its base with potentially significant effects farther up the chain.

Research has shown that physical characteristics of the spiny water flea allow it to cling to surfaces of boats or maintain viable eggs out of water for up to 12 hours. Interior lakes are currently managed as water bodies that are not infested with spiny water flea. This restriction is established under Minnesota state statute corresponding to the management of activities on waters declared to be infested by the Minnesota state DNR. An administrative determination to implement this restriction was completed and adopted by the Park Superintendent on June 19, 2007.)
 
Water Skiing/Towing Areas

Towing of a person by a vessel is allowed on Rainy, Kabetogama, Namakan, and Sand Point lakes except in the following areas:

  • King Williams Narrows between the Park boundary and Sand Point Lake navigational buoy #27

  • Namakan Narrows between navigational day marker #12 and Namakan Lake navigational day marker #14

  • Kettle Falls area between navigational buoy #41 and the dam on Rainy Lake and between the dam and 100 feet west of Squirrel Narrows on Namakan Lake

  • Ash River Narrows from 100 feet beyond each end of the narrows on Kabetogama Lake

  • Brule Narrows between navigational buoy #12 and #32 on Rainy Lake

  • In designated channels


(The ‘Narrows’ have been closed as the result of an administrative decision that public safety would be seriously compromised if the activity was allowed. The King Williams Narrows is a narrow passageway bordered by rock walls. Space is limited for two passing vessels in this area and requires slow passage to ensure safe boating operations can be conducted. The Kettle Falls area, designated harbors and swimming beaches received concentrated public use both in the water and on the water. Visitor safety requires slow speed boating activity in this area to ensure adequate operator awareness of public use and behaviors that would be seriously compromised with water skiing activities.)
 
Swimming and Wading
  • Swimming or wading is prohibited at the docks and vessel mooring basins within the Park's developed areas listed below:
    • Kabetogama Visitor Center
    • Ash River Visitor Center
    • Rainy Lake Visitor Center
    • Kettle Falls
  • Swimming from a vessel which is underway is prohibited, except in circumstances where a capable operator is on board and all propulsion machinery is off and/or sails are furled.
  • All water immediately associated with the shoreline of campsites, houseboat sites and day use sites are designated as swimming beaches. It is understood that these sites are accessible by vessel and designated for such use, creating a restricted passage. Hence, operating a vessel in excess of a flat wake speed is prohibited (36 CFR 3.8(b)(5))
 
Camping

Please refer to §2.10 for detailed camping area designations.
 
Picnicking
Public picnicking and day use activities are prohibited in the following areas:
  • Concessioner facilities where tables are provided as part of a food service operation
  • Developed campsites that are in use, or occupied, by campers with a valid camping permit
  • Developed campsites after 2 p.m.
  • NPS residential, maintenance, service and utility areas
  • Designated houseboat sites
  • Undeveloped or non-established sites within 200 yards of any developed or established day use site, campsite, houseboat site, trailhead sign, dock, or structure.
(Picnicking is prohibited in Concession facilities to minimize impact on those operations where services are provided to include tables provided by the Concessioner for their customers and include maintenance, cleanup and public use management as a requirement of the Concessioners responsibilities. Developed campsites after 2 p.m. and houseboat sites are closed to public picnicking to avoid conflict with users who have an exclusive right to the site for overnight use. NPS residential, maintenance, service and utility areas are closed to public picnicking to prevent conflict with administrative activities not suitable for public engagement and intrusion on private uses as part of a landlord contractual agreement.)
 
Winter Use Activities
  • Allowing ice blocks to remain on the frozen lake surface is prohibited
  • Constructing, maintaining, or using a structure, windbreak or shelter made of snow or ice on the frozen lake surface is prohibited
  • Plowing to construct or maintain a roadway on the frozen lake surface which exceeds 300' in length or more than 300' from the plowed edge of the established NPS ice road, without a permit, is prohibited
  • Plowing snow on the frozen lake surface which creates a risk of jeopardy to snowmobiles by creating berms with peaked or abrupt edges or piles that stand more than 3' tall, is prohibited
  • The following activities within 50' of the centerline of snowmobile trails are prohibited:
    • Placement of equipment or any type of structure
    • Fishing activity or other forms of recreational activity except snowmobiling, skiing, snowshoeing, fat-tire biking, and other strictly human powered forms of travel
  • The following activities within 50' of the plowed edge of the established NPS ice roads are prohibited:
  • Placement of equipment or any type of structure
  • Drilling or cutting of holes in the ice for fishing or other activities
  • Operating any form of a motorized vehicle other than a snowmobile or towing any forms of a trailer other than toboggan or on skis across, over, or along within 50’ of the center line of the designated snowmobile trail is prohibited, except at NPS designated and posted crossing locations. This prohibition does not apply to snowmobile-trail grooming machinery operating under agreement with the NPS
  • The frozen lake surface of Rainy, Kabetogama, Sand Point, and Namakan lakes are designated for motor vehicle (and tracked vehicles) use. However, all land, shores, and portages remain closed to motor vehicles unless allowed by regulation. A designated ski trail leading from the Rainy Lake Visitor Center to the Black Bay ski trails may be maintained by the NPS prior to the opening of the Rainy Lake Ice Road. Skiing is the only allowed recreation use for this trail. Once the ice road is put into place, the ski trail will not be maintained.
(Under the park’s enabling legislation the park may make appropriate provisions for winter sports. The park also adopts state law in regards to the manner of fishing. The use of a vehicle and tip-ups is a manner of fishing and currently used in area lakes. Unless specifically addressed by regulations, traffic and the use of vehicles within a park area are governed by State law. The State of Minnesota does not prohibit the use of motor vehicles on a frozen lake surface.)

(This compendium restriction is in response to public safety concerns resulting from fishing activity conducted on those trails open to snowmobile use as designated in 36 CFR 7.33b. Conflicting public activity within a designated trail must be prohibited in order to reduce the risk of injury or death to park visitors. Environmental conditions including poor light, inadequate depth perception and blowing snow can easily reduce the ability of a snowmobile operator to safely respond to, stop and/or avoid people, structures and materials located within a designated snowmobile trail. All designated trails are inspected and groomed (except the overland portages and the chain of lakes trail), to a width of 60’. An additional 40’ width beyond the groomed designated trail area serves as a shoulder for snowmobiles to pull over and stop. This public use restriction will aid in avoiding unsafe visitor activities within 100’ of designated snowmobile trails. This restriction is not expected to cause significant public controversy.)
  • The following winter portages are closed to all vehicle traffic except by special use permit during the winter season. (Winter season dates may vary due to ice, road, and weather conditions):
    • Crane Lake to South Mukooda Lake winter portage
    • South Mukooda Lake to Sand Point Lake winter portage
    • Swanson’s Bay to Sand Point Lake winter portage
    • Lauren’s Bay on Rainy Lake to Kettle Falls winter portage
    • Lost Bay on Rainy Lake to Saginaw Bay winter portage
(This closure designation is merely for clarity of the general prohibition 36 CFR 4.10(a) Operating a motor vehicle is prohibited except on park roads, in parking areas and on routes and areas designated for off-road motor vehicle use.)
 
Rainy Lake Recreation Trail
  • The trail is designated for pedestrian and human-powered modes of travel, to include:
    • Bicycles and
    • Roller skates, skateboarding, roller skis, coasting vehicles, or similar devices
  • During conditions of snow and ice, the trail is ungroomed to provide for snowshoeing, skiing or fat-tire biking
  • All forms of motorized conveyance are prohibited
(This compendium designation and/or restriction are to provide for recreational uses consistent with adjoining recreational paths.)
 
Firewood
The following are prohibited:
  • Possessing, storing, or transporting firewood taken from a location outside Voyageurs National Park unless it was purchased within 50 miles of the intended park use site by a MN DNR approved firewood vendor or purchased from a MDA certified vendor
  • Pallet wood (that which is typically used for shipping commodities)
Wood must be accompanied by the MN DNR or MDA tag of certification

“Buy local, burn local” (MNDNR)

Further information can be found at: http://www.dnr.state.mn.us/firewood/index.html

(These restrictions are necessary to protect Voyageurs National Park from infestations of exotic and invasive species such as the emerald ash borer, gypsy moth, Sirex wood wasp, Asian long-horned beetle, and a number of other wood-boring insects. It also protects against decay, fungi and pathogens that cause Dutch elm disease, oak wilt and sudden oak death. )
 
Closures:
  • All park areas are closed to the possession of pets, except where noted in §2.15(a)(1)
  • Launching, landing, or operating an unmanned aircraft from or on lands and waters administered by the National Park Service within the boundaries of Voyageurs National Park is prohibited except as approved in writing by the superintendent.
Definition: The term “unmanned aircraft” means a device that is used or intended to be used for flight in the air without the possibility of direct human intervention from within or on the device, and the associated operational elements and components that are required for the pilot or system operator in command to operate or control the device (such as cameras, sensors, communication links.) This term includes all types of devices that meet this definition (e.g. model airplanes, quadcopters, drones) that are used for any purpose, including for recreation or commerce.

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

(e) Public Notice of Closures:
The public will be notified of seasonal, administrative and emergency closures of park areas and/or activities through posting of signs, issuance of press releases, by posting on the park website and/or social media outlets.

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II. 36 CFR §1.6 – ACTIVITIES THAT REQUIRE A PERMIT
(f) The following is a compilation of those activities for which a permit from the superintendent is required.

Permitting information can be obtained by contacting Park Headquarters at:

Voyageurs National Park
360 Highway 11 East
International Falls, MN 56649
Or by phone: 218-283-6600

§1.5(a) - Construction or maintenance of ice roads more than 300’ long and/or further than 300’ from the plowed edge of the NPS ice roads
- Travel by dog sled/dog team on winter portages
- Vehicle travel on winter portages
- Disturbances to shorelines, docks, and wetlands
§2.2 - Transportation of legally taken wildlife
§2.4(d) - Carry or possess a weapon, trap, or net
§2.5(a) - Specimen collection (take plant, fish, wildlife, rocks or minerals)
§2.12 - Audio Disturbances:
  • (a)(2) Operating a power saw in developed areas
  • (a)(3) Operating 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 except
  • 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 - Fires
  • Burning of Brush or Debris
(Use and Occupancy resident on their leased land may use a valid MN DNR Burn Permit)

§2.17 - Aircraft & Air Delivery:
  • (a)(3) Delivery or retrieval of a person or object by parachute, helicopter or other airborne means
  • (c)(1) Removal of a downed aircraft
§2.35 - Possession and/or Consumption of Alcoholic Beverages in Park's Public Buildings
§2.37 - Soliciting or demanding gifts, money goods or services except pursuant to the terms and conditions of a permit issued under §2.50, §2.51 or §2.52
§2.38 - Explosives:
  • Use, possess, store, transport explosives, blasting agents
  • Use or possess fireworks
§2.50(a) - Conduct a sports event, pageant, regatta, public spectator attraction, entertainment, ceremony, tournament, and similar events
§2.51(a) - Public assemblies, meetings, gatherings, demonstrations, parades and other public expressions of views in groups of more than 25 persons. (These locations are described later in section 2.51. A map is available in the Office of the Superintendent of the §2.52(c) - Sale or distribution of printed matter that is not solely commercial advertising. (These locations are described later in section 2.52. A map is available in the
Office of the Superintendent of the areas designated for sale or distribution of printed matter.)
§2.60(b) - Livestock use
§2.61(a) - Residing on federal lands
§2.62 - Memorialization:
  • Erection of monuments (requires approval from regional director)
  • Scattering ashes from human cremation
§3.3 - Use of a vessel:
  • Permits are required for the overnight mooring of a vessel at all docks in the following areas:
    • Ash River Visitor Center
    • Kabetogama Lake Visitor Center
    • Rainy Lake Visitor Center
    • Sand Point Ranger Station
    • Little American Island
(Overnight mooring special use permits at the above mentioned locations will be considered on a case by case basis under the criteria established in the general regulations under Section 1.6a to ensure adequate protection of resources, mooring infrastructure and separation from adjoining visitor use sites.)

§3.19 -The use of manned or unmanned submersibles
§4.11(a) -Exceeding of NPS established vehicle load, weight and size limits
§4.13 -The use of vehicles or trailers to deliver, load, or unload materials and equipment for use other than that necessary to support immediate recreational activities within the park at any NPS developed area
§5.1 - Advertisements (display, posting or distribution)
§5.3 - Engaging in or soliciting any business (requires a permit, contract or other written agreement with the United States, or must be pursuant to special regulations)
§5.5 - Commercial Photography/Filming:
  • Commercial filming of motion pictures or television involving the use of professional casts, settings or crews, other than bona fide newsreel or news television
  • Still photography for the purpose of commercial advertising.
§5.6(c) - Use of commercial vehicles on park area roads (The superintendent may issue a permit to access private lands within or adjacent to the park when reasonable access is not otherwise available).
§5.7 - Construction of buildings, facilities, trails, roads, boat docks, path, structure, etc.
§6.9(a) - Operation of a solid waste disposal site

(Under the authority of Title 16 USC Section 3a, the NPS is responsible for carrying out the provisions of Title 31 USC 9701, which is the general authority of the Federal government to impose user charges. 31USC 9701 provides that such charges will be assessed against each identifiable recipient for special benefits derived from Federally permitted activities beyond those received by the general public. Further guidance for the NPS is found in the DOI- DM Part 346 (Cost Recovery) and NPS Management Policies of 2001 Section 8.6.1.2 which directs the NPS to impose an appropriate fee for cost recovery for the value of the facilities or lands used or the services provided. See administrative record dated April 25, 2002.)

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III. GENERAL REGULATIONS
 
36 CFR §2.1 – PRESERVATION OF NATURAL, CULTURAL AND ARCHEOLOGICAL RESOURCES

(a)(4) Dead wood on the ground may be collected for use as fuel for campfires within the park except in developed areas.
  • Individuals under a use and occupancy reservation in the park may collect dead and down wood in sufficient quantities for their use as heating fuel. Such wood cannot be removed from the Park.
(c)(1) The following fruits, nuts, or berries may be gathered by hand for personal use or consumption:
Common Name Scientific Name
Strawberry Fragaria spp.
Chokecherries Prunus spp.
Rose Hips Rosa spp.
Blackberries Rubus spp.
Raspberries Rubus spp.
Blueberries Vaccinium spp.
Cranberries Vaccinium spp.
Wild Rice Zizania aquatic

(c)(2)(i) in accordance with the noted size, quantity:
  • Collection of the edible plant species described above is limited to one gallon per person per day.
 
36 CFR §2.2 - WILDLIFE PROTECTION

(d) The transporting of lawfully taken wildlife through the park is permitted under the following conditions and procedures:
  • A permit is required to transport lawfully taken wildlife across parklands or waters
  • Written permission from the landowner to hunt or trap on his or her property is required for each permit prior to the permit being issued to anyone except the landowner of record and his or her immediate family
  • A permit is not required for possession or transportation of legally taken wildlife in the following areas:
    • South and west of Black Bay and transported across park lands at the Rainy Lake Visitor Center
    • King Williams Narrows between Sand Point and Crane Lakes
    • Ash River Trail for a distance of .5 miles north along NPS 1 (commonly referred to as the Meadwood Road)
    • Moose River Grade
(e) All areas within the park are closed to viewing wildlife with any type of artificial light.
 
36 CFR §2.3 – FISHING

(a) The following State fishing laws and/or regulations do not apply in the listed areas:
  • Fish, as defined under Section 1.4, does not include mussels (clams), crayfish, frogs, and turtles
(State law permitting the taking of mussels (clams), crayfish, frogs, and turtle species conflicts with federal law and is not assimilated as a permitted activity within the park.)

(d)(2) Possession or use of live or dead minnows or other bait fish, amphibian, non-preserved fish eggs or roe is allowed in the following fresh water areas:
  • The waters and adjacent shorelines of Rainy, Kabetogama, Namakan, and Sand Point Lakes are designated for possessing or using bait for fishing
  • Bait may also be possessed on the frozen surface of Mukooda Lake for transportation purposes when traveling non-stop on the most direct route
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36 CFR §2.4 – WEAPONS, TRAPS, AND NETS

(a)(2)(i) Weapons, traps, or nets may only be carried, possessed or used at the following designated times and locations:
  • Nets and spears may be possessed for non‑commercial use within the Park in accordance with State law.
(h) Notwithstanding any other provision in this Chapter, a person may possess, carry, and transport concealed, loaded, and operable firearms within a national park area in accordance with the laws of the state in which the national park area, or that portion thereof, is located, except as otherwise prohibited by applicable Federal law.
  • This authority does NOT extend to:
    • Individuals who do not have a state permit to carry
    • Federal facilities within the park (18 U.S.C. 930(a))
    • USCG certificated tour boats
(Federal facilities include but are not limited to: visitor centers, park headquarters, park maintenance facilities and Kettle Falls Hotel)

 
36 CFR §2.10 – CAMPING and FOOD STORAGE

(a) Camping and overnight use requires a permit:

Permits
  • All overnight use require a camping permit from https://www.recreation.gov/ except:
    • use and occupancy residents on their leased land
    • private landowners on their private lands
    • concession users staying in concession facilities
    • any overnight use as described on page 11 of this document
  • One permit is required for each houseboat that uses the park overnight
  • One permit is required for each group of associated campers using the same site
  • Permits must be issued in the name of a person in the actual camping party
  • Transferring or selling a camping permit is prohibited
  • Camping permits must be physically present and displayed at the campsite
  • When a reservation has been made for a tent campsite, failure to physically occupy the site within 24 hours of the reservation start time voids the reservation
(This clarification ensures that each group that occupies a houseboat is accounted for within the park’s overnight permit system. Improved accountability of use by each houseboat will ensure accurate data collection and visitor use trends within the park.)

Designated Sites or Areas
  • Tent camping use is allowed at designated campsites
  • Houseboat sites are used on a first-come, first serve basis
  • Houseboat overnight use is allowed at designated houseboat sites and at undesignated sites
  • Houseboats camping at an undesignated site is prohibited from mooring within 200 yards of the permanent NPS metal campfire ring of any designated campsite or houseboat site, any sign designating a trailhead, structure, or day use site or any occupied undesignated site
  • All overnight use is prohibited at:
    • Designated day use sites, picnic areas, public docks, trailheads, parking areas, boat launch sites and structures
    • On National Park Service land bordering the Black Bay Wildlife Management Area during Minnesota waterfowl hunting season
    • Within 1/4 mile of the Park's developed areas, including the parking lots, roads and picnic areas at the Rainy Lake, Kabetogama Lake, and Ash River visitor centers, Kettle Falls and on lands under a use and occupancy reservation without the tenants permission
    • Any undeveloped campsite located in a small bay on the southeast edge of Cherry Nose Island. (Cherry Nose Island is located southwest of Cemetery Island on Kabetogama Lake)
    • At Sweet Nose Island, and within 200 feet of the “no camping” signs at Williams Island, Sprague’s Point and Woodenfrog Islands
(An April 11, 2007 internal staff review of resources and current camping practices determined that:)
  • The level of camping at these undesignated sites has been observed at a significant level to create harm to the resources and/or the overlying protective soils and vegetation
  • Resources at these sites were deemed to offer significant value requiring special protection
  • The NPS documented resource impacts at these sites from undesignated camping, and the level of impact was identified as moderate or severe

“Overnight” is defined to be from sunset to sunrise, or any portion thereof. “Camping” means the erecting of a tent or shelter of natural or synthetic material, preparing a sleeping bag or other bedding material for use, parking of a motor vehicle, motor home or trailer, or mooring of a vessel for the apparent purpose of overnight occupancy.
  • The following sites are designated as reservable and require a permit from recreation.gov for use:
    • All tent campsites
Conditions
  • Erecting tents on other than an established tent pad is prohibited
  • Houseboats must be actively used (physically occupied by an individual or person) on an overnight basis and cannot be left unattended to ‘hold’ a site for future use
  • Check in time for permit holders of a reservable campsite is 3 pm or later
  • Check out time for permit holders of a reservable campsite is 12 pm or earlier
  • Fishing, boating, picnicking, hiking and all other legal recreational pursuits is prohibited within 200 yards of an occupied reserved campsite except by members of the permitted camping group
  • Day use of non-reserved campsites is allowed from 12 pm – 2 pm.
  • Mooring of houseboats to NPS docks is prohibited, except at the following day use locations (unless posted as prohibited):
    • Rainy Lake Visitor Center
    • Kabetogama Lake Visitor Center
    • Ash River Visitor Center
    • Anderson Bay trailhead
    • Locator Lake trailhead
    • Group campsites (Rainy and Kabetogama),
    • Little Cedar Island day use site
    • Dryweed Island day use site
    • Sheen Point day use site
Overnight mooring at these sites is prohibited

(This prohibition is implemented to prevent damage to docks and/or houseboats attached to them. Other docks are not designed to support the mooring weight of a houseboat in windy conditions. Tent camping is prohibited due to the absence of toilet facilities at houseboat sites and the history of human waste improperly deposited in the area of the houseboat site.)

“Houseboats” are defined as registered vessels that contain sleeping facilities, cooking and food storage facilities, and a no-discharge toilet.

Overnight Use Limits:
  • At front country sites overnight use is limited to no more than 14 consecutive nights and no more than a total of 30 nights in the park in a calendar year, except for group campsites
  • At group campsites overnight use is limited to 7 consecutive nights and no more than a total of 7 nights in a calendar year
  • At backcountry sites overnight use is limited to 7 consecutive nights and no more than a total of 7 nights in a calendar year
  • Overnight use of Park backcountry boat rentals is limited to 7 consecutive nights and no more than a total of 7 nights in a calendar year
These limits do not apply to: use-and-occupancy residences, staying on private lands and guests in concession facilities

“Front country” is defined as legally accessible by motor vehicle or motorboat and “Backcountry” is defined as legally accessible only by foot or non-motorized boat.

Capacity Use Limits:
  • Small campsites may be occupied by 1 to 9 people
  • Large campsites may be occupied by 1 to 18 people
  • Group campsites may be occupied by 14 to 30 people
  • Group campsites are limited to a maximum of 5 houseboats
  • Houseboat sites limited to a maximum of 2 houseboats
  • Rental Canoes and Rowboats may be utilized by 1 to 3 people
(b)(3) Camping within 25 feet of a fire hydrant or main road, or within 100 feet of a
flowing stream, river, or body of water is authorized only in the following areas:

Houseboats
  • Houseboat mooring at an undesignated site is allowed but not within 200 yards of the permanent NPS metal campfire ring of any designated campsite or houseboat site, any sign designating a trailhead, structure, or day use site or any occupied undesignated site
  • Houseboats may stay at designated houseboat sites or moor out
  • Sailboats and Cabin Cruisers, regardless of their capabilities, are permitted to use tent sites with a valid tent camping permit. Other Houseboats are prohibited from using tent sites.
All other camping
  • All other camping is allowed at designated and established tent sites
(d) Conditions for the storage of food are in effect, as noted, for the following areas:
  • From April 1 to November 30 - All food, lawfully taken fish, garbage, and equipment used to store food (such as ice chests) in all park areas must be kept in closed and locked compartments of a vehicle or vessel, bear‑proof food storage locker, hung from a bear pole, or suspended at least 10 feet above the ground and 4 feet horizontally from a post, tree trunk, or other object. This storage requirement does not apply when previously described items are being transported, consumed, or prepared for consumption.
  • Food, lawfully taken fish or wildlife, garbage, and equipment used to store food will be exempted from the above requirements if these items are stored within containers manufactured and tested as bear resistant food storage containers. Approved Containers must be used and locked according to manufacturer’s directions.
  • Examples of approved containers include:
    • Garcia Backpacker (Model 812-C)
    • Bearikade Weekender and Expedition (those with serial number 1766 or higher)
    • Bear Vault (Bear Vault 110b, 200, 250 and 300)
    • Counter Assault Bear Keg
    • Yeti Coolers
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36 CFR §2.11 – PICNICKING

Conditions for Picnicking:
  • Use of designated day use sites is limited to no more than 18 people total
  • Use of designated day use sites is only allowed between sunrise and sunset
 
36 CFR 2.13 – FIRES

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

Visitor Campfires
  • Fires are allowed within the National Park if they are campfires contained in a metal fire grill provided by the National Park located at designated camping, houseboat, and day use sites
  • Lighting and maintaining a fire which is contained in or on a raised platform that is not in contact with the ground, is permitted within the park (e.g. barbecue style grill, cook stove)
  • Wood purchased within 50 miles of the intended park use site by a MNDNR approved firewood vendor or purchased from a MDA certified vendor must be accompanied by the agencies respective validation tag
  • Pallet wood is NOT approved firewood
  • Burning of trash, including but not limited to plastics, Styrofoam, glass and metal cans is prohibited
“Buy local, burn local” (MNDNR). Further information can be found at: http://www.dnr.state.mn.us/firewood/index.html

(This restriction is consistent with firewood restrictions in Minnesota State Parks. Prohibiting this type of wood is necessary to protect Voyageurs National Park from infestations of emerald ash borer, gypsy moth, Sirex wood wasp, Asian long-horned beetle, and a number of other wood-boring insects. It also protects against decay, fungi and pathogens that cause Dutch elm disease, oak wilt and sudden oak death.)

Use and Occupancy Reservations
  • The legal occupant of federally owned lands under a use and occupancy reservation is allowed to have a campfire while utilizing said property unless temporary emergency restrictions are enacted
  • A state burning permit is required for burning brush or debris
 
36 CFR §2.15 – PETS

(a)(1) All park areas are closed to the possession of pets, except the following where they are allowed:
  • Front country campsites and day use sites (within 100’ of the shoreline on Rainy, Kabetogama, Namakan and Sand Point lakes)
  • Outdoor developed public use areas, parking areas, walkways and boat ramps
  • Lake surfaces (frozen or open water) on which motorboats are allowed
  • The Rainy Lake Visitor Center Recreation Trail
  • When adequate ice and snow conditions are present, dog teams and dog sleds are permitted on frozen lake surfaces of Rainy, Kabetogama, Namakan, and Sand Point Lakes within the park. They are also allowed on designated snowmobile trails and portages except the Chain of Lake Trail. No permits shall be issued for allowing dogs to enter the Chain of Lakes Trail.
  • Park employee housing consistent with housing policy
  • Park buildings and facilities upon superintendent’s written authorization
(a)(5) The following conditions have been established for pet excrement disposal:
  • All pet excrement must be collected immediately and disposed of in an approved trash receptacle.
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36 CFR §2.18 – SNOWMOBILES

(c) Snowmobiles may be operated only on routes designated in Title 36 CFR Section
7.33(b)

(d)(4) Maximum speed limit:
  • 25 mph on all safety portages and land trails
  • 45 mph on all frozen lake surfaces
 
36 CFR §2.21 – SMOKING

(a) Smoking is prohibited in public use areas of the Park's visitor centers and within 25 feet of all government buildings.
 
36 CFR §2.22 – PROPERTY

(a)(2) Property may be left unattended for periods longer than 24 hours in the following areas and under the following conditions:
  • Structures used for fishing on frozen lake surfaces during the ice fishing season and in compliance with state laws
  • Visitors camping on public lands adjacent to or within the park may leave their vehicles and boat trailers at designated parking areas
(a)(2) Property unattended in the following circumstances is prohibited:
  • Overnight users of private cabins and leased land may not leave vehicles or boat trailers in public parking areas for more than 24 hours
  • Leaving unattended items associated with ‘geo caching’, which is an activity related to the use of GPS and the internet to locate a hidden cache of materials on park lands, is prohibited. These unattended items will be considered abandoned and impounded whenever located. All other unattended property which is not included in part 2.22 (a)(2) may be impounded after 24 hours.
 
36 CFR §2.35 –ALCOHOLIC BEVERAGES and CONTROLLED SUBSTANCES

(a)(3)(i) The following public use areas, portions of public use areas, and/or public facilities within the park are closed to consumption of alcoholic beverages, and/or to the possession of a bottle, can or other receptacle containing an alcoholic beverage that is open, or has been opened, or whose seal has been broken or the contents of which have been partially removed:
  • The possession or consumption of alcoholic beverages is prohibited in all visitor centers and National Park Service owned vessels except under the terms of a special use permit issued by the Superintendent
Return to Superintendent's Compendium Contents
 
36 CFR §2.51 –PUBLIC ASSEMBLIES, MEETINGS

(e) The following areas are designated on a map in the Office of the Superintendent for Public Assemblies:
  • Rainy Lake Visitor Center and boat launching facility:
    • 50 ft. by 50 ft. area in the western end of the boat launch parking lot near the first island
    • 50 ft. by 50 ft. grassy area at the southwest end of the upper parking lot
  • Kabetogama Lake Visitor Center and boat launching facility:
    • 50 ft. by 50 ft. area on the small point directly north of the launch ramp near the east end of the parking lot
    • 50 ft. by 50 ft. area of grassy between the dumpsters and the bulletin board at the east end of the parking lot
  • Ash River Visitor Center and boat launching facility:
    • 50 ft. by 50ft. area between the visitor center and the lower parking lot
    • 50 ft. by 50 ft. area between the visitor center and the middle parking lot
  • Headquarters Administrative Building:
    • 50 ft. by 50 ft. area located on the grass adjacent to the west side of the concrete walkway entrance
 
36 CFR §2.52 - SALE OR DISTRIBUTION OF PRINTED MATTER

(e) The following areas are designated on a map in the Office of the Superintendent for sale and distribution of printed matter:
  • Rainy Lake Visitor Center and boat launching facility:
    • 50 ft. by 50 ft. area in the western end of the boat launch parking lot near the first island
    • 50 ft. by 50 ft. grassy area at the southwest end of the upper parking lot
  • Kabetogama Lake Visitor Center and boat launching facility:
    • 50 ft. by 50 ft. area on the small point directly north of the launch ramp near the east end of the parking lot
    • 50 ft. by 50 ft. area of grassy between the dumpsters and the bulletin board at the east end of the parking lot
  • Ash River Visitor Center and boat launching facility:
    • 50 ft. by 50 ft. area between the visitor center and the lower parking lot
    • 50 ft. by 50 ft. area between the visitor center and the middle parking lot
  • Headquarters Administrative Building:
    • 50 ft. by 50 ft. area located on the grass adjacent to the west side of the concrete walkway entrance
Return to Superintendent's Compendium Contents
 
36 CFR §3.8 – PROHIBITED VESSEL OPERATIONS

(a)(2) The following are designated boat launch sites:
  • Rainy Lake Visitor Center boat ramp
  • Kabetogama Visitor Center boat ramp
  • Ash River Visitor Center boat ramp
  • The developed shoreline on the southwest shore of Kabetogama Lake where the shoreline is not owned by the park
  • Both developed boat ramps on the Rainy and Namakan side of Kettle Falls portage road
  • The shoreline directly adjacent to the interior lakes:
    • managed under the NPS “Boats On Interior Lakes” program are allowed only for the launching and recovering of NPS boats
    • boats authorized under a commercial use authorization
  • The launching of privately owned boats is prohibited on any interior lake
(This prohibition is implemented to prevent the introduction of aquatic based exotic species and fish diseases, in particular spiny water flea- Bythotrephes longimanus, into waters free of exotic or invasive species and fish diseases. Water sampling efforts on Rainy and Namakan Lakes during 2006 revealed the presence of spiny water flea. The Minnesota DNR has identified all four major lakes within the park as infested with spiny water flea. The impact of Spiny water flea can be potentially devastating to aquatic organisms as it competes with native zooplankton and minnows for food. This competition can disrupt the food chain at its base with potentially significant effects farther up the chain. Research has shown that physical characteristics of the spiny water flea allow it to cling to surfaces of boats or maintain viable eggs out of water for up to 12 hours. Interior lakes are currently managed as water bodies that are not infested with spiny water flea. This restriction is established to support the intent of the Minnesota state statute corresponding to the management of activities on adjacent waters declared to be infested by the Minnesota state DNR. An administrative determination to implement this restriction was completed and adopted by the Park Superintendent on June 19, 2007.)
 
36 CFR §3.12 – WATER SKIING

(a) The following waters are designated for towing of a person by a vessel:
  • Rainy Lake
  • Kabetogama Lake
  • Namakan Lake
  • Sand Point Lake
Towing of a person by a vessel is prohibited in the following areas:
  • King Williams Narrows between the Park boundary and Sand Point Lake navigational buoy #27
  • Namakan Narrows between navigational day marker #12 and Namakan Lake navigational day marker #14
  • Kettle Falls area between navigational buoy #41 and the dam on Rainy Lake
  • Kettle Falls area between the dam and 100 feet west of Squirrel Narrows on Namakan Lake
  • Ash River Narrows from 100 feet beyond each end of the narrows on Kabetogama Lake
  • Brule Narrows between navigational buoy #12 and #32 on Rainy Lake
  • In designated channels
 
36 CFR §4.13 – OBSTRUCTING TRAFFIC

(a) The following is prohibited:
  • The use of vehicles or trailers to deliver, load or unload materials and equipment for use other than that necessary to support immediate recreational activities within the park at any NPS developed area including parking areas, boat launches and day use sites, are prohibited except as authorized by the Superintendent through a special use permit.
(The high potential for conflicting uses of NPS roads, developed areas and ice roads by private property users and/or developers and other activities not related to park functions may affect equitable uses of the limited park facilities by the general public, the safety of visitors and protection of park resources. It is determined that controlling the time, location and type of activity at these public sites is paramount to ensure public safety and minimize conflict with park users.)
 
36 CFR §4.21 – SPEED LIMITS

The following speed limits for wheeled, roadway vehicles are established:
  • The maximum speed limit on all designated ice roads is 30 mph
  • The maximum speed limit on NPS-1 road is 35 mph, unless posted otherwise
(Due to the character of an ice road surface, limited braking, steering and traction, the allowable speed is reduced to 30 mph to enhance appropriate control of a vehicle.)

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36 CFR §7.33 - FISHING

(a) The following is designated:
  • The possession of live and/or organic bait is prohibited on all Park waters except:
    • Rainy Lake
    • Kabetogama Lake
    • Namakan Lake
    • Sand Point Lakes
  • However, live and/or organic bait may be possessed on the frozen surface of Mukooda Lake for transportation purposes when traveling non-stop on the most direct route.
(This prohibition is implemented to prevent the introduction of aquatic based exotic species and fish diseases, in particular spiny water flea- Bythotrephes longimanus, into waters free of exotic or invasive species and fish diseases. Water sampling efforts on Rainy and Namakan Lakes during 2006 revealed the presence of spiny water flea. The Minnesota DNR has identified all four major lakes within the park as infested with spiny water flea. The impact of Spiny water flea can be potentially devastating to aquatic organisms as it competes with native zooplankton and minnows for food. This competition can disrupt the food chain at its base with potentially significant effects farther up the chain. Research has shown that physical characteristics of the spiny water flea allow it to cling to surfaces of boats or maintain viable eggs out of water for up to 12 hours. Interior lakes are currently managed as water bodies that are not infested with spiny water flea.

This restriction is established to support the intent of Minnesota state statute corresponding to the management of activities on adjacent waters declared to be infested by the Minnesota state DNR. An administrative determination to implement this restriction was completed and adopted by the Park Superintendent on June 19, 2007.)
 
36 CFR §7.33 - AIRCRAFT

(c)(4) The following areas are closed to aircraft:
  • Docks at public boat launch ramps and the lake area immediate to such structures
  • Overnight mooring of aircraft within the park is prohibited except when used to conduct overnight camping with a valid camping permit or when permitted by special use permit.
  • All open waters within the parks boundary except on the waters of:
    • Rainy Lake
    • Kabetogama Lake
    • Namakan Lake
    • Sand Point Lake
  • All frozen waters within the parks boundary, except for ski equipped aircraft on the frozen lake surface of:
    • Rainy Lake
    • Kabetogama Lake
    • Namakan Lake
    • Sand Point Lake
    • Locator Lake
    • War Club Lake
    • Quill Lake
    • Loiten Lake
    • Mukooda Lake
    • Little Trout Lake
    • Shoepack Lake
(These prohibitions are implemented to prevent the introduction of aquatic based exotic species and fish diseases, in particular spiny water flea- Bythotrephes longimanus, into waters free of exotic or invasive species and fish diseases. Water sampling efforts on Rainy and Namakan Lakes during 2006 revealed the presence of spiny water flea. The Minnesota DNR has identified all four major lakes within the park as infested with spiny water flea. The impact of Spiny water flea can be potentially devastating to aquatic organisms as it competes with native zooplankton and minnows for food. This competition can disrupt the food chain at its base with potentially significant effects farther up the chain. Research has shown that physical characteristics of the spiny water flea allow it to cling to surfaces of boats or maintain viable eggs out of water for up to 12 hours. Interior lakes are currently managed as water bodies that are not infested with spiny water flea. This restriction is established to support the intent of Minnesota state statute corresponding to the management of activities on waters declared to be infested by the Minnesota state DNR. An administrative determination to implement these restrictions were completed and adopted by the Park Superintendent on June 19, 2007.

Winter-time aircraft are prohibited from landing on the frozen lake surface of interior lakes, aside from those excepted. These protected lakes are wilderness designated (or managed as such) which prohibits the use/impact of motorized equipment.)

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Last updated: August 30, 2017

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Mailing Address:

Voyageurs National Park Headquarters
360 Hwy 11 East

International Falls, MN 56649

Phone:

(218) 283-6600

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