50 signatures reached
To: National Park Service, United States Forest Service, Bureau of Land Management
There are rules for camping on public lands, some of them need to be revised, all of them need to be enforced. Part of the problem is the Department of the Interior ( NPS/BLM) and the Department of the Agriculture ( USFS ) have relinquished management of many campgrounds to 'For Profit Corporations' who lack the authority to enforce the rules.
But even the campgrounds that are still being managed by federal agencies - with the exception of some National Parks - seem to be devoid of any kind of law enforcement. Campground hosts - whether they're reporting to a corporation or a federal agency are in the unenviable position of enforcing the rules. However they lack the authority to issue citations, at best all they can do is politely ask people to obey the rules. It's not unlike asking a cashier at a retail store to enforce mask mandates...
Both agencies need to recognize there's a problem and take corrective action. Anyone who has camped in a public campground in recent years is familiar with the problems. Screaming kids, barking dogs, generators, boomboxes. It's no longer an escape to the peace and quiet of nature. It's more like a cross between a children's playground, dog kennel, tailgate party & construction site! The only people who are enjoying themselves are the ones who are making everyone around them miserable!
Simply posting the rules at the campground entrance is not enough - the rules need to be enforced.
Why is this important?
“One bad apple can spoil the bunch." That popular phrase is used to refer to a situation in which one person's negative demeanor or bad behavior can affect a whole group of people, influencing them to have a similar negative attitude or to engage in the same bad behavior.
No doubt the influx of inexperienced first time campers as a consequence of the pandemic has exacerbated the problems - but it's been growing steadily worse for many years now.
Whether it's the generator junkies, parents with unruly misbehaved children, dog owners who allow their dogs to bark incessantly and 'do their business' wherever the dog desires, multiple families sharing a single campsite or adults who believe it's a great place to have a tailgate party - the result is the same - the only people having fun are the ones who are ruining the experience for everyone around them!
If you're one of the millions of unhappy campers then you might want to consider signing this petition to the agencies responsible for enforcing the rules. Simply posting the rules at the campground entrance is not enough - they need to start enforcing the rules!