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Thread: Mt. St. Helens

  1. #1
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    Planning on going up to the summit of Mt. St Helens in mid August, and I had been planning on OC'ing (trying to get a more comfy oc rig for my H&K now actually).

    However, I can't remember if MSH is USFS or if it's part of the Nat'l parks because of the National Monument thing.

    If it's part of the NPS i'll just leave it at home so I don't have to deal with the hassle (until next year, wooohoo!) but I figure someone here could tell me either way.

    I can't wait until all the land in Washington follows state pre-emption laws :celebrate

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    Regular Member j2l3's Avatar
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    The monument is administered by the USFS, NOT the National Park Service. Based on that.... I would guess you are good to go... keeping in mind, I am NOT a lawyer...



    Mount St. Helens National Volcanic Monument






    Despite the troubled economy in early 1980s, tens of thousands of visitors flocked to the area surrounding Mount St. Helens to marvel at the effects of the eruption. On August 27, 1982, President Reagan signed into law a measure setting aside 110,000 acres around the volcano as the Mount St. Helens National Volcanic Monument, the nation's first such monument managed by the USFS. At dedication ceremonies on May 18, 1983, Max Peterson, head of the USFS, said,"we can take pride in having preserved the unique episode of natural history for future generations." Since then, many trails, viewpoints, information stations, campgrounds, and picnic areas have been established to accommodate the increasing number of visitors each year.
    Beginning in the summer of 1983, visitors have been able to drive to Windy Ridge, only 4 miles northeast of the crater. From this spectacular vantage point overlooking Spirit Lake, people see firsthand not only the awesome evidence of a volcano's destruction, but also the remarkable, gradual recovery of the land as revegetation proceeds and wildlife returns. A majestic Visitor Center was completed in December 1986 at Silver Lake, about 30 miles west of Mount St. Helens and five miles east of Interstate Highway 5. By the end of 1989, the Center had hosted more than 1.5 million visitors. Opening in 1993 was an interpretation complex in the Coldwater Lake area, and in 1997 an interpretation complex in the Johnston area, from which visitors can view the inside of the crater and its dome from the site of David Johnston's camp on the morning of May 18, 1980. Mountain climbing to the summit of the volcano has been allowed since 1986.
    The National Volcanic Monument preserves some of the best examples and sites affected by volcanic events for scientific studies, education, and recreation. Intensive monitoring of the volcano is now all the more important to ensure the safety of the scientists and the monument's visitors.
    -- Excerpts modified from: Tilling, Topinka, and Swanson, 1990, Eruptions of Mount St. Helens: Past, Present, and Future, USGS Special Interest Publication
    CZ 75B 9mm, Ruger P94 .40 S&W, Bersa Thunder .380, AR-15 Homebuild

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    so you can carry onto USFS property??? I was always confused about this one due to the ban on fedaral land. i do dabble in trail riding when i go over to the east side of the state and just always left my sidearm at the cabin because i didnt know if its ok to carry out on the trails. not worried about BG's as much as I am of certain wildlife.

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    State Researcher Bill Starks's Avatar
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    National Parks - NO for now (yes in Feb 2010)
    National Forests (in WA) - yes
    WA State/County/City parks - yes


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    yeah the city parks and such, i knew about (thanks to this forum), but thanks alot for clearing up the forest issue

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    State Researcher Bill Starks's Avatar
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    This might also help....
    I wrote the following letter to the USDA Regional Forester on September 9, 2008. The reply is in the attachment below.

    Linda Goodman - Regional Forester
    USDA Forest Service - Pacific Northwest Region
    333 SW First Avenue, Portland, Oregon 97204-3440
    P.O. Box 3623, Portland, OR 97208-3623

    Dear Ms. Goodman,


    Hello. I am requesting guidance concerning information provided about weapons on National Forest Lands and possible conflicts within. All references to armed persons shall represent persons not otherwise prohibited from possessing firearms under federal, state or local laws and who are authorized, licensed or permitted to carry firearms for any lawful purpose in the state of Washington. My questions do not pertain to hunting but relate to the legal possession of a handgun whether openly carried or concealed carried while hiking in a National Forest Wilderness Area.


    I found the following information on the National Forest website: "If you are planning on visiting a designated Wilderness Area, the Regional Forester or Forest Supervisor has the option to implement a special local order which additionally prohibits the mere possession of a firearm within that Wilderness Area. Both state and federal laws apply on National Forest System lands, so you also need to check on the state laws and county ordinances which may apply to the area you will be visiting. The only regulations specific to use of weapons imposed by the Forest Service is that you cannot discharge a weapon within 150 yards of any structure/development or occupied area, within or into a cave, across or on a road or body of water, or in any manner that endangers a person. You also cannot use any tracer or incendiary ammunition. Forest Service regulations require that you also comply with all State laws regarding the use of firearms while hunting."

    Specifically, I request the following questions to be addressed:

    Are there any areas in the Pacific Northwest that firearms ARE NOT allowed in the National Forest? If so, what are these wilderness areas in Washington & Oregon?
    What causes a "Local Order" to be established in the wilderness area? Do rangers have the authority to establish these “Local Orders?”

    Forty-eight states allow the carrying of concealed firearms for personal protection, thirty-seven of which are “shall-issue” states. Many states do not require licensure to carry firearms for self-defense as long as the firearms are not concealed. Concealed or open, millions of citizens legally carry firearms for personal defense in the normal course of their daily affairs.

    It is my intention to share the opinions on these matters with other individuals and groups to educate people exercising this right to defend themselves and their families. Putting into practice a natural right protected by our Constitution should not place any person in fear of arrest or prosecution.

    I trust your opinion will help clarify this matter and provide guidance to prevent well-intentioned persons from becoming entangled in a legal situation that they understood to be constitutionally protected and lawful conduct.

    Respectfully submitted,




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    good to know, last thing I want to do is run afoul of the law and cause myself grief and heartache. I did a big ride around the olympic peninsula over memorial day and it was irritating to have to disarm & lock up to go through/be in the nat'l parks out there.

    Did a bunch of research and it sounds like at one point they were toying with the idea of turning MSH over to the NPS, but as of today it's still under the control of the USFS.

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    Bear in mind that guns are prohibited IN BUILDINGS regardless of NPS or USFS property, so the 'interpretive center' is a no-go while armed.

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    are you planning on OCing incase Mt. St. Helens erupts again? Are you going to shoot the mountain?

    good idea. i'd definitely look into this!

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    Phssthpok: good to keep in mind, but I don't think i'll be anywhere near any of the buildings while I'm there. I'll be headed to the climbers bivouac and avoiding johnston ridge entirely.

    U8Dust: wild animals (especially the two legged kind) are certainly a concern of mine. Reading over statistics from the national parks, there's good reason that people wanted their carry ban overturned. May not be the case at Mt. St. Helens, but reports of people getting into really dicey situations when they encounter a grow op or a meth lab in a national park are enough to make me want to add one more tool to my kit.

    I'm not going up without a compass, water, food, etc either, does tha make me paranoid

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    Regular Member FMCDH's Avatar
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    slugsgomoo wrote:
    Phssthpok: good to keep in mind, but I don't think i'll be anywhere near any of the buildings while I'm there. I'll be headed to the climbers bivouac and avoiding johnston ridge entirely.

    U8Dust: wild animals (especially the two legged kind) are certainly a concern of mine. Reading over statistics from the national parks, there's good reason that people wanted their carry ban overturned. May not be the case at Mt. St. Helens, but reports of people getting into really dicey situations when they encounter a grow op or a meth lab in a national park are enough to make me want to add one more tool to my kit.

    I'm not going up without a compass, water, food, etc either, does tha make me paranoid
    Didn't you know? Your only suppose to carrysomething when youknow your going to need it.Otherwise, your just being silly and inviting trouble.

    For example, if you carry a compass and you didn't know you were going to get lost in the first place, then something bad is certain to happen to you or someone else as a result.

    Really slugsgomoo, do try and keep up with the liberal logic

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    Regular Member Metalhead47's Avatar
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    Phssthpok wrote:
    Bear in mind that guns are prohibited IN BUILDINGS regardless of NPS or USFS property, so the 'interpretive center' is a no-go while armed.
    Wait a sec, does that mean ranger stations are off-limits to carry?
    It is very wise to not take a watermelon lightly.

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    Campaign Veteran Right Wing Wacko's Avatar
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    § 930. Possession of firearms and dangerous weapons in Federal facilities

    (a) Except as provided in subsection (d), whoever knowingly possesses or causes to be present a firearm or other dangerous weapon in a Federal facility (other than a Federal court facility), or attempts to do so, shall be fined under this title or imprisoned not more than 1 year, or both.
    (d) Subsection (a) shall not apply to—
    (1) the lawful performance of official duties by an officer, agent, or employee of the United States, a State, or a political subdivision thereof, who is authorized by law to engage in or supervise the prevention, detection, investigation, or prosecution of any violation of law;

    (2) the possession of a firearm or other dangerous weapon by a Federal official or a member of the Armed Forces if such possession is authorized by law; or

    (3) the lawful carrying of firearms or other dangerous weapons in a Federal facility incident to hunting or other lawful purposes.
    (g) As used in this section:

    (1) The term “Federal facility” means a building or part thereof owned or leased by the Federal Government, where Federal employees are regularly present for the purpose of performing their official duties.

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    Campaign Veteran Right Wing Wacko's Avatar
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    So, unless you want to be a "Test Case" on the "Other Lawful Purposes" clause....

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    Regular Member Metalhead47's Avatar
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    Right Wing Wacko wrote:
    So, unless you want to be a "Test Case" on the "Other Lawful Purposes" clause....
    Heh, well I ask because not too long ago I walked into a ranger station while OCing... to ask them about firearm rules in the National Forest of all things:quirky
    It is very wise to not take a watermelon lightly.

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    Campaign Veteran Right Wing Wacko's Avatar
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    Then there is this:

    (h) Notice of the provisions of subsections (a) and (b) shall be posted conspicuously at each public entrance to each Federal facility, and notice of subsection (e) shall be posted conspicuously at each public entrance to each Federal court facility, and no person shall be convicted of an offense under subsection (a) or (e) with respect to a Federal facility if such notice is not so posted at such facility, unless such person had actual notice of subsection (a) or (e), as the case may be.

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