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Last Rap in the Subway - intervention?

Discussion in 'General Discussion' started by ratagonia, Sep 18, 2018.

  1. Ram

    Ram

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    Works just fine when you ARE going to climb North Guardian......or South Guardian. A fine outing
  2. Canyonero

    Canyonero

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    Because she'll turn to one of them and ask "What are you doing today?" and the kid will say "The Subway!" Also because I don't get in a habit of lying to cops. Usually doesn't end well.
  3. ratagonia

    ratagonia

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    I'm not suggesting lying to cops. Don't lie to cops.

    But only the LE Rangers are cops. Don't lie to the rangers. But you do not also need to tell either what you are doing in the Park. You are not under that obligation.

    But I talk a big game. I have never given lip to a backcountry ranger or LE Ranger. I respect that they have a difficult job to do, or at least do well. They generally ask for and get cooperation that they are not entitled to. This is called being polite. Let's all be polite.

    Tom
  4. Canyonero

    Canyonero

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    So how do you tell the difference between a Ranger you have to show your permit to if asked and a Ranger you don't?
  5. YoungBuck

    YoungBuck

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    If they have a gun give it up. /s

    LE rangers are a lot more LE like than normal rangers, side arm, radio, "PARK RANGER" Tahoe with lights, etc.
  6. ratagonia

    ratagonia

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    You do not have to show your permit to a Ranger, even an LE Ranger.

    Of course, the Ranger will probably disagree, and the magistrate in St George is likely to agree with the LE Ranger.

    So, to answer your question, you can ask if they are a Law Enforcement Ranger.

    If you are feeling rascally, you can say the magic words: "Am I being detained?"

    If they ask if you have a permit, I suggest stating that you do, and the name under which the permit is. If they ask to see it, I would first say no, thank you. In Tom's World, they need reasonable suspicion to require you to show them the permit. But the magistrate does not live in Tom's World. Thus, in the real world, I would state my opinion and then show them my permit.

    Please note, I do not object to being asked for my permit at the Trailhead, only in the backcountry.

    Tom
  7. Gooseberry

    Gooseberry

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    Just saw this. I think in this situation the ranger can ask for the permit because you don’t have a legitimate expectation of privacy as it relates to being detained and asked for the permit if the ranger can’t immediately see it and confirm it is valid. If we assume that; one, the permit system itself is constitutional due to a legitimate state police power interest in regulating specific areas of the park; and two, that the NPS allowed for due process in the creation of the rules; and three, that the system doesn’t violate equal protection; and four, that the system is specifically tailored to meet the state’s interest in the least intrusive manner possible, then when you pick up your permit you are accepting and subject to the terms of using it. One of the terms is to prominently display it. If the ranger doesn’t see it or can’t visually confirm its validity, then it’s RAS and they can ask. They can’t arrest you for it, but they can certainly detain you for a reasonable period of time to issue you a citation for failure to comply with the land use regulations. If you refuse to comply, then they can and most certainly will, arrest you. I hope this makes sense. I’m a public defender in SLC and I am old friends with Rob Heinemen BTW who said if I ever ran into you to say hello.
    darhawk and ratagonia like this.
  8. ratagonia

    ratagonia

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    I realize most federal permits have a requirement for "prominent display", but the Zion canyoneering permits do not have this requirement in the contract. And it is not the least intrusive way of managing that... they do that anyway at the parking lots, where we are both out of the Wilderness Area and have different expectations of privacy.

    But I take your point.

    Hello!
  9. Morgan

    Morgan

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    Not in the Subway, but we had a less than desirable ranger situation in Englestead last year. It was the same weekend as the zion rendezvous so the rangers were out to get affiliated groups. My group however was unaffiliated, but happened to get to the first rap right before two rendezvous groups so a cluster ensued at the top. I set a rope from the normal tree and went down, the rendezvous group(s) set a 600 ft rope on a tree just down the rim from the normal spot. 3 Rangers show up, one with a pistol. Someone from my group must have been really nice because the rangers proceeded to hijack my rope after only two of our group had gone down so that the 3 rangers could rap down faster than everyone else. After this experience I will never let this happen again. Because of this our group got bottlenecked at the base of the first rap with everyone else. Rangers asked some question and proceeded down canyon. They were treading lightly because you are outside of the park at that point. All good. We thought. Myself and a buddy were out in front strolling between the two technical sections of englestead when we round a corner and proceeded to get interrogated by the rangers. They then did this to all of our party and the rendezvous parties as people passed by this location. No citations were issued, but was kind of a buzzkill.

    Perhaps because we were all so "polite" they didn't give us too much grief. We passed them again as they scrubbed a penis carving in the moss off of an orderville waterfall. Sigh. I do value the work that they and other NPS staff do, this just seemed a little extreme, and after this experience I will probably not let this situation happen again.
    Yellow Dart and hank moon like this.
  10. ratagonia

    ratagonia

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    Did this impact your Wilderness experience?
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  11. YoungBuck

    YoungBuck

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    My wilderness experience has yet to be impacted by Park Rangers showing up in it. However I've had a few run in's, one of them was this spring, I was the permit holder for a group of 6 doing Subway/Das Boot in March. We had originally thought we'd have to drop a car and hitch hike, but we managed to snag a second car at 10pm the night before. At that point I already had the permit number on the dash of the original car, and the permit itself packed and loaded to go, and didn't even think about getting the permit number in the second car.

    Upon completion, one of my companions and I took off to grab the car at the top. After a few minutes of driving, we were pulled over by a LEO. The ranger asked us what we were doing at the trail head, and said he had pulled us over because we didn't have a permit number visible. The Park Ranger(who had stopped me 3 other times over the previous 5 weeks to this run in), told us we needed to be more careful in the future because they sometimes go around and ticket every car in the left fork trail head parking lot that doesn't have a visible permit. I understand we were wrong in not having a permit visible in both vehicles. But the idea of just slapping tickets all over seems a like a bit of over reach. In this same run in, after checking my permit and seeing that it was for six people and there was only two of us in car. He warned me that, the other four sitting at the trail head could be cited because I wasn't with them.

    So, make sure to to have the permit number in every vehicle, and equip every group member with a copy of your permit because heaven forbid you need to shuttle cars and split the group after finishing the canyon. I'm just glad I tossed my pack in the car with me, if I had have left my pack(and permit) at the trail head with the rest of the group. I could have easily been cited...while driving on a public road, for not having a permit to a nearby canyon...

    It's all kinda silly really
  12. CRNPRES

    CRNPRES

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    This is really poor advise. Being in an permitted area or engaged in a permitted activity is enough reasonable suspicious to detain a person/group and check a permit. After permit is produced that matches activity, # of people, date,etc then the officer would loose the ability to further the detention unless there is reasonable suspicious of a different violation.

    Thats like saying I can go hunting on public land and refuse to show my hunting license.
    darhawk likes this.
  13. Rob Schwarzmann

    Rob Schwarzmann

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    "This is really poor advise. Being in an permitted area or engaged in a permitted activity is enough reasonable suspicious to detain a person/group and check a permit. After permit is produced that matches activity, # of people, date,etc then the officer would loose the ability to further the detention unless there is reasonable suspicious of a different violation."

    -CRNPRES

    "Being in a permitted area" What do you consider a permitted area?

    I can't count how many times I have been harassed by a ranger in Zion while hanging out with a back pack in a parking lot.

    For instance you can do a nearly infinite amount of day hikes into the wilderness from the Wildcat Canyon trail head, which is not a permitted area, but you may have to cross one, or three depending on which one you choose.

    So if I am doing North Guardian Angel you think its ok for a Zion Park Ranger to ask me for a permit, and if I refuse to give up my privacy they can detain me?

    Rob
  14. CRNPRES

    CRNPRES

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    Your not in a permitted area at that point. It’s okay for a Ranger to ask anytime it does not require anything to ask question. Detaining someone falls under reasonable suspicious of a violation. This can be you have a imlay pack on with a rope and wetsuit tied to it - it’s reasonable to believe you are going or coming back from Canyoneering. Could you be doing something else yes but it’s reasonable to believe based on location and attire that you are planning or were Canyoneering.

    The detention for questioning then leads to either Probable cause for a citation or warning. Do you have the right to refuse to answer questions? always!
  15. CRNPRES

    CRNPRES

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    There’s a lot of circumstances that can change this situation. Attire is just one.
  16. ratagonia

    ratagonia

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    CRNPres - you seem to be up on things. Do you know the purpose of the Permit System?

    In case you don't know where I am headed with this, give this a read:

    https://www.fs.usda.gov/treesearch/pubs/38852

    (Although, in a NPS context, this is a Forest Service research paper, so it MUST be wrong!)

    Tom
  17. CRNPRES

    CRNPRES

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    Tom,

    I would add this document as well to be Zion specific.

    https://www.nps.gov/zion/learn/management/upload/ZION Backcountry Management Plan and EA.doc

    I have read both, the wilderness act several times and a handful of other documentation on wilderness. I am sure you have read many as well.

    None affect your 4th amendment rights of an individual and the officers ability to detained you for questioning, idenifictaion, permit checks etc. Federal Case Law sets that. Most noteworthy Terry v Ohio, 392 US 1 which sets the bases for a “Terry Stop” which is what we are referring to.

    Unfortanately, the solitude of wilderness likely will continue to be infringed by rangers checking permits as long as sites continue to manage wilderness character by limiting # of people, group sizes, commercial use, etc. And as visitation increases specifically in Utah, more sites will be forced to limit visitation to preserve wilderness character with permitting.

    I know where you are coming from but the legal standing for a permit check, questioning, detention, etc are not dependent on being located in wilderness.
  18. ratagonia

    ratagonia

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    "Terry v. Ohio, 392 U.S. 1 (1968), was a landmark case argued by the United States Supreme Court which held that the Fourth Amendment prohibition on unreasonable searches and seizures is not violated when a police officer stops a suspect on the street and frisks him or her without probable cause to arrest, if the police officer has a reasonable suspicion that the person has committed, is committing, or is about to commit a crime and has a reasonable belief that the person "may be armed and presently dangerous."

    While the case was largely about the frisk, WE are not discussing frisking for weapons.

    I consider such a stop a Terry Stop, and consider it to require "a reasonable suspicion that the person has committed, is committing, or is about to commit a crime". My being in a permit-requiring area is not grounds for a reasonable suspicion. The Magistrate undoubtedly disagrees, and it hardly seems worth the bother to get to an appeals court, even the SCOTUS of the last 20 years, who's jurisprudence has a very narrow view of the 4th amendment.

    My more-valid claim is a matter of policy. The heavy hand of the LE's in Zion's Subway is poor policy for managing the Wilderness Experience of visitors. I realize in a bureaucracy conformance to the rules becomes more important than what the goals the rules were written to produce. Much like Stop and Frisk policing, and our efforts in Iraq, the heavy hand of the Man can be successful at producing conformance to the rules while being totally counter to producing the desired results.

    Tom
  19. CRNPRES

    CRNPRES

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    Terry v Ohio case itself was a stop and frisk but the Supreme Court also addresses just a detainment for questioning . A “Terry Stop” which can be a vehicle stop for a simple traffic offense for speed. This is only one case there are mulitple that come together on detaining and questioning.

    You being in a permitted area (thats closed to people without a permit) is reasonable suspicious to detain you for questioning/permit check. Once a permit is produced that matches the activity there would no longer be reasonable suspicious to continue the detainment (if no ther violations existed).

    If one day there is a case that goes to the 8th circuit or the Supreme Court saying otherwise then this could change. There’s obvious reasons there is in an increase of LE presence at the Left Fork and I know you are aware of them (just a fun fact 95% of Left fork permit checks are at the trailhead which is not in wilderness).

    Several people say there needs to be more permit checks and several saying less just in the forum alone. I am going to leave it at that.
    Dave Melton and ratagonia like this.
  20. Wayne L

    Wayne L

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    But the price for a group of 12 is too good to pass up! Why pay $20 for 3 people when you can get a permit for 12 for only $25? It's obvious that the NPS prefers large groups because of the pricing.

    P.S. I agree that 12 is too many. Maybe they should charge $5 per person and see how many people still want to have a group of 12 for $60 instead of $25.
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