The Wilderness Act-Exceptions

The following  excerpt is from a BLM website:BLM Wilderness Management Manual

B. Prohibited Uses

1. Introduction Section 4(c) of the Wilderness Act lists uses and activities that are specifically prohibited in wilderness: “Except as specifically provided for in this Act, and subject to existing private rights, there shall be no commercial enterprise and no permanent road within any wilderness area designated by this Act and, except as necessary to meet minimum requirements for the administration of the area for the purpose of this Act (including measures required in emergencies involving the health and safety of persons within the area), there shall be no temporary road, no use of motor vehicles, motorized equipment or motorboats, no landing of aircraft, no other form of mechanical transport, and no structure or installation within any such area.” The BLM will also consider legal requirements of other applicable laws. See also section 1.6.B.3.d.iv of this manual.

2. The Prohibited Uses There are ten developments and uses that are referred to in the Act as “Prohibited Uses” and are also known as “the Section 4(c) prohibitions.” Definitions and discussion of each prohibited use are provided below. a. commercial enterprise. Any use or activity undertaken for the purpose of the sale of products or services, for the generation of funds or revenue, or for the promotion of a product, individual, or business, regardless of whether the use or activity is intended to produce a profit, including any use or activity where an entry or participation fee is charged. The Wilderness Act allows some commercial services to be permitted “to the extent necessary … for realizing the recreational or other wilderness purposes of the area” (Section 4(d)(6)). Section 1.6.C.4 of this manual provides additional information on authorized commercial uses in wilderness. “Commercial enterprise” includes, but is not limited to: mining, timber harvesting, and geothermal leasing. b. permanent roads. Routes used by motor vehicles or mechanical transport over an indefinite period of time. “Permanent roads” do not include cherry-stemmed routes (see Glossary), which are outside the wilderness boundary. Permanent roads must be associated with a valid existing right (as noted in 1.6.B.3.b), or explicitly identified in the legislation designating a particular wilderness. Permanent roads will be removed (or allowed to restore naturally, if that would be less harmful to overall wilderness character) if the valid existing right or other permitted use is retired or otherwise ends. The definition of permanent roads for the purposes of wilderness management is not necessarily the same as the definition of “road” in the context of BLM transportation planning or the BLM Manual 6340—Management of BLM Wilderness 1-13 BLM MANUAL Rel. No. 6-135 7/13/2012 “wilderness inventory road” definition used in Manual 6310-Inventory for Lands with Wilderness Characteristics. c. temporary roads. Routes used by motor vehicles or mechanical transport over a finite period of time. Temporary roads may only be allowed in wilderness areas if they are associated with a valid existing right (as noted in 1.6.B.3.b), necessary to meet minimum requirements for the administration of the area for the purpose of the Wilderness Act (as noted in 1.6.B.3.c), including measures required in emergencies involving the health and safety of persons within the area, allowed under a special provision of Section 4(d) of the Act, or explicitly identified in the legislation designating a particular wilderness. The definition of temporary roads for the purposes of wilderness management is not necessarily the same as the definition of “road” in the context of BLM transportation planning or the “wilderness inventory road” definition used in Manual 6310-Inventory for Lands with Wilderness Characteristics. d. motor vehicles. Any means of transportation over land, snow, or ice that is powered by a motor, engine, or other non-living power source. “Motor vehicles” include, but are not limited to: trucks, motorcycles, ATVs, and snowmobiles. Use of motor vehicles may only be allowed in wilderness areas if it is associated with a valid existing right (as noted in 1.6.B.3.b), if necessary to meet minimum requirements for the administration of the area for the purpose of the Wilderness Act (as noted in 1.6.B.3.c), including measures required in emergencies involving the health and safety of persons within the area, allowed under a special provision of Section 4(d) of the Act, or explicitly identified in the legislation designating a particular wilderness. e. motorized equipment. Any machine that applies force by transferring energy from a motor, engine, or other non-living power source. “Motorized equipment” includes, but is not limited to: chainsaws, power drills, suction dredges, and generators. The prohibited power sources include, but are not limited to: internal combustion engines, batteries, wind, solar, and hydro-power. “Motorized equipment” does not include machines where no force is applied (electronics), or small personal equipment where the force is negligible (such as watches, electric shavers, or flashlights). Use of motorized equipment may only be allowed in wilderness areas if it is associated with a valid existing right (as noted in 1.6.B.3.b), if necessary to meet minimum requirements for the administration of the area for the purpose of the Wilderness Act (as noted in 1.6.B.3.c), including measures required in emergencies involving the health and safety of persons within the area, allowed under a special provision of Section 4(d) of the Act, or explicitly identified in the legislation designating a particular wilderness’.  END:

 

So my conclusion is this:

Please note the Wilderness Act does in fact allow the use of chain saws in the wilderness.

Please note that the BLM, USFS, and NPS, does in fact use chains saws in the wilderness.

I am interested in knowing if the above two items are not factual.

Wally

 

 

One thought on “The Wilderness Act-Exceptions

  1. More discussion about the “allowed use of Chain saws in Wilderness:

    2326.04c – Forest Supervisor The Forest Supervisor approves the use of motorized equipment or mechanical transport under conditions described in section 2326.1, item 1 or 3. However, the Regional Forester shall approve the use of tractors for fire suppression. 2326.1 – Conditions Under Which Use May Be Approved Allow the use of motorized equipment or mechanical transport only for: 1. Emergencies where the situation involves an inescapable urgency and temporary need for speed beyond that available by primitive means. Categories include fire suppression, health and safety, law enforcement involving serious crime or fugitive pursuit, removal of deceased persons, and aircraft accident investigations. 2. Aircraft or motorboat use established before the area was designated as wilderness by the Act of 1964 or subsequent wilderness legislation. 3. Exploration and development of valid existing mineral rights (FSM 2323.7). 4. Access to surrounded State and private lands and valid occupancies (FSM 2326.13). 5. To meet minimum needs for protection and administration of the area as wilderness, only as follows: a. A delivery or application problem necessary to meet wilderness objectives cannot be resolved within reason through the use of nonmotorized methods. b. An essential activity is impossible to accomplish by nonmotorized means because of such factors as time or season limitations, safety, or other material restrictions.
    WO AMENDMENT 2300-2007-1 EFFECTIVE DATE: 01/22/2007 DURATION: This amendment is effective until superseded or removed.
    2320 Page 54 of 55
    FSM 2300 – RECREATION, WILDERNESS, AND RELATED RESOURCE MANAGEMENT CHAPTER 2320 – WILDERNESS MANAGEMENT

    c. A necessary and continuing program was established around the use of motorized equipment before the unit became a part of the National Wilderness Preservation System, and the continued use of motorized equipment is essential to continuation of the program. d. Removal of aircraft wreckage when nonmotorized methods are unsuitable. Specify, for each wilderness, the places and circumstances in which motorized equipment, mechanical transport, or aircraft are necessary for protection and administration of the wilderness and its resources in the forest plan. The Line Officer approving the use of motorized equipment, aircraft, or mechanical transport shall specify what uses of that equipment are suitable and will have the least lasting impact to the wilderness resource. Schedule use of this equipment to minimize impact on wilderness visitors.

    Forest Service Policy
    2323.13f – Transportation System . Design, construct, and maintain the transportation system in wilderness to provide access to and within a wilderness, that meets the wilderness objectives described in the forest plan.
    1. Trails
    a. Design and locate trails so that nonmotorized and nonmechanical equipment can be used for construction and management.
    . Trails are an acceptable improvement. Construct and maintain trails to standards described in FSH 2309.18, Trails Management Handbook. National Recreation Trails are generally not designated within wilderness (FSM 2350).
    b. Design and locate trails to fit into the natural landscape as unobtrusively as possible.
    c. Maintain trails by nonmotorized methods except for situations described in section 2326.

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