38 FR 5855, Mar. 5, 1973, unless otherwise noted.
National Forest Wilderness shall consist of those units of the National Wilderness Preservation System which at least 30 days before the Wilderness Act of September 3, 1964, were designated as Wilderness and Wild under Secretary of Agriculture's Regulations U-1 and U-2 (§§ 251.20, 251.21), the Boundary Waters Canoe Area as designated under Regulation U-3 (§ 294.1), and such other areas of the National Forests as may later be added to the System by act of Congress. Sections 293.1 to 293.15 apply to all National Forest units now or hereafter in the National Wilderness Preservation System, including the Boundary Waters Canoe Area, Superior National Forest, except as that area is subject to § 293.16.
Except as otherwise provided in the regulations in this part, National Forest Wilderness shall be so administered as to meet the public purposes of recreational, scenic, scientific, educational, conservation, and historical uses; and it shall also be administered for such other purposes for which it may have been established in such a manner as to preserve and protect its wilderness character. In carrying out such purposes, National Forest Wilderness resources shall be managed to promote, perpetuate, and, where necessary, restore the wilderness character of the land and its specific values of solitude, physical and mental challenge, scientific study, inspiration, and primitive recreation. To that end:
(a) Natural ecological succession will be allowed to operate freely to the extent feasible.
(b) Wilderness will be made available for human use to the optimum extent consistent with the maintenance of primitive conditions.
(c) In resolving conflicts in resource use, wilderness values will be dominant to the extent not limited by the Wilderness Act, subsequent establishing legislation, or the regulations in this part.
(a) To the extent not limited by the Wilderness Act, subsequent legislation establishing a particular unit, or the regulations in this part, the Chief, Forest Service, may prescribe measures necessary to control fire, insects, and disease and measures which may be used in emergencies involving the health and safety of persons or damage to property and may require permits for, or otherwise limit or regulate, any use of National Forest land, including, but not limited to, camping, campfires, and grazing of recreation livestock.
(b) For all prohibitions in National Forest Wildernesses, see part 261 of this chapter.
The Chief, Forest Service, in accordance with section 3(a)(2) of the Wilderness Act, shall establish uniform procedures and standards for the maintenance and availability to the public of records pertaining to National Forest Wilderness, including maps and legal descriptions; copies of regulations governing Wilderness; and copies of public notices and reports submitted to Congress regarding pending additions, eliminations, or modifications. Copies of such information pertaining to National Forest Wilderness within their respective jurisdictions shall be available to the public in the appropriate offices of the Regional Foresters, Forest Supervisors, and Forest Rangers.
National Forest Wilderness will be established, modified, or eliminated in accordance with the provisions of sections 3(b), (d), and (e) of the Wilderness Act. The Chief, Forest Service, shall arrange for issuing public notices, appointing hearing officers, holding public hearings, and notifying the Governors of the States concerned and the governing board of each county in which the lands involved are located.
(a) At least 30 days' public notice shall be given of the proposed action and intent to hold a public hearing. Public notice shall include publication in the Federal Register and in a newspaper of general circulation in the vicinity of the land involved.
(b) Public hearings shall be held at locations convenient to the area affected. If the land involved is in more than one State, at least one hearing shall be held in each State in which a portion of the land lies.
(c) A record of the public hearing and the views submitted subsequent to public notice and prior to the close of the public hearing shall be included with any recommendations to the President and to the Congress with respect to any such action.
(d) At least 30 days before the date of the public hearing, suitable advice shall be furnished to the Governor of each State and the governing board of each county or, in Alaska, the borough in which the lands are located, and Federal departments and agencies concerned; and such officers or Federal agencies shall be invited to submit their views on the proposed action at the hearing or in writing by not later than 30 days following the date of the hearing. Any views submitted in response to such advice with respect to any proposed Wilderness action shall be included with any recommendations to the President and to the Congress with respect to any such action.
Except as provided in the Wilderness Act, subsequent legislation establishing a particular Wilderness unit, or §§ 294.2(b), 294.2(c), and 294.2(e), paragraphs (c) and (d) of this section, and §§ 293.7, 293.8, and 293.12 through 293.16, inclusive, and subject to existing rights, there shall be in National Forest Wilderness no commercial enterprises; no temporary or permanent roads; no aircraft landing strips; no heliports or helispots, no use of motor vehicles, motorized equipment, motorboats, or other forms of mechanical transport; no landing of aircraft; no dropping of materials, supplies, or persons from aircraft; no structures or installations; and no cutting of trees for nonwilderness purposes.
(a) Mechanical transport, as herein used, shall include any contrivance which travels over ground, snow, or water on wheels, tracks, skids, or by floatation and is propelled by a nonliving power source contained or carried on or within the device.
(b) Motorized equipment, as herein used, shall include any machine activated by a nonliving power source, except that small battery-powered, hand-carried devices such as flashlights, shavers, and Geiger counters are not classed as motorized equipment.
(c) The Chief, Forest Service, may authorize occupancy and use of National Forest land by officers, employees, agencies, or agents of the Federal, State, and county governments to carry out the purposes of the Wilderness Act and will prescribe conditions under which motorized equipment, mechanical transport, aircraft, aircraft landing strips, heliports, helispots, installations, or structures may be used, transported, or installed by the Forest Service and its agents and by other Federal, State, or county agencies or their agents, to meet the minimum requirements for authorized activities to protect and administer the Wilderness and its resources. The Chief may also prescribe the conditions under which such equipment, transport, aircraft, installations, or structures may be used in emergencies involving the health and safety of persons, damage to property, or other purposes.
(d) The Chief, Forest Service, may permit, subject to such restrictions as he deems desirable, the landing of aircraft and the use of motorboats at places within any Wilderness where these uses were established prior to the date the Wilderness was designated by Congress as a unit of the National Wilderness Preservation System. The Chief may also permit the maintenance of aircraft landing strips, heliports, or helispots which existed when the Wilderness was designated by Congress as a unit of the National Wilderness Preservation System.
(a) The grazing of livestock, where such use was established before the date of legislation which includes an area in the National Wilderness Preservation System, shall be permitted to continue under the general regulations covering grazing of livestock on the National Forests and in accordance with special provisions covering grazing use in units of National Forest Wilderness which the Chief of the Forest Service may prescribe for general application in such units or may arrange to have prescribed for individual units.
(b) The Chief, Forest Service, may permit, subject to such conditions as he deems necessary, the maintenance, reconstruction, or relocation of those livestock management improvements and structures which existed within a Wilderness when it was incorporated into the National Wilderness Preservation System. Additional improvements or structures may be built when necessary to protect wilderness value.
Motels, summer homes, stores, resorts, organization camps, hunting and fishing lodges, electronic installations, and similar structures and uses are prohibited in National Forest Wilderness. The Chief, Forest Service, may permit temporary structures and commercial services within National Forest Wilderness to the extent necessary for realizing the recreational or other wilderness purposes, which may include, but are not limited to, the public services generally offered by packers, outfitters, and guides.
Nothing in the regulations in this part shall be construed as affecting the jurisdiction or responsibility of the several States with respect to wildlife and fish in the National Forests.
Nothing in the regulations in this part constitutes an expressed or implied claim or denial on the part of the Department of Agriculture as to exemption from State water laws.
States or persons, and their successors in interest, who own land completely surrounded by National Forest Wilderness shall be given access as provided in subpart D of part 251 of this chapter.
[56 FR 27419, June 14, 1991]
Persons with valid occupancies wholly within National Forest Wilderness shall be permitted access to such surrounded occupancies by means consistent with the preservation of National Forest Wilderness which have been or are being customarily used with respect to other such occupancies surrounded by National Forest Wilderness. The Forest Service will, when appropriate, issue permits which shall prescribe the routes of travel to and from the surrounded occupancies, the mode of travel, and other conditions reasonably necessary to preserve the National Forest Wilderness.
[39 FR 31321, Aug. 28, 1974]
(a) All laws pertaining to mineral leasing shall extend to each National Forest Wilderness for the period specified in the Wilderness Act or subsequent establishing legislation to the same extent they were applicable prior to the date the Wilderness was designated by Congress as a part of the National Wilderness Preservation System. No person shall have any right or interest in or to any mineral deposits which may be discovered through prospecting or other information-gathering activity after the legal date on which the laws pertaining to mineral leasing cease to apply to the specific Wilderness, nor shall any person after such date have any preference in applying for a mineral lease, license, or permit.
(b) Mineral leases, permits, and licenses covering lands within National Forest Wilderness will contain reasonable stipulations for the protection of the wilderness character of the land consistent with the use of the land for purposes for which they are leased, permitted, or licensed. The Chief, Forest Service, shall specify the conditions to be included in such stipulations.
(c) Permits shall not be issued for the removal of mineral materials commonly known as common varieties under the Minerals Act of July 31, 1947, as amended and supplemented (30 U.S.C. 601-604).
[39 FR 31321, Aug. 28, 1974]
(a) The Chief, Forest Service, shall allow any activity, for the purposes of gathering information about resources, other than minerals, in National Forest Wilderness, except that any such activity for gathering information shall be carried on in a manner compatible with the preservation of the wilderness environment. Prospecting for minerals or any activity for the purpose of gathering information about minerals in National Forest Wilderness is subject to the regulations in part 252 of this chapter.
(c) Any person desiring to use motorized equipment, to land aircraft, or to make substantial excavations for the purpose of gathering information about resources, other than minerals, shall apply in writing to the Office of the Forest Supervisor or District Ranger having jurisdiction over the land involved. Excavations shall be considered substantial which singularly or collectively exceed 200 cubic feet within any area which can be bounded by a rectangle containing 20 surface acres. Such use or excavation may be authorized by a permit issued by the Forest Service. Such permits may provide for the protection of National Forest resources, including wilderness values, protection of the public, and restoration of disturbed areas, including the posting of performance bonds.
(d) Prospecting for water resources and the establishment of new reservoirs, water-conservation works, power projects, transmission lines, and other facilities needed in the public interest and the subsequent maintenance of such facilities, all pursuant to section (4)(d)(4)(1) of the Wilderness Act, will be permitted when and as authorized by the President.
(a) Motorboat use.
(1) For purposes of this section, motorboats permitted to operate in the BWCA Wilderness are defined as watercraft propelled by a gasoline or electric powered motor with the propeller below the waterline.
(2) Motorboats may operate without restrictions on motor size or number of motors on Sand Point Lake, Little Vermilion Lake, Loon Lake, Loon River, and that portion of Lac La Croix which lies south of Snow Bay and east of Wilkins Bay, all in Saint Louis County.
(3) Motorboats with a motor or combination of motors totaling no more than 25 horsepower may operate on Trout Lake in Saint Louis County, Fall Lake, Moose Lake, Newfound Lake, Newton Lake, Sucker Lake, Snowbank Lake, South Farm Lake, and Basswood Lake, except that portion of Basswood Lake generally north of the narrows at the north end of Jackfish Bay and north of a point on the International Boundary between Ottawa Island and Washington Island, all in Lake County, and East Bearskin Lake and Saganaga Lake, except that portion west of American Point in Cook County.
(4) Motorboats with a motor or combination of motors totaling no more than 10 horsepower may operate on Clearwater Lake, North Fowl Lake, South Fowl Lake, Alder Lake, Canoe Lake, Sea Gull Lake, and Island River east of Lake Isabella, all in Lake County, except that motorboats may not operate -
(i) After January 1, 1999 on that portion of Sea Gull Lake west of Threemile Island, and
(ii) After January 1, 1994, on Brule Lake in Cook County or until the termination of the operation of the resort adjacent to Brule Lake in operation as of 1977, whichever occurs first.
(5) Motorboats with a combination of motors that exceed 25 horsepower may travel on that portion of Saganaga Lake in Cook County described as the Saganaga Corridor extending from the Saganaga Narrows north to the International Boundary east of Campers, Clark and Horseshoe Islands and west of Oskenonton Island; provided that the motor or motors in operation at one time do not exceed 25 horsepower.
(b) Mechanical and mechanized portages.
(1) BWCA visitors may use portage wheels and other non-motorized devices to transport watercraft over the following routes:
(i) The portages along the International Boundary.
(ii) Four Mile Portage from Fall Lake to Hoist Bay of Basswood Lake.
(iii) The portage from Back Bay to Pipestone Bay of Basswood Lake.
(iv) The portages from Fall Lake to Newton Lake to Pipestone Bay of Basswood Lake.
(v) The portage from Vermilion Lake to Trout Lake.
(2) The Forest Service may authorize, by special use permit, the use of motor vehicles to transport watercraft over the following portages:
(i) Four Mile Portage From Fall Lake to Hoist Bay of Basswood Lake.
(ii) Vermilion Lake to Trout Lake.
(iii) Prairie Portage from Sucker Lake to Basswood Lake
(iv) Loon River to Loon Lake and from Loon Lake to Lac La Croix.
(c) Snowmobile use.
(1) A snowmobile is defined as a self-propelled, motorized vehicle not exceeding forty inches in width designed to operate on ice and snow, having a ski or skiis in contact with the snow and driven by a track or tracks.
(2) The Forest Service permits use of snowmobiles only on the following routes:
(i) The overland portages in Saint Louis County from Crane Lake to Little Vermilion Lake in Canada.
(ii) The route in Cook County from Sea Gull River along the eastern portion of Saganage Lake to Canada.
(3) The Forest Service may issue special-use authorizations to use snowmobiles for the grooming of specified cross-country ski trails near existing resorts.
[50 FR 16231, Apr. 25, 1985]
(a) Within those areas of National Forests classified as Primitive on the effective date of the Wilderness Act, September 3, 1964, there shall be no roads or other provision for motorized transportation, no commercial timber cutting, and no occupancy under special-use permit for hotels, stores, resorts, summer homes, organization camps, hunting and fishing lodges, or similar uses: Provided, That existing roads over National Forest lands reserved from the public domain and roads necessary for the exercise of a statutory right of ingress and egress may be allowed under appropriate conditions determined by the Chief, Forest Service.
(b) Grazing of domestic livestock, development of water storage projects which do not involve road construction, and improvements necessary for the protection of the National Forests may be permitted, subject to such restrictions as the Chief, Forest Service, deems desirable. Within Primitive Areas, when the use is for other than administrative needs of the Forest Service, use by other Federal agencies when authorized by the Chief, and in emergencies, the landing of aircraft and the use of motorboats are prohibited on National Forest land or water unless such use by aircraft or motorboats has already become well established, the use of motor vehicles is prohibited, and the use of other motorized equipment is prohibited except as authorized by the Chief. These restrictions are not intended as limitations on statutory rights of ingress and egress or of prospecting, locating, and developing mineral resources.
(c) All prohibitions for those areas of National Forest classified as Primitive on the effective date of the Wilderness Act, September 3, 1964, are in part 261.