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LittleJohn

Paradise Parking Lot

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    I had a lot of internal conflict on whether to post this incident or not, and decided to post it because I do believe in full disclosure of law enforcement activities.  I have no complaint with any of the officers involved, the way I was treated or anything else to do with the incident.  

    Saturday morning I took my daughter up to hike up to Camp Muir.  I am a veterinarian who works only with farm animals, and I took my working truck to the Paradise lot.  I had left an empty bottle of cattle vaccine with syringe and needle attached to it in the coffee cup holder of my truck.  The coffee cup holder is located on the floor, in front of the center console of the front seat.  It can not be seen through the front or rear window, only by really looking from a side window.  Shortly after we got back from Muir, several police officers came over and questioned me about the needle and bottle in the truck.  They said they routinely walk through the lots looking into cars, and they spotted the syringe and needle and were concerned about it.  They asked for driver's license- took a long time to find, forgot where I had stashed in in the pack.  In short time they accepted explanation of the bottle and syringe and we left.  

    The only reason I am posting this is to relay the level of observation that occurs in the park, far beyond what I had ever suspected.   I have no real axe to grind, or complaint with the procedure- but I do believe that everyone has the right to know what level of supervision they are under at different areas.  I was surprised at the fact they actually walk through and visually inspect cars- but it certainly is not a private area.  

    The trip itself was interesting- been to Muir many times, this was the first complete round trip that we never once  saw the mountain- even at Muir it was so cloud covered that you couldn't see anything.  I had to keep telling my daughter how pretty it really was.

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I think it is fine that they are peaking into cars and I don't blame them for questioning you about it.  If you don't have anything to hide then no problem with them looking, right?  Shootings and other crazy things can happen anywhere and they probably didn't have much to do anyway.  I was up there also on Saturday, started late and hit crummy weather the whole time.         

Interesting place to keep cattle vaccine, I hope one day you don't accidentally mistake it as coffee. .... Just kidding :-)

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it is federal land and given that our state is a legal weed state, my guess is that they are looking for weed paraphernalia.  Whether or not they would prosecute if they found anything is an interesting question to answer. 

 

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It' great that they are funded to do this but can't open the damn gate at Longmire in the Winter months earlier than 9 am - especially on a bluebird day days after any new snowfall

 

 

Edited by KaskadskyjKozak

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I'd be willing to bet some busy body noticed the syringe and reported it to the park rangers. They'd have a lot of fun in Everett these days if the presence of a syringe is that big of deal.

Edited by Bronco

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In National Parks and more and more in BLM we come under what I call "Hyper-enforcement"  You get these "federal law enforcement officers" who are literally the bottom of the barrel as far as federal law enforcement is concerned but what's more troubling is these people don't have the experience of being an actual working police officer in a town, city or sheriff dept.  You endup with mall cops who think they're "Federal Agents" sneaking around with night vision devices trying to catch climbers puffing a joint.  This is one of the main reasons that someone brings up expanding the north cascades national park and I freak out.  I don't want to live in a hyper surveillance state where some super petty wannabe James Bond who doesn't have the balls to rotate to the war stalks me while I'm trying to climb and puff some herb.  The national park service in its current state is a total disaster and the NPS should be abolished and all of the lands protected under the 1964 Wilderness Act. Happy 4th. 

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Actually, all law enforcement rangers in the national parks and, I suspect  other agencies like the Forest Service and BLM, have to go through formal training that lasts many months at the Federal Law Enforcement Training Center (FLETC) and then spend 3 months working in a supervised setting in a national park or the like before they are ultimately deployed to work in their particular park. So, calling them the equivalent of mall cops is probably not accurate. And, given that just about anyone can wander their way into a park, they face many of the same risks as police officers in regular police jurisdictions, as evidenced by the fatal shooting of a park ranger several years ago on New Year's Day by an individual trying to flee from authorities elsewhere. 

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A 3 month school and riding around for 3 more in a park doesn't make a law enforcement officer.  Working as a city police officer, a Sheriff's deputy or in the State Patrol gives you real experience.  Real cops don't waste time on petty crap, that's the biggest difference. Real cops deal with real situations and have perspective on what's important and what's a waste of time. I spend months on end traveling in parks climbing and the things you see park and blm enforcement do is juvenile and annoying.  I'm a middle aged white man saying this.  The NPS has had issues getting minorities to come to the parks. And why would they?  $$$ huge gate fees only to be harresed by some overly zelious amature wannabe "cops".  

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On 7/4/2018 at 8:58 AM, Eric T said:

 The national park service in its current state is a total disaster and the NPS should be abolished and all of the lands protected under the 1964 Wilderness Act

What would happen to all the lands, areas, parking lots, museums and buildings that the NPS administers that don't happen to meet the qualification for wilderness with a capitol W?  Think Yosemite Valley, Lake Chelan National Recreation Area, the Washington Monument and Old Faithfull, among other areas.

As far as the policing, the USFS and NPS attract people with a certain earnestness to be rangers.  LE attracts a gung ho set who want to enforce laws.  Put the two together and make sure that they don't really have too much to do, and you can end up with a bit of a pickle.

I think this study does indicate that the NPS does have a chip on their shoulder when it come to law enforcement.  Careful reading of the Gould study shows the the NPS is inflating the number and severity of assualts upon officers for whatever reasons

http://www.jmu.edu/icle/pdf_files/Applied Research/Analysis of Assaults on National Park Service Rangers.pdf

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On 7/5/2018 at 7:28 AM, Eric T said:

A 3 month school and riding around for 3 more in a park doesn't make a law enforcement officer.  Working as a city police officer, a Sheriff's deputy or in the State Patrol gives you real experience.  Real cops don't waste time on petty crap, that's the biggest difference. Real cops deal with real situations and have perspective on what's important and what's a waste of time. I spend months on end traveling in parks climbing and the things you see park and blm enforcement do is juvenile and annoying.  I'm a middle aged white man saying this.  The NPS has had issues getting minorities to come to the parks. And why would they?  $$$ huge gate fees only to be harresed by some overly zelious amature wannabe "cops".  

Wow! And I thought my Mother in Law was prejudiced.

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We've been living under a police state for years now and it's only getting worse. Glad some of you are starting to notice that it's gotten out of hand. It's well past time this country realizes that we have an out of control law enforcement system and a tangled mess of laws that even they don't understand. The cops certainly have plenty of defenders though. That squeaky clean segment of the population that "has nothing to hide".  Sure you don't. Feel free to post the contents of your hard drive if you think you're perfect.  

Feel free to call me prejudiced. Anyone that chooses to work in law enforcement these days is complicit with so many systemic crimes and constitutional violations of citizens that I'm afraid their "bad apple" arguments don't sway my opinion much. I'm wary of cops and anyone with half a brain should be too. Unfortunately it appears most in this shit hole country are walking around with less than half a functioning brain. This board being no exception apparently. 

I fail to see why a broken NPS LE system means the citizens should be robbed of their public lands and the wilderness act repealed but there's a lot of crazy things people think and say these days that don't make much sense.

 

Edited by KirkW

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6 hours ago, KirkW said:

 

I fail to see why a broken NPS LE system means the citizens should be robbed of their public lands and the wilderness act repealed but there's a lot of crazy things people think and say these days that don't make much sense.

 

Where was it said that the Wilderness Act should be repealed

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On 7/4/2018 at 8:58 AM, Eric T said:

The national park service in its current state is a total disaster and the NPS should be abolished and all of the lands protected under the 1964 Wilderness Act.

I took this to mean repeal the wilderness act but I guess you could parse it differently if you were so inclined.

 

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23 minutes ago, KirkW said:

I took this to mean repeal the wilderness act but I guess you could parse it differently if you were so inclined.

 

Quote

NPS should be abolished

Seems like just a case of poor reading comprehension

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On 7/4/2018 at 5:42 PM, iluka said:

Actually, all law enforcement rangers in the national parks and, I suspect  other agencies like the Forest Service and BLM, have to go through formal training that lasts many months at the Federal Law Enforcement Training Center (FLETC) and then spend 3 months working in a supervised setting in a national park or the like before they are ultimately deployed to work in their particular park. So, calling them the equivalent of mall cops is probably not accurate. And, given that just about anyone can wander their way into a park, they face many of the same risks as police officers in regular police jurisdictions, as evidenced by the fatal shooting of a park ranger several years ago on New Year's Day by an individual trying to flee from authorities elsewhere. 

 

It is so American to overreact inappropriately and at an exagerrated level.  One rare outlier (one ranger shot at one park once in how many years?) should not mean you change the entire way parks are staffed and rangers trained.   NPS rangers should call the real police in when actually needed in rare cases that they are - that's a better solution.

Edited by KaskadskyjKozak
cop->ranger
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6 minutes ago, KaskadskyjKozak said:

It is so American to overreact inappropriately and at an exagerrated level.  One rare outlier (one cop shot at one park once in how many years?) should not mean you change the entire way parks are staffed and rangers trained.   NPS rangers should call the real police in when actually needed in rare cases that they are - that's a better solution.

I agree

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Last year as I came off of Formidable, here was my special interaction with an NCNP NPS Ranger.  I was hiking out after three days and had my headphones on, rocking out:

Ranger:  nods or gestures at me.

Me:  I nod/wave back

Ranger:  gets angry says something

Me:  I turn of headphones and stop

Ranger:  "Take your headphones off!"

Me:   " they aren't on"

Ranger:  "where are you coming from?"

Me:  "Formidable"

Ranger :  "Where is your permit?"

Me:  "I don't need one"

Ranger:  "Yes you do" (spoken angrily, ready for a conflict)

Me:  "I'm sure it's not in the park"

Ranger:  realizing his mistake, probably thought I said "Forbidden", suddenly tries to switch to small talk "oh, how was it?  where did you camp"

Me:  "Conditions were great.  Cache col was easily passable as were the Red Ledges.  We camped past Arts Knoll"

Ranger:  clearly didn't know these places, nods like a retard.

 

Bottom line:  I am immediately a "suspect" to be questioned and accused of wrong doing.  I am never given any benefit of the doubt, am treated rudely, and then when the Ranger realizes he is in the wrong - no apologies, nothing.  The NPS has gone down the toilet as far as I am concerned and this is only one of many incidents I or others I know have had.

The park is everyone's.  It's partially mine too.  I'm not a guest or an interloper.  I pay taxes to preserve the lands and use them.  I pay for this guy's salary.  It's time the NPS get an attitude adjustment.

 

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2 hours ago, num1mc said:

Seems like just a case of poor reading comprehension

Sure. If you leave off the last part. Parse it however you want. 

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3 hours ago, KaskadskyjKozak said:

Ranger :  "Where is your permit?"

Me:  "I don't need one"

Ranger:  "Yes you do" (spoken angrily, ready for a conflict)

:lmao:This was my exact exchange with a ranger at Cascade Pass several years ago, while I was taking a rest before heading up to Cache Col.   A bit of a geography lesson for the LEOs might be more appropriate than the training for those tasers that they carry.  You know, for when I get drunk and belligerent miles from the car.

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3 hours ago, JasonG said:

:lmao:This was my exact exchange with a ranger at Cascade Pass several years ago, while I was taking a rest before heading up to Cache Col.   A bit of a geography lesson for the LEOs might be more appropriate than the training for those tasers that they carry.  You know, for when I get drunk and belligerent miles from the car.

Legally do we need to even stop and talk to a ranger?  does anyone know?  What information do they have a right to demand, if I am just hiking a trail?

I get it - if I am camping somewhere, they can ask for a permit.  But if I am just walking... no matter how heavy my pack. ...

 

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1 hour ago, KaskadskyjKozak said:

Legally do we need to even stop and talk to a ranger?  does anyone know?

https://www.aclu-wa.org/what-do-if-youre-stopped-police

I'm sure you can exercise your rights, but I imagine that it could get sticky.  As annoying as it is, I typically try to answer their accusatory questions.  But I might, just for the fun of it, take it to the extreme one day just to see what happens.  Who knows, maybe I get a windfall settlement from the gov't for police brutality?  Just gotta make sure someone is filming the debacle.

It's all pretty amusing.  I NEVER have these sorts of interactions with State Patrol or my local city and county police officers (I am a white guy, after all). They have more important things on their minds....

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4 minutes ago, JasonG said:

https://www.aclu-wa.org/what-do-if-youre-stopped-police

I'm sure you can exercise your rights, but I imagine that it could get sticky.  As annoying as it is, I typically try to answer their accusatory questions.  But I might, just for the fun of it, take it to the extreme one day just to see what happens.  Who knows, maybe I get an windfall settlement from the gov't for police brutality?  Just gotta make sure someone is filming the debacle.

It's all pretty amusing.  I NEVER have these sorts of interactions with State Patrol or my local city and county police officers (I am a white guy, after all). They have more important things on their minds....

if they were more friendly  "hi, what did you climb?  how was it?", etc... " followed by "did you overnight?  do you have a permit".  A small simple change is all it would take...

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A well known local climber, who shall remain nameless here, was confronted and ticketed by a NOCA NPS ranger for not having a permit. He thought he didn't need a permit and explained that to the ranger. He was ticketed anyway and went to court to contest it. The judge not only didn't waive the fee but quadrupled it because the climber clearly didn't understand the message of why he was being ticketed and needed to be taught a lesson about respecting authority. I don't know whether this person technically needed a permit or not, but his attitude landed the first citation and its subsequent doubling.

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12 minutes ago, Rad said:

understand the message of why he was being ticketed and needed to be taught a lesson about respecting authority

The "well known local climber" sounded like he actually broke the law (and was surly when confronted about it), quite unlike the instances we're talking about..  There really isn't a gray area when it comes to a permit in NOCA.  Spending the night in the park (or the Ross Lake NRA)?  You need a permit. 

 

 

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