Wednesday, November 28, 2018

Rangers Find Camp In West Canada Lake Wilderness

Forest Rangers Gregory Hoag and Robert Coscomb reported that on November 11, they apprehended four subjects at an illegal camp in the West Canada Lake Wilderness.

The Rangers’ reports said that four subjects found at Camp Get A Way were in violation of several parts of the Environmental Conservation Law (ECL) and of New York Codes, Rules and Regulations.

The Rangers issued 20 tickets for violations, including having an illegal snowmobile and chainsaw in a wilderness area, damaging state land and cutting trees, storage of personal property, depositing litter, as well as several violations for illegal camping.

The men have been ordered to remove the camp from the wilderness area by December 1, and are set to appear in court for these charges on January 15.

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27 Responses

  1. Justin Farrell says:

    Sounds like maybe the Nobleboro/West Canada Creek area. Not surprising, I have found a few hidden hunting camps in that area in my travels over the years. Some of them have been quite elaborate & seemed like the’ve been there a while…and still seemed active, maintained & well kept with no litter or cut trees to speak of. Others have been not much more than trash dumps with junk all over the place, gear wrapped up in tarps, several obvious cut trees & branches, pots & pans & other cooking equipment scattered about, clothesline wires on trees, etc… I have reported the latter such camps to DEC, yet they still haven’t done anything about & are still there last time I checked.

    • Scott says:

      Are those other illegal camps you found in DEC Region 5 or Region 6, Herkimer or Hamilton County ? If they are in Herkimer County please report them to the DEC Herkimer Office so the rangers in Herkimer County will do something about it.

      • Justin Farrell says:

        Scott, as I mentioned above, I did report the messy trashed camps to DEC, but they have yet to do anything about them the last time I checked. The other cleaner & well kept camps that I’ve found I’ll choose to keep quiet about.

        • Balian the Cat says:

          Justin – Is your assertion that violations of law are acceptable provided folks are tidy about it?

          • Justin Farrell says:

            Yeah I guess. In my opinion hunting camps & backwoods cabins are part of Adirondack history & culture. If I happen to stumble across an illegal camp that is well kept & clean I typically don’t have any problem with it. However if you’re going to be a slob & cut live rees & branches & leave junk & gear lying all over the place…that kind of pisses me off.

            • Balian the Cat says:

              While I understand your thinking, I believe that’s a slippery slope to tread.

              • Jack B says:

                Slippery Slope? I know for a fact that a lot of now legal designated camp sites started out as hunting / fishing camps. The camp site that I now use for hunting / fishing / woods therapy etc. wasn’t a designated site until I called the local Forest Ranger and had him check it out. He found it to be within the legal guidelines and tagged it as a legal site, now available for all to use and abuse. Now I find cut down trees and garbage left by others, not me. In hindsight I should have just kept my mouth shut instead of trying to do the right thing.

          • Kyle says:

            Balian, your assertion that these things are “”violation” of law” is quite inaccurate. As even this article says, they are violation of codes, statutes, policies ordinances etc, not law. The only true law in this country, this republic, is the constitution and the decisions of a jury. If a true & lawful jury decides that no one has been harmed by the actions of another, then there is no crime, period. The land is public, free for all to use as they see fit, so long as they don’t infringe on others right to do the same and don’t harm others in their use of it. If one of the members of that public comes on the activities of another, and decides that they may be in violation of a “mob rule” statute or code, stemming not from a free republic, but from mob rule democracy, but no one is harmed by their actions, they are well within their rights and common decency to just let it be. The “slippery slope” is where the deep state has us all constantly “reporting” on each other for “violations” of contrived laws where the revenue extortion agents move in and write tickets to place a claim on our cash.

            • Boreas says:


              By “deep state” – you mean like down around Binghamton? ; )

            • Balian the Cat says:

              Kyle – Am I wrong to think that the “rules” regarding the Forest Preserve are derived from provisions of the NYS Constitution?

              • Kyle says:

                Balian, Both the Federal constitution as well as those of the several states, are and always have been, a set of restrictions by which the government’s are given the consent of the people to operate, on our behalf, for matters concerning the common good & common security. It is not, nor has it ever been, a set of dictates on the people’s day to day behaviors, much as the BAR Association and the politicians & their enforcement companies would love for us to all believe otherwise. The government is allowed, by our consent, to regulate certain aspects of commerce, not our lives.

                • Balian the Cat says:

                  Your post above states that the “only true law is the Constitution…” and now you are saying that it’s a set of restrictions based on common good? Well, despite that all being a little whackadoodle for me, I would suggest that individuals taking sole possession of areas of common land is not good – and leave it at that.

                  • Boreas says:

                    Squatters have been around since land was invented. What would a private landowner do if a “camp” was found on his property? I would be upset if it was on MY property. If it is also forbidden on our “common” property, shouldn’t the same be true?

                    It is up to each of us to decide when to send a tip to law enforcement, and live with that action or inaction. Perhaps these squatters are homeless. Just as illegal, but perhaps more understandable. The evidence should elucidate the purpose of the camp and hopefully will be dealt with judiciously.

                • Boreas says:

                  An excerpt from the NYS Hunting regulations:

                  “It is UNLAWFUL to:
                  •Take big game while the deer or bear is in water.
                  •Possess a firearm of any description when bowhunting or when accompanying a person bowhunting during special archery seasons.
                  •Make, set, or use a salt lick on land inhabited by deer or bear.

                  It is UNLAWFUL to hunt big game with:
                  •A firearm or bow aided by any artificial light or a laser that projects a beam toward the target.
                  •An autoloading firearm with a capacity of more than 6 shells (one which requires that the trigger be pulled separately for each shot), except an autoloading pistol with a barrel length of less than 8 inches…….”
                  (Caps mine for emphasis)

                  So I am confused – these things are “unlawful” yet if you violate them, you aren’t breaking the law?? Heaven help us…

                  • Kyle says:

                    “An excerpt from the NYS Hunting regulations:”

                    Regulations… Not Law.
                    The state has jurisdiction over hunters that apply for a license, and enter into a contract with the state. The state will charge you not with a crime, but a (violation) or their regulations, by contract. I have studied constitutional law & common law for years. Regulations, codes, statutes are all a contrivance of the Bar Association, using undisclosed contracts to entrap people into a system rigged to be impossible for most to understand. This is how a corporation claims the same rights as a person.

                    • Boreas says:

                      So something that is unlawful is not against the law? OK, I got it. Twisting semantics isn’t my strong suit.

            • Scott says:

              Kyle-The one issue with this and many of the illegal camps is they cut down trees for the structure. Under the NYS Constitution, state forest preserve lands are protected for all people to enjoy. The NYS Constitution Article 14 says the state forest preserve timber shall not be destroyed. “The lands of the state, now owned or hereafter acquired, constituting the forest preserve as now fixed by law, shall be forever kept as wild forest lands. They shall not be leased, sold or exchanged, or be taken by any corporation, public or private, nor shall the timber thereon be sold, removed or destroyed.”. The NYS Environmental Conservation Law section that prohibits cutting trees or timber on those state lands is the law enacted to enforce that provision of NYS Constitution. You’re correct though and most people don’t realize the constitution is the basis for the government’s authority.

            • Todd Eastman says:

              You are a fool!

              So speeding in an automobile past a cop is not a violation of law?

              Good luck as the last outlaw standing…

        • Scott says:

          I did read that you had reported the camps you mentioned. I was suggesting specifically if the camps are in Herkimer County to report them again or report them directly to the Herkimer office since obviously the rangers in that region now will do something about it.

          • Justin Farrell says:

            I wonder how far deep in the woods the camp in the report was located…fartherest one I’ve ever stumbled upon was over 8 miles off trail.

  2. Paul says:

    One of our favorite Adirondack environmentalists (and a forest ranger himself) – Clarence Petty lived in what was probably an “illegal” camp on state land when he was a kid:

  3. Marty says:

    It’s amazing to me what surfaces in these comment sections. I guess that they mirror our society where everyone feels that they have a “right” to do as they please and make up all kinds of justifications for their actions. Just a thought to consider When Clarence Petty was born the population of NY was about 3.5 million. Adirondack History & Culture goes back to even less people. Today we have around 20 million people just in NY. I think it’s getting more and more crazy to think that we can all live in the manner of our ancestors as much as we may want to. Laws, rules, agreements – whatever your belief is need to be respected by us all and changed if they no longer feel right but until they are changed need to be upheld. Doesn’t mean we all need to be tattletails whenever we see something but we shouldn’t defend it either.

  4. Charlie S says:

    “Clarence Petty lived in what was probably an “illegal” camp on state land when he was a kid:”

    Yes and when he was six years old he would hike many miles alone in that untamed wilderness to deliver mail. When he was ten years old he was taking groups of hunters into the woods….a guide. He used to walk sixteen miles to Saranac Lake as a child. He walked in them woods at night when it was pitch dark, no flashlight. Childhood independence! Back then the world was different there was more connection to the earth. He lived to be 104 which probably had something to do with breathing in that pure Adirondack air. He was an interesting man, a stubborn man who was a staunch defender of the wilderness. I did not know about this man until I found, and read, his biography.

    • Paul says:

      Thanks. That was my point. Not sure about the mail delivery?

      The state evicted them also, you can read abut that in the NYTimes.

  5. Bill Keller says:

    I knew of a “illegal” camp that was in the West Canada area for 70 years or so. I was saddened to hear the state found it. The gentleman that built it was genuine as one could get and there is a carved stone with his ashes buried there. I am honored to have met him.

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