Visitor perception of "private" areas on Isle Royale?

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tree rattt
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Re: Visitor perception of "private" areas on Isle Royale?

Post by tree rattt » Thu Sep 18, 2014 7:25 pm

OK just a question, slightly off topic but still a similar circumstance.Who owns the shelter when you are in it .....arent we suppossed to share those spaces in case of bad weather? So by that line of thought then arent shelters also public space? Has privacy become more important than basic safety and well being?

Had the sailors been respectful, we wouldn't have anything to discuss.....and it is going to be another looooooooong winter ;)


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Re: Visitor perception of "private" areas on Isle Royale?

Post by Midwest Ed » Fri Sep 19, 2014 12:27 am

I don't understand where this issue of ownership or control of docks that are considered public came from. The original post was indeed about a private dock/private property invaded by disrespectful people, regardless of them being sailors/boaters/kayakers etc. I think we all agree on that.

Most boaters are quite friendly and cordial (as are most hikers). But by the very nature of boats, they carry things like generators and lots of tasty food that isn't freeze dried and sometimes lots of alcohol and sometimes people not so interested in a wilderness experience. These things can cause a friction between these sometimes disrespectful few and all the rest that are looking for the wilderness experience.

I was simply asking hikers to ponder the concept of privacy and respect for boaters at docks which is sometimes overlooked. The only reason for docks to exist is to service boats. If boats did not exist or were not allowed, there would be no docks. Again, I'm at NOT saying that docks are only for boats. I am NOT saying that private boats control the dock. But for all intents and purposes the dock is in fact their campsite and as such they should be afforded the same respect and courtesy that people in ground based campsites are shown. There are no rules about this, it's just reliance on common sense that almost everyone already exhibits.

I'll point out that I've never slept on a boat at Isle Royale or elsewhere. The power boating I've done on The Island was in a boat without any facilities so we used regular campsites. On a side note, if it hadn't been for the extra gear allowed via the boat, one of our colleagues would have kept the entire Daisy Farm campground awake when his CPAP machine broke down. I have never heard anyone snore that loud. At one point we did consider banishing him to spend the night in an outhouse.
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tree rattt
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Re: Visitor perception of "private" areas on Isle Royale?

Post by tree rattt » Fri Sep 19, 2014 8:20 am

Your absolutely right Midwest Ed,I think that we should know our surroundings and be respectful.

So how many private areas are left on the island,and where?


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Re: Visitor perception of "private" areas on Isle Royale?

Post by treeplanter » Fri Sep 19, 2014 7:03 pm

tree ratty wrote:......So how many private areas are left on the island,and where?
If you have one of the Isle Royale topo maps, the little black squares designate structures (mostly buildings). Most of these are private and I quickly counted more than 20 (and I know I missed some).

I can tell you there are a lot of private residences on the scattered islands found in Tobin Harbor. As you paddle into Tobin after rounding Blake Point, you’re greeted by the sight of several summer cottages. Kind of surprising at first, since you’re on a island wilderness park, but if you know the history of the park, you know why the cottages are there. We always tried to give these private residences wide berth while paddling.


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Re: Visitor perception of "private" areas on Isle Royale?

Post by Sides » Fri Sep 19, 2014 7:08 pm

Midwest Ed wrote:I don't understand where this issue of ownership or control of docks that are considered public came from. The original post was indeed about a private dock/private property invaded by disrespectful people, regardless of them being sailors/boaters/kayakers etc. I think we all agree on that.

Most boaters are quite friendly and cordial (as are most hikers). But by the very nature of boats, they carry things like generators and lots of tasty food that isn't freeze dried and sometimes lots of alcohol and sometimes people not so interested in a wilderness experience. These things can cause a friction between these sometimes disrespectful few and all the rest that are looking for the wilderness experience.

I was simply asking hikers to ponder the concept of privacy and respect for boaters at docks which is sometimes overlooked. The only reason for docks to exist is to service boats. If boats did not exist or were not allowed, there would be no docks. Again, I'm at NOT saying that docks are only for boats. I am NOT saying that private boats control the dock. But for all intents and purposes the dock is in fact their campsite and as such they should be afforded the same respect and courtesy that people in ground based campsites are shown. There are no rules about this, it's just reliance on common sense that almost everyone already exhibits.

I'll point out that I've never slept on a boat at Isle Royale or elsewhere. The power boating I've done on The Island was in a boat without any facilities so we used regular campsites. On a side note, if it hadn't been for the extra gear allowed via the boat, one of our colleagues would have kept the entire Daisy Farm campground awake when his CPAP machine broke down. I have never heard anyone snore that loud. At one point we did consider banishing him to spend the night in an outhouse.
I totally agree with you about respecting others. I just disagree with you about the dock. A public pier is not a campsite, the boat is. There is no expectation of privacy on a public pier. If someone was looking in the windows, that would be different. That would be like looking in someones tent. The pier is just a path to the boat, or campsite. I'm not saying to run up and down the pier at 2 in the morning. But if someone wants to sit at the end of the dock and watch the stars quietly, the dock is a public area. For me a wilderness area is a 24 hour a day quiet area, that should be respected.

Boats aren't the most comfortable to sleep in. The beds can be small with thin mattresses, like on a popup trailer. It can be difficult to stay warm on a boat, they can be damp inside. You can hear the waves hitting the hull too, it can be therapeutic on a calm night. I'd much rather sleep on shore, unless I win the lottery and I buy a big yacht.


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Re: Visitor perception of "private" areas on Isle Royale?

Post by Midwest Ed » Mon Sep 22, 2014 10:33 pm

tree rattt wrote:So how many private areas are left on the island,and where?
I don't know the specific answer to that question but there is quite a bit of related data.

This would make a good start, although it appears to have not been updated in awhile:
http://www.isleroyalefamilies.org/

Here is a searchable database of structures:
http://www.hscl.cr.nps.gov/insidenps/su ... RE=&SORT=2
8 trips, 1975 x 2, 1976 x 2, 1978, 1985, 2000, 2013


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Re: Visitor perception of "private" areas on Isle Royale?

Post by jimh » Tue Oct 14, 2014 8:33 am

The Park Service docks which are visited by the commercial ferry boats have designated hours during which other boats must not moor there. During those times they are certainly public facilities. During other hours, if a private boat visiting the park is tied to the dock, I would consider the dock in exactly the same way one considers a shelter that is occupied by a camper.

I would not consider it polite or good manners to walk up to an occupied shelter at midnight, unfold a chair, and sit down a few feet away from the shelter to watch the stars. And such behavior is not appropriate at a dock where a boat is moored overnight. A boat at a dock ought to be afforded the same respect for its space and privacy as one would give an occupied shelter. I don't think strangers walking up to an occupied shelter and standing a foot or two from the door would be tolerated, and that same sense of respect for private space should be applied to a boat at a dock.

As for the behavior of the sail-boaters described in the initial narrative, it was outrageous behavior. There is nothing about being a boater or a sail-boater than can absolve those people from being anything other than misinformed rude louts with a sense of special entitlement. The only circumstance in which I would find some possible justification for using a private dock is if there were imminent danger for the boat, such as a storm, winds, waves, or if the boat were taking on water. To impose on a private dock just because it seems convenient is not justifiable in any way.


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Visitor perception of "private" areas on Isle Royale?

Post by wowie » Tue Oct 28, 2014 3:18 pm

There is not a square foot of "private" real estate on the island nor has there been since the forties. I'm surprised that otherwise knowledgeable folks in this thread think otherwise. During the period after when the park was first legislated, when land claims were being bought certain families negotiated a life lease arrangement where they received compensation but then they also had legal rights to use the property until the death of a certain family member or members named in the original legal instrument but this is not fee title. Most of these have now reverted and only a couple are left and Fishermans Home isn't one of them if it ever was.

Mark stays there under an agreement with the park in which he can keep personal property both historic and modern in certain structures and he performs maintenance and greets boaters while he is there. Several other former life lease camps and cottages on the island have similar agreements in place. "His" dock is not private it isn't even his dock. Padlocks are now government and have been for a while.

This doesn't excuse any rudeness or lack of courtesy on the part of boaters but that cuts both ways. Mark is a treasure and he has a heart of gold but he can be gruff. I'm sure he chafes under the current status of the property but he can't keep people away.

You can't describe the history of the whole mess in just a couple of paragraphs but that is how it is. If I had been those boaters I would have been irritated too but it is a large island with a lot of other places to enjoy and sometimes discretion is the better part of valor.


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Re: Visitor perception of "private" areas on Isle Royale?

Post by rudemark » Tue Nov 04, 2014 5:42 pm

Additional info

As I and guests were preparing evening meal, a stranger appeared at the door saying they wanted to bring their 20 some foot sailboat to the dock, and that they could raft to the boat moored to the face of the dock. I informed him that i could not nor would not give them permission to raft to somebody elses boat,subsequently he said that if the person on the front of the dock moved his boat some feet forward and we relocated a row boat tied to the side of the dock they could then bring the sailboat to that side of the dock. As that side of the dock only extends about 24 feet from shore the bow and probably the keel would be resting on the bottom, and therefore I advised it would be best to anchor. A few minutes later I spoke to the owner of the boat tied to the front of the dock and he reported that the sailboat person had told him that he needed to move his boat so they could bring the sailboat to the dock. I shook my head and went back to the shack to eat supper. Oh, I should mention that when the sailboater first came to the dock in the dinghy towed behind the sailboat, the boat owner tied to the dock pointed to the sign that said " PRIVATE DOCK OWNERS PERMISSION REQUIRED". This sign and others like it are posted at most if not all inholder docks on IRNP and were made up and posted by the Park Service years ago. Obviously some sense of privacy is attached to inholdings on IRNP as it is in many other National Park holdings. More about that later, now back to supper. About halfway through the meal a different sailboat person appeared at the door; I guess he had some "seniority" over the first one; He said that it was getting dark as they approached Fishermans Home and they did not wish to continue on to Windigo area at night and as they had been into Fishermans Home the previous year they decided to come in and spend the night, and since they couldnt get the sail boat to the dock could they pitch a tent and 2 of them stay in the tent. I told them there was a nice soft spot, covered with spruce cones, where they could pitch the tent. He then said, is there propane in the tank on the grill,we want to use it to cook supper. Not outrageous you may think; BUT I and the others present detected a strong sense of "entitlement" attached to his demeanor; I said NO the grill is private property. By this time I was aware that the sailboat had been moored at the Siskiwit dock earlier that afternoon. I suggested that it didnt just happen to get dark on their way to Windigo, But that they left the Siskiwit dock planning to come to fishermans home and spend the night as they did the previous year when nobody happened to be there, and that they were upset when not everything went as planned. He looked down and softly said something like "ya iI guess so". I told him he new his options and goodnight, I'm going to finish my meal. They stayed on the anchored boat and left in the morning. And yes Wowie, I can get "gruff"at times.let me digress for a moment. A few years ago I returned to IR from the mainland and saw a strange boat ie. unfamiliar boat tied to one of the docks and smoke coming out of the sauna stovepipe. As i came into the dock there was an unfamiliar person " cleaning" fish on the dock ramp, one slab off each side, then throw the carcass, head guts and all in the bushes and grass by the dock. I went back to the boat and started unloading, trying to control my anger. Then came a guy who I recognized down to the boat, he said remember me? we met in Hancock last year. (Yeah an introduction and 5 minute conversation) He continued;"I didnt think you would mind if we used the sauna and cleaned a bunch of fish". My reply "Two things are going to happen; You and your friend are going to pick up every one of those damn fish carcasses then you're going to quickly get on your boat and leave and dont ever come back.
Yes Wowie, I accept the nomination; I can get "gruff" at times. Now for the other side of the equation. A couple of years ago 2 kayaks paddled in and stopped to look around some distance off the dock and after chatting for a few minutes I said come ashore and stretch your legs, use the facility if you need to. They made it clear they didnt want to intrude, but after some coaxing they did come ashore; I could fill a couple of pages on the great time we enjoyed with them. My 2 guests and I convinced them to camp there for the night, and the next morning they paddled off. I'm sure some of you have met them---- Damon S and his wife Sarah, I look forward to their return.
When NPS began acquiring property on the island, most residents were issued either life leases or Special Use Permits which would be extended to all family members "living" on the site at the time. Most of the special use permits applied to the commercial fishing families, and as the mostly second generation commercial fishermen passed on NPS would not issue SUP's to third generation individuals,
(my generation). Instead Volunteer in Park permits were issued which allowed family members to continue occupying the sites in return for performing maintenance and interpretive services.
Lastly to address the issue of maintenance and what some have said "preferential" treatment for certain individuals at Fishermans Home (or other sites), let me emphasize that the 7 shorebound buildings,built from before 1900 - 1924,- and the dock structures have been maintained entirely by the resident families and their friends. Presently at Fishermans Home, some of the volunteer help is in their third generation helping to maintain the site, and over the years have spent many thousands of dollars of personal funds for purchase and transportation of material, plus the hundreds of hours spent on maintenance projects. Preferential treatment; perhaps, but they have earned every bit of it real or imagined. No, naysayers, your tax dollars have not kept those "shacks" and docks standing, hard work and funds from dedicated private citizens have done the job.
rudemark


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Re: Visitor perception of "private" areas on Isle Royale?

Post by tripplelindy » Fri Jan 23, 2015 7:55 am

Capt Don....do you think the resident was being "Rude"??? sorry ..I couldn't resist 8)


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Re: Visitor perception of "private" areas on Isle Royale?

Post by nute » Thu Feb 26, 2015 12:52 pm

The sailboat people did seem a little presumptuous but weren’t they correct is asking for a dock space. If there is a sign on the dock that says “PRIVATE DOCK OWNERS PERMISSION REQUIRED” and it was posted by the Park Service years ago, is this sign still valid for the third generation Mark Rude?

According to his own post, Mark Rude is a third generation individual that special use permits do no apply to. Instead, he has been issued a Volunteer in Park permit. He occupies the site in return for performing maintenance and interpretive service jobs.

It appears that the park owns the site and therefore Mark Rude could be a little more accommodating. Instead of offering preferential treatment to some insiders at the park's dock, he should greet other boaters in a friendly manner and volunteer to work in spots for them. After their comfortable night at the friendly dock, he could then offer his interpretive services. It appears his last interpretive service was performed two years ago for some kayakers.

It seems like it is getting a little testing there. Is it time for the park service to end Mark Rude's permit and take control of Fisherman's Home? If Mark could more amenable to his volunteer park job, there would be no need for the question.

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Re: Visitor perception of "private" areas on Isle Royale?

Post by DonNewcomb » Thu Feb 26, 2015 5:32 pm

Someone remind me of the park rule regarding where, near the water you can camp. Can you just pull up a canoe or kayak and camp anywhere or are their designated areas?

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Re: Visitor perception of "private" areas on Isle Royale?

Post by hooky » Fri Feb 27, 2015 2:50 pm

My interpretation of the rules is that you'd need a backcountry permit to camp anywhere other than designated campsites, regardless of whether you paddled, motored or hoofed it to a spot.

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Re: Visitor perception of "private" areas on Isle Royale?

Post by NancyT » Fri Feb 27, 2015 6:17 pm

Also, you cannot camp on ANY island that doesn't have a designated campground.
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Re: Visitor perception of "private" areas on Isle Royale?

Post by tripplelindy » Sun Mar 12, 2017 7:27 am

Midwest Ed wrote:
Fri Sep 19, 2014 12:27 am
I don't understand where this issue of ownership or control of docks that are considered public came from. The original post was indeed about a private dock/private property invaded by disrespectful people, regardless of them being sailors/boaters/kayakers etc. I think we all agree on that.

Most boaters are quite friendly and cordial (as are most hikers). But by the very nature of boats, they carry things like generators and lots of tasty food that isn't freeze dried and sometimes lots of alcohol and sometimes people not so interested in a wilderness experience. These things can cause a friction between these sometimes disrespectful few and all the rest that are looking for the wilderness experience.

I was simply asking hikers to ponder the concept of privacy and respect for boaters at docks which is sometimes overlooked. The only reason for docks to exist is to service boats. If boats did not exist or were not allowed, there would be no docks. Again, I'm at NOT saying that docks are only for boats. I am NOT saying that private boats control the dock. But for all intents and purposes the dock is in fact their campsite and as such they should be afforded the same respect and courtesy that people in ground based campsites are shown. There are no rules about this, it's just reliance on common sense that almost everyone already exhibits.

I'll point out that I've never slept on a boat at Isle Royale or elsewhere. The power boating I've done on The Island was in a boat without any facilities so we used regular campsites. On a side note, if it hadn't been for the extra gear allowed via the boat, one of our colleagues would have kept the entire Daisy Farm campground awake when his CPAP machine broke down. I have never heard anyone snore that loud. At one point we did consider banishing him to spend the night in an outhouse.
Very well said!

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