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Tuesday, June 8, 2010

"Papers Please" for hikers? Actually, worse than that!

We just got a letter from US Customs and Border Protection warning of fines and jail for those crossing the US-Canadian border at other than official Ports of Entry (Sumas, Oroville, etc). Although this was directed at PCT hikers, it also affects those who might plan to drive down to the Hozomeen area from BC and cross into North Cascades Park, or vice-versa. It's the first time we've heard of active enforcement like this at this popular spot!

Read the letter HERE.


seawallrunner said...

The enforcement of this letter - to the letter of the law - will cut off access to Hozomeen Lake, Willow Lake, Nightmare Camp, the trail into Three Fools, etc. This will continue until this regulation is changed (or until DHS posts an agent at Hozomeen Flats - unlikely).

There is no way that anyone will charter a boat from Ross Lake Resort to get into these places from Lightning Creek. Thanks to this new enforcement, an entire section of NCNP will become desolate and return to wilderness.

I would also like to see how the boaters at Hozomeen Flats will be managed, they are all mostly from the US. Will they be able to enter US waters @ Ross Lake from the BC campground side? Likely not.

Hozomeen Flats itself will become deserted, if this letter is applied as law.

The East Bank trail area has been the locus of much drug transport and growing, so I can see why this is being locked down, but what a shame to lose the areas that we used to visit and love.

kevin said...

We shall see if the border patrol actually attempts to stop people from crossing at Hozomeen. As it is, there is a road which crosses the border and extends over a mile S into the US, to a signed trailhead, and to a campground. There is nothing secret about it--there is a staffed NPS entrance station there, just no customs or border patrol presence.

An interesting situation.

No rational assessment of costs and benefits would support any attempt to close the border to foot traffic in the N cascades. The border patrol has too much money and too little sense in the wake of our collective national security paranoia, if they think they can do so by deploying their motorized toys in national parks and wilderness areas.