Bechler Falls

NPS, Boy Scouts Reach Tentative Agreement on Bechler Access

As you’ll recall, Camp Loll officials were dismayed by new NPS regulations regarding conditional use permits that would have limited Camp Loll groups to 15 hikers. Camp Loll is a Boy Scout camp that practices “no trace” camping trips throughout the area; officials there said they were being singled out because of their BSA affiliation via a lawsuit from the Sierra Club.

Turns out there’s no lawsuit from the Sierra Club or any other environmental group. Turns out no one was complaining too much about the Boy Scouts at all. And it turns out Camp Loll isn’t being singled out by the Park Service; the new rules apply to all seeking a conditional use permit.

So, after NPS and Camp Loll officials met last week in Pocatello, two things happened, according to a blog posting from one of the Camp Loll organizers. First, the NPS made it clear they were not changing their stance on backcountry access and permits in the Bechler area of Yellowstone, but they were willing to issue some temporary permits to allow Camp Loll a summer to transition to the new rules. Second, Camp Loll officials realized they needed to change how they did business in order to meet the new guidelines. Their plan: keep bringing in the same number of Scouts, but spread the visits over more days. And so a tentative agreement on the terms of Camp Loll access to Yellowstone National Park.

RELATED STORIES: Do New Yellowstone Policies Negatively Impact Boy Scouts? Advocates Say Yes

Photo of Bechler Falls courtesy of the National Park Service.

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