Forest Fines Go Up

New Bail Schedule for Los Padres National Forest

Wednesday, February 27, 2013
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Breaking backcountry rules just got a lot more serious, as a federal judge recently raised the fines that could be imposed on folks caught doing illegal things in Los Padres National Forest and made mandatory court appearances — with the associated risk of jail time — much more likely for serious offenders. Previously, the fines — which had last been set in 1990 and could be levied for everything from littering to causing wildfires — ranged from $15 to less than $100, but are now $100 to $500; whereas only eight crimes would have meant a courtroom appearance before, now 47 require a mandatory appearance, and law enforcement officers can use their discretion to order the same for another 107 offenses.

“We’ve seen some very extensive illegal off-road vehicle trespassing all over Los Padres National Forest, so we were trying to think of way to combat the problem,” explained Jeff Kuyper of Los Padres ForestWatch, which led the charge to raise the fines and had to file a Freedom of Information Act request to even get the existing rates, which Kuyper quickly realized were just a “slap on the wrist.” Though he isn’t sure why Los Padres officials have yet to publicize these new fines, Kuyper explained, “We were thrilled that the penalties had been strengthened as much as they were.”


Independent Discussion Guidelines

"and law enforcement officers can use their discretion to order the same for another 107 offenses."

Lame, this just gives COPS card blanch to throw huge fines at people and a big money maker for revenue. Would be great if they caught the cartel pot camps etc...but I wonder how many Kid and Dads caught in the wrong place at the wrong time on a moto will get ruined with an over the top fine. And it isn't the fines that will kill you. An average speeding ticket fine is about $100 bucks, but throw the "ADMIN" fees on there as the GOV piles on for their slice and that will be well over $300.

Just my 2 cents which will be about $2.00 after all the GOV branches get theirs.

bimboteskie (anonymous profile)
February 27, 2013 at 12:13 p.m. (Suggest removal)

Can you forward/include/attach the 47 & 107 backcountry rules that are to be followed?
It would be a great informative part of your article.

JoeSixPack (anonymous profile)
February 27, 2013 at 12:31 p.m. (Suggest removal)

Glad to see the fines are getting real. They had been a joke and reckless forest abusers could just consider the $10 fine as the price of admission to do whatever they want. You can't get a burger for that price at Disneyland.

TrailHacker (anonymous profile)
March 1, 2013 at 6:27 a.m. (Suggest removal)

Yeah, at least post a link to the rules and subsequent fees if said rules are broken...

MotoBella (anonymous profile)
March 1, 2013 at 7:27 a.m. (Suggest removal)

I understand higher fines for littering but what exactly is wrong with driving vehicles?

DanVac (anonymous profile)
March 2, 2013 at 9:07 p.m. (Suggest removal)

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