[AZ-Observing] Re: Fredericksen's Meadow and Back to the Monsoons

  • From: Chris Hanrahan <chris.hanrahan@xxxxxxx>
  • To: az-observing@xxxxxxxxxxxxx
  • Date: Sun, 18 Aug 2013 13:20:16 -0700

A couple of items as I see it:
1) It's logical that the Forest Service is attempting to protect their
natural meadows.  The "no driving on meadows" stipulation seems to have
beenaround for a long time.  From what I have heard, we were given a
temporary pass on this for setting up and taking down equipment in the
past.  My assumption is that the "no driving on meadows" stipulation trumps
the new 300' rule.

2) It would seem the new ranger (female - name unknown - referred to by Don
at the meeting) may not be as "flexible" as the previous ranger (the
gentleman we have seen/spoke with numerous times in the area).  Perhaps her
interpretation of "the meadow" differs from the previous ranger.  I don't
know exactly where Don was set up but if he was partially in the meadow per
the interpretation of the female ranger I can see why this was an issue for
her.  Per the MVUM, it would seem that this area is still open to dispersed
camping.  Perhaps a call to the CNF Ranger District is in order for

3) Per the Coconino National Forest website: "The new travel management
rulesonly affect motor vehicle use, therefore you can still camp where you
had before. In areas with the dot notation, you can drive up to 300 feet
fromthe road to car camp. On routes without the notation you can park one
vehicle length from the road (~30 feet) and either camp there or walk to a
campsite further from the road."  Yes, I agree that approximately 30' from
the roadway isn't much, however, it opens up many more areas to us
(includingRick Tejera's spot as mentioned in previous posts today), as
opposed to only those with the 300' dispersed camping rule.  Of course,
thismay mean that we may have to walk further set up, and use, our
telescopesbut a little exercise would do us all some good.

4) Having a few "new" or "alternate" spots is never a bad thing.

Just my thoughts...

On 8/18/2013 12:13 PM, Tom Polakis wrote:
---- "David M. Douglass" <dmdouglass@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxx>[1] wrote: I responded
that I knew that location, and have used it several times. It is among my
favorites, and it is/was a good one, with some conditions. Among those, I
said that we COULD NOT use the meadow. I think Tom did an excellent job of
explaining why (the 300' rule). I had left that out. Just for the record, I
do not endorse the notion that we CAN NOT use the meadow. I posted the two
images to illustrate that we are very near, and maybe slightly beyond the
limit. Perhaps these photos and some knowledge of the Forest Service's
policycould be used to argue our case to stay at the meadow, if that's what
we want. It seems like there is a lot of scurrying around to find a new
site.If we're going to bother with that, I'd recommend a place that's
slightly above the surrounding terrain (i.e. not another meadow), which
wouldoffer better seeing, and nighttime low temperatures that are at least
10degrees warmer. I know, that's a tall order when you're trying to find a
flat place for a couple dozen observers to set up. If we accept compromised
horizons in every direction but south, perhaps it's doable. Tom -- See
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