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DP Collecting On Federal Land Alert



Earlier today I stopped by Muscatatuck National Refuge in southern Indiana to
throw in some minnow traps and fish at a site I had been many times before.
Unknown to me, fishing was prohibited in all but a few spots in an area
covered with streams, wetlands and ponds.  The ticket will probably be about
$125.  They mail them. The female enforcement officer was very nice but said
that the property manager's policy was no exceptions. I was my normal nice,
courteous self.  When she walked up, I figured for the third time in my life,
an enforcement officer just wanted to check my license. BTW, I was in plain
view of a road traveled every several minutes by uniformed site employees in
marked vehicle.  I was clearly not hiding my activity.

The only signs in an area of 100s of acres was a relatively small one at each
of the two entrances.  No other signs were posted that I observed.  I went
looking for them after being ticketed.  There were also brochures available if
you stopped at the nature center.  I went and spoke to the assistant property
manager and she stated that the signs they have are adequate. 

My first reason for bringing this up is that others besides myself may not be
aware that once on federal land, apparently all the rules change.  There are
few federal sites in my state, so I was unfamiliar with the new set.  (Also,
you may not bring firearms on to the site even if they are unloaded, broken
down and cased in the trunk of your car - in spite of the fact you may be
licensed by the state to carry a concealed weapon.) 

My second reason is that I need a little help.  I must respectfully disagree
with the person who stated that there was adequate signs.  I am usually pretty
observant of what is around me and have been to the site a few dozen times.  I
had never noticed the signs nor have any of the people who were with me.
Hiking is allowed in most places at that site, but areas that are "off limits"
are very well marked.  Everywhere else I go in Indiana that the State DNR
prohibits activities, it is clearly marked by signs.  (I understand these are
two different agencies: state and federal.)    

For those of you that have more experience visiting federal areas, do they
normally have what a normal person would consider adequate signs?

Any thoughts, comments, or help appreciated.  



Chuck Church
CEFChurch at aol_com
Indianapolis, Indiana 46206-2067
USA

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