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  1. #1
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    Default Bully Ridge Runners in the Smokeys

    My hat off to most Ridge runners in the Smokeys who go way beyond the call of duty in all their responcibilities. I have much admiration for most of them. But sometimes one will come to a shelter throwing his weight around like he was a trail god. What kind of authority do they really have? Do they have power to issue violation tickets? Who do they report to?

  2. #2

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    Thumbs up

    Not sure I can answer your explicit queries, but I can say they must have the patience of saints. Sooooo many people in the Smokies have no idea of the rules, and too many of the rest (as proved by various threads on WB) feel the rules are only for mere mortals and they are above the law.

    My hat is off to the Smoky ridge runners. The ones I personally met were gracious, hard-working, personable, low-paid, humble hikers.

    RainMan

    .
    [I]ye shall not pollute the land wherein ye are: ... Defile not therefore the land which ye shall inhabit....[/I]. Numbers 35

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  3. #3
    Section Hiker - 339.8 miles - I'm gettin' there! papa john's Avatar
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    It is my understanding that they report to the ATC and have no "legal authority". That being said, they are in radio contact with a ranger who does have all the legal authority to deal with you in a way that you most likely won't like.
    Papa John


  4. #4
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    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by ncmtns View Post
    My hat off to most Ridge runners in the Smokeys who go way beyond the call of duty in all their responcibilities. I have much admiration for most of them. But sometimes one will come to a shelter throwing his weight around like he was a trail god. What kind of authority do they really have? Do they have power to issue violation tickets? Who do they report to?
    they have no authority. they answer to the trail club president

  5. #5

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    Quote Originally Posted by Lone Wolf View Post
    they have no authority. they answer to the trail club president
    In the Smokies, the ridgerunner answers to three bosses: the maintaining club, the ATC and the NPS. And their priorities are often not aligned.

  6. #6
    4eyedbuzzard's Avatar
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    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by ncmtns View Post
    ...But sometimes one will come to a shelter throwing his weight around like he was a trail god....
    Specific example?
    "That's the thing about possum innards - they's just as good the second day." - Jed Clampett

  7. #7

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    Quote Originally Posted by ncmtns View Post
    in all their responcibilities. I have much admiration for most of them. But sometimes one will come to a shelter throwing his weight around like he was a trail god.
    There have been a few cases of "imposter" ridge runners. One, in particular, was a former NPS volunteer who kept his uniform shirt and hat. He would couduct his own "patrols" and pretend to exercise authority that he didn't have.

  8. #8
    Section Hiker - 339.8 miles - I'm gettin' there! papa john's Avatar
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    I can see where one would be out of sorts. After you've spent all week cleaning out dirty shelters, fire places and fire rings, I'd be ready to kick some a$$ and take some names.
    Papa John


  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by papa john View Post
    I can see where one would be out of sorts. After you've spent all week cleaning out dirty shelters, fire places and fire rings, I'd be ready to kick some a$$ and take some names.
    maybe he/she should do something else if little stuff like that pisses them off

  10. #10
    Section Hiker - 339.8 miles - I'm gettin' there! papa john's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Lone Wolf View Post
    maybe he/she should do something else if little stuff like that pisses them off
    Yep, that's why I didn't.
    Papa John


  11. #11

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    Quote Originally Posted by papa john View Post
    It is my understanding that they report to the ATC and have no "legal authority". That being said, they are in radio contact with a ranger who does have all the legal authority to deal with you in a way that you most likely won't like.
    Just want we need, more cops in the backcountry.

  12. #12
    Can you dig it?
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    Default

    I'd appriciate any specific examples of bullying. That said, there are some instances, few and far between as they may be, where a voice of reason sternly applied is deserved by some folks who are acting like jerks.

    Last year, Smokies ridgeruners were vital in apprehending a few guys who were stealing food bags in the night. Ridgerunners have also been helpful in finding not only persons who need to be notified of emergencies, but people intimidating hikers and providing an unsafe or unwelcome hiking environment. Smokies HQ has a machete removed from an unsafe personality by the tact of ridgerunners.

    Also, Ridgerunners remove hundreds of pounds of trash annually just from the smokies....I wouldn't call that LITTLE, and some of the stuff is rediculous.

  13. #13
    First Sergeant SGT Rock's Avatar
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    I ain't met a bad one yet.
    SGT Rock
    http://hikinghq.net

    My 2008 Trail Journal of the BMT/AT

    BMT Thru-Hikers' Guide
    -----------------------------------------

    NO SNIVELING

  14. #14
    Can you dig it?
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    Smile

    what does 3 up and 3 down mean to you!? (end of an inning?)

  15. #15
    The Mechanical Man's Avatar
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    Default Volunteers Are The Good Guys

    Quote Originally Posted by sliderule View Post
    There have been a few cases of "imposter" ridge runners. One, in particular, was a former NPS volunteer who kept his uniform shirt and hat. He would couduct his own "patrols" and pretend to exercise authority that he didn't have.
    Don't knock it till you tried it....................
    Sounds like you are talking about a "VOLUNTEER" ridgerunner, not an imposter.

    They have the same authority as a paid Ridgerunner, and they too can contact a ranger if problems arise.

  16. #16
    Registered User Rifleman's Avatar
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    Stay away from the freakin' shelters and you shouldn't have a problem with the ridgerunners.
    First things first!

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  17. #17

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    Quote Originally Posted by The Mechanical Man View Post
    Don't knock it till you tried it....................
    Sounds like you are talking about a "VOLUNTEER" ridgerunner, not an imposter.
    No. That's not at all what I was talking about. Imposter is precisely what I meant.

  18. #18
    Registered User A-Train's Avatar
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    Not sure about the alleged RR, but Lone Wolf is incorrect. While they have no power themsevles to issue tickets, they can sure let the authorities know about a PITA person who feels the rules don't apply to them.

    Each section is different, but when I worked in Jersey I reported to both state rangers and National Park Service rangers who had the authority to issue tickets and arrest folks.

    While they aren't usually on the trail, Ridgerunners are in contact with them via radio's which are on the same system as state police and emergency workers. I had a few situations where I needed to contact the NPS rangers and in one case, people were ticketed for not abiding by the rules.
    Anything's within walking distance if you've got the time.
    GA-ME 03, LT 04/06, PCT 07'

  19. #19
    First Sergeant SGT Rock's Avatar
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    Default

    I am pretty darn sure they do not use volunteer ridgerunners in the Smokies either. They are all paid employees of the ATC as far as I know. They have a "uniform" and a radio for contacting the Park Police when needed.

    And any person has the power for citizens arrest. They may not be able to issue a citation, but if they witness a felony or misdemeanor they do have the same power as any other citizen to take reasonable action to apprehend or prevent escape.
    SGT Rock
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    BMT Thru-Hikers' Guide
    -----------------------------------------

    NO SNIVELING

  20. #20

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    Quote Originally Posted by A-Train View Post
    Not sure about the alleged RR, but Lone Wolf is incorrect. While they have no power themsevles to issue tickets, they can sure let the authorities know about a PITA person who feels the rules don't apply to them.
    When I volunteered in the Smokies, I was specifically told not to report anything to dispatch unless it was a felony or medical emergency. It just isn't practical for a law enforcement ranger to respond to a "no permit" call on someone miles from the nearest trailhead.

    In general, much of the paid NPS staff doesn't have a warm place in their hearts for volunteers to begin with. And especially not when the volunteers create more work for them.

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