Angeles National Forest Rules You Need To Know Brochure

Angeles National Forest Rules You Need To Know

These regulations have been made by the Secretary of Agriculture to assure the enjoy­ment of recreation in the National Forests. They are com­mon sense rules meant to con­trol actions that cause damage to natural resources and facili­ties, as well as actions that cause unreasonable distur­bances for National Forest visi­tors. The Secretary of Agriculture’s regulations (36 CFR 261) pro­vide in part for regulating the occupancy and use of devel­oped recreation sites. A viola­tion of these regulations is sub­ject to a penalty of not more than $500 or 6 months impris­onment, or both.


The following definitions, which appear in 36 CFR 261.2, apply to all regulations quoted in this publication.

  • Campfire means fire, not within any building, mobile home, or living accommoda­tion mounted on a motor vehi­cle, which is used for cooking, personal warmth, lighting, cer­emonial, or esthetic purposes. “Fire” includes a campfire.
  • Camping means the tempo­rary use of National Forest System lands for the purpose of overnight occupancy with­out a permanently fixed struc­ture.
  • Camping equipment means the personal property used in or suitable for camp­ing, and includes any vehicle used for transportation and all equipment in possession of a person camping. Food and beverages are not considered camping equipment.
  • Damagingmeans to injure, mutilate, deface, destroy, cut, chop, girdle, dig, excavate, kill, or in any way harm or dis­turb.
  • Developed recreation site means an area which has been improved or developed for recreation.
  • Forest development road means a road wholly or partly within or adjacent to and serv­ing a part of the National Forest System and which has been included in the Forest Development Road System Plan.
  • Forest development trail means a trail wholly or partly within or adjacent to and serv­ing a part of the National Forest System and which has been included in the Forest Development Trail System Plan.
  • Forest Officer means an employee of the Forest Service.
  • Person means a natural person, corporation, company, partnership, trust, firm, or association of persons. 
  • Permission means oral authorization by a Forest Officer.
  • Permit means authorization in writing by a Forest Officer.
  • State Law means the law of any State in whose exterior boundaries an act or omission occurs regardless of whether State law is otherwise applica­ble.
  • Stove fire means a campfire built inside an enclosed stove or grill, a portable brazier, or a pressurized liquid or gas stove, including space ­heating device.


The following represents a par­tial listing of acts prohibited on National Forest recreation sites.  All the regulations are published in Title 36 of the Code of Federal Regulations and copies of the same are on file at all Forest Supervisor and District Ranger Offices. Other regula­tions may apply. For current information, contact your local Forest Service office.


  • Depositing in any toilet, toilet vault, or plumbing fixture any substance which could dam­age or interfere with the opera­tion or maintenance of the fix­ture. (261.11a)
  • Possessing or leaving refuse, debris, or litter in an exposed or unsanitary condition. (261.11b)
  • Placing in or near a stream, lake, or other water any sub­stance which does or may pol­lute a stream, lake or other water. (261.11c)
  • Failing to dispose of all garbage, including any paper, can, bottle, sewage, waste water or material, or rubbish either by removal from the site or area or by depositing it into receptacles or at places pro­vided for such purposes. (261.11d)
  • Dumping of any refuse, debris, trash, or litter brought as such from private property or from land occupied under permit, except, where a con­tainer, dump or similar facility has been provided and is iden­tified as such, to receive trash generated from private lands or lands occupied under per­mit. (261.11e)
  • Cleaning or washing any per­sonal property, fish, animal, or food, or bathing or washing at a hydrant or water faucet not provided for that purpose. (261.16c)
  • Depositing any body ­waste except into receptacles provid­ed for that purpose. (261.16p)

Operation of Vehicles

  • Placing a vehicle or other object in such a manner that it is an impediment or hazard to the safety or convenience of any person. (261.10f)
  • Failing to stop a vehicle when directed to do so by a Forest Officer. (261.10l)
  • Blocking, restricting, or other­wise interfering with the use of a road, trail, or gate. (261.12d)
  • Operating or parking a motor vehicle or trailer except in places developed or designat­ed for this purpose. (261.16m)
  • Operating a bicycle, motor­bike, or motorcycle on a trail unless designed for this use. (261.16n)
  • Operating a motorbike, motorcycle, or other motor vehicle for any purpose other than entering or leaving the site. (261.16o)


  • Occupying between 10 p.m. and 6 a.m. a place designated for day ­use only. (261.16e)
  • Failing to remove all camping equipment or personal proper­ty when vacating the area or site. (261.16f)
  • Placing, maintaining, or using camping equipment except in a place specifically designated or provided for such equip­ment (261.16g)
  • Without permission, failing to have at least one person occu­py a camping area during the first night after camping equip­ment has been set up. (261.16h)
  • Leaving camping equipment unattended for more than 24 hours without permission. (261.16i)

Building Fires

  • Leaving a fire without com­pletely extinguishing it. (261.5d)
  • Building, attending, maintain­ing or using a fire outside a fire ring provided by the Forest Service for such purpose or outside a stove, grill, or fire­place. (261.16b)

Destruction of Property

  • Cutting or otherwise damag­ing any timber, tree, or other forest product, except as authorized by permit, timber sale contract, Federal law or regulation. (261.6a)
  • Damaging any natural feature or other property of the United States. (261.9a)
  • Removing any natural feature or other property of the United States. (261.9b)
  • Digging in, excavating, dis­turbing, injuring, destroying, or in any way damaging any paleontological, prehistoric, historic or archaeological resource, structure, site, artifact or property. (261.9g)
  • Removing any paleontologi­cal, prehistoric, historic, or archaeological resource, structure, site, artifact or prop­erty. (261.9h)

Public Behavior

  • Engaging in fighting. (261.4a)
  • Addressing any offensive, derisive or annoying communication to any other person who is lawfully present when such communication has a direct tendency to cause acts of vio­lence by the person to whom, individually, the remark is addressed. (261.4b)
  • Making statements or other actions directed toward incit­ing or producing imminent lawless action and likely to incite or produce such action. (261.4c)
  • Causing public inconve­nience, annoyance, or alarm by making unreasonable loud noises. (261.4d)

Pets and Animals

  • Bringing in or possessing an animal other than a seeing­ eye dog unless it is crated, caged, or upon a leash not longer than six feet, or otherwise under physical restrictive con­trol. (261.16j) 
  • Bringing in or possessing in a swimming area an animal, other than a seeing­ Eye dog. (261.16k)
  • Bringing in or possessing a saddle, pack, or draft animal, except as authorized by posted instructions. (261.16l)

Business Activities

  • Selling or offering for sale any merchandise or conducting any kind of work activity or service unless authorized by Federal law, regulation, or spe­cial use authorization. (261.10c)

Audio Devices

  • Operating or using in or near a campsite, developed recre­ation site, or over an adjacent body of water without a per­mit, any device which pro­duces noise, such as a radio, television, musical instrument, motor or engine in such a manner and at such a time so as to unreasonably disturb any person. (261.10i)
  • Operating or using a public address system, whether fixed, portable, or vehicle mounted, in or near a campsite or devel­oped recreation site or over an adjacent body of water without a special use permit. (261.10j)

Fireworks and Firearms

  • Discharging a firearm or any other implement capable of taking human life, causing injury, or damaging property: (1) in or within 150 yards of a residence, building, campsite, developed recreation site, or occupied areas, or (2) across or on a Forest development road or a body of water adjacent thereto, or in any manner or place hereby any person or property is exposed to injure or damage as a result of such dis­charge. (261.10d)
  • Discharging or igniting a fire­cracker, rocket or other fire­work, or explosive. (261.16d)

Interfering with a Forest Officer

  • Threatening, resisting, intimi­dating, or interfering with any Forest Officer engaged in or on account of the performance of his or her official duties in the protection, improvement, or administration of the National Forest System. (261.3a)

Other Prohibited Acts

  • Constructing, placing, or maintaining any kind of road, trail, structure, fence, enclo­sure, communication equip­ment, or other improvement on National Forest System land of facilities, without a special use authorization, contract, or approved operating plan. (261.10a)
  • Occupying any portion of the site for other than recreation purposes. (261.14a)
  • Use or occupancy of National Forest System land or facilities without special use authorization when such authorization is required. (261.10k)

Abandoned Personal Property

  • Abandoning any personal property. (261.10e)

Additional rules may be estab­lished at individual developed sites where determined neces­sary by the Regional Forester or the Forest Supervisor.  Such rules will be established by an order that is posted in such locations and manner as to reasonably bring the prohibition to the attention of the public.