“Accessing game lands adjacent to the Blue Ridge Parkway no longer requires a permit; however, you must contact the park prior to transporting game,” says Steve Stinnett, Chief Ranger for the Blue Ridge Parkway.
The federal government changed the laws for carrying firearms in national park units to be consistent with state laws, effective February 10, 2010. In Virginia and North Carolina, that means concealed carry of handguns with a valid permit and open carry of legal firearms are allowed. “Hunting on parkway lands, the use and discharge of firearms, carrying firearms in federal facilities, and the possession of other weapons and traps are still prohibited,” said Stinnett.
The end of the permit removes the need to track down a ranger or travel to a parkway office to obtain a permit. This change also means that permission which was previously given for transporting game across park lands and roads is gone.
“Under the new procedure, anyone taking game is directed to transport it in a way that does not cross park lands or use the Parkway,” said Stinnett. “If the parkway is the only reasonable access for removal of game, hunters must request permission by contacting a park ranger or the
Communications Center (828-298-2491, 24 hrs/day) prior to the transport. It is the hunter’s responsibility to show that the game was not taken on park lands, and transport is limited to the closest state road access to the Parkway.”
For further information on the hunter access policy change, contact your local ranger station, visit
http://www.nps.gov/blri/parkmgmt/lawsandpolicies.htm, or contact Chief Ranger Steve Stinnett at (828) 271-4779, extension 239.
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