Ben 2 World, I agree with you to a point.
Here's my philosophy; it's all about gaining a realistic understanding of the context of rules. I can hardly claim to be an expert, or even a journeyman in this regard.
However, this site holds some relevance:
Since it is a legal offense to shower naked, I'm sure Jake will be reforming his hygiene habits.. I cannot resist a good laugh!
Let's apply this to camping: In the U.S, I would say the tourists and family campers outweigh the UL backpacking and LNT enthusiasts heavily. Camping in large national parks is definitely an American past-time, and with that comes great American habits like fire, guns, snowmobiles, RV's, wood-chopping, noise, and excessive drinking. Because of that, you need rules.
Ok, then we get to the next layer of rules; conservation policies are usually more serious than rules that can be perenially bent, like camping seasons as someone else mentioned. Alpine Zone restrictions are new, scientifically, hinging mostly on research done in the Adirondacks by the ADK: http://www.adk.org/
I have received an education in alpine zone conservation from a representative of the ADK and the High Peaks Information Center through my college's outreach to local experts, so I'm aware of the specific species and their unique needs above treeline in the Eastern United States. I'm not an expert, but avoiding trampling and protecting sensitive species with care are intrinsic to my experience at the top of every summit. I have done trail maintenance and conservation in these unique environments. Camel's Hump has 10 acres of Alpine Tundra, and is one of only two places in VT that have it. However, the nature of Alpine Tundra in the northeastern U.S. means the growing season lasts a scarce 4-5 months, if that.
In Mid-January, the trails and most of the summit that is not exposed to wind is covered in snowpack, which insulates and protects the dormant alpine vegetation. Snowshoeing is reasonably safe to do at high altitude with no damage to the alpine tundra ecosystem, because the entire ecosystem is basically frozen over. The main risk to these plants is a change in topography through extensive use that lifts and disperses the delicate soil layer- if you're on snowpack, you won't erode the underlying soil.
Too long? Tundra ecosystems are very fragile during the summer, and relatively stable during the winter.
So, if I do make the decision to camp over 2,500, preserving this ecosystem will be paramount and I will continue to use education, whenever possible, to mitigate the damage of others. Additionally, while Ben 2 World's principles of encouraging others to break rules hold true as moral codes and values, I would be surprised if we saw another inexperienced hiker on Camel's Hump in midwinter. If somebody who doesn't know how to handle an alpine environment is up there, they will be happily educated by myself and my colleagues. :)
Thanks again for all this great information!