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What to Know before Heading into the Forest this Summer

Benito Baeza

Here are some helpful tips from the Sawtooth National Forest on heading out into the forest this summer.

Twin Falls, Idaho (June 28, 2013) – If you plan to visit national forest areas during the Independence Day holiday (July 4th) weekend,  “Know before you go,” suggests Sawtooth National Forest Supervisor Becky Nourse. What’s important to know?  Read on!

Fireworks are Prohibited on all national forests year-round.  Even if it’s “green,” please practice good sense by using caution with fire and smoking at all times, in all places.  Drown, stir and check your campfire for heat with your bare hand.  ALL fires must be DEAD OUT before leaving the site.

Responsible Motorized Use.  Please stay on designated routes and obtain the appropriate travel maps before you go. On the Sawtooth National Forest visitors should carry the FREE Motorized Vehicle Use Maps, available at Forest Service Offices throughout South Central Idaho.  No mud bogging is allowed anywhere on National Forest System lands.  Idaho traffic laws apply to all motor vehicles including off-highway vehicles (OHVs) and motorcycles of all types.

Be Careful with Fire.  While the Forest looks green, fire danger is an important concern.  Fires can start very quickly and burn in vegetation that may seem green but is drying out at an alarming rate.  There are no fire restrictions at this time.  Please when leaving your campsite for the day or when leaving for home, “make sure your campfire is cold to the touch”.

Recreation Information.  Due to late snowpack, construction or flood damage, some recreation sites may not be open during the 4th of July holiday weekend. If you have a concern about your favorite site, call the Sawtooth National Forest at 208-737-3200 for information.

Camping.  Camp sites are open with full services.  For good measure be prepared to carry out your trash and bring additional water.  Designated campsites have a daily limit so make sure you know how long you can stay in a designated area.

Keep it Clean to Avoid Bear Encounters!  Bears often develop a strong liking for human and pet foods.  Store food in hard-sided vehicles or bear-proof containers; keep sleeping areas, tents and sleeping bags free from food and food odors; and wash up, change clothes and remove all scented articles nearby before going to bed.  Wild bears avoid people, but bears conditioned to human food can be aggressive and may be euthanized if problems occur.

For more information on the Sawtooth National Forest please visit our website at   or contact your local Ranger District.

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