Sheridan, Wyo. (June 26, 2013) – If your plans for the 4th of July holiday include a visit to the Bighorn National Forest, here are a few important safety reminders.
The Bighorns have many challenging trails for hiking or riding in remote areas. Check the weather forecast and be prepared for mountain weather. Let others know where you’ll be and when you plan to return. Don’t exceed your experience level, whatever the activity may be.
Cell phones do not work in most areas of the Bighorns, so don’t rely on a cell phone for communication.
Please remember that motorized travel is restricted to designated and signed roads and motorized trails. Get a free Motor Vehicle Use Map from a Bighorn National Forest office in Buffalo, Lovell, and Sheridan to ensure you’re on a legal route. The map is also available from the Bighorn’s website.
Although fire danger is moderate, there are no fire restrictions in place for the Bighorn National Forest. Campfire safety is always important, so never leave a campfire unattended and make sure it’s cold to the touch before you leave. Conditions can change quickly, so check with your local ranger district office for the most up-to-date information on fire conditions.
Fireworks are illegal on the national forest 365 days a year.
Federal regulations prohibit discharging a firearm in or within 150 yards of a developed recreation site or occupied area and across or on a National Forest System road.
Black bears roam throughout the Bighorns and can be aggressive when defending food or cubs. Be bear aware by keeping a clean camp. Store attractants inside a building, a vehicle, or in a bear-resistant container. Carry bear spray and keep it handy.
All campgrounds on the Bighorn National Forest are open. Reservations are encouraged to ensure you enjoy the holiday at your favorite campsite. Reservations can be made at www.recreation.gov.
Celebrate Independence Day by getting outdoors for a relaxing hike, ride, or camping trip.
For more information, contact the Powder River Ranger District in Buffalo at 307.684.7806, the Tongue Ranger District in Sheridan at 307.674.2600, or the Medicine Wheel/Paintrock Ranger District in Lovell at 307.548.6541, or see the Bighorn’s website at www.fs.usda.gov/bighorn/.