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SHERIDAN — As more people head outdoors to enjoy warm, spring weather, the U.S. Forest Service is reminding everyone to be safe when in the forest.
While there are always risks involved with outdoor recreation, knowing what to do to stay safe is the first line of defense.
With warmer temperatures and rain showers, even very small streams, creeks, dry streambeds and low-lying ground that appear harmless can flood with little notice.
Roads and road crossings can become impassable due to wet and muddy conditions.
“The small stream you crossed this morning may not be crossable in a few hours or days when you drive out,” Bighorn National Forest Supervisor Bill Bass said.
Bass said visitors should be kind to the roads and trails.
“Spring is always a challenge because people want to get out and enjoy the forest after a long, cold winter. But this is the time our trails and roads are most vulnerable,” he said. “Wet, muddy conditions make it easier to damage soils and other resources.”
Motorized travel on the Bighorn National Forest is allowed only on signed, designated routes.
It’s illegal to travel off a designate route to skirt an obstacle such as a fallen tree, snow drift or a mud hole.
Whether camping or hiking in the national forest, in the front country or in the back country, be prepared to share the forest with wildlife. Photograph and watch wildlife from a distance that does not alarm or disrupt their activities. Keep food contained and dogs under control,
According to the USFS, roads and recreation areas will open as soon as is safely possible]
For more information about road conditions and road, trail or campground openings, please contact your local Bighorn National Forest office in Buffalo, Lovell, or Sheridan.