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'Know Before You Go' this Fourth of July
June 27, 2017
As the Fourth of July weekend approaches, the Idaho Panhandle National Forests reminds visitors that fireworks are prohibited on all National Forest System lands; however, there are many other activities that people can do while visiting the 2.5 million acre forest.

“There are all sorts of ways to enjoy the Forest: camping, hiking, mountain biking, 4-wheel driving, horseback riding, fishing, to name just a few,” said Shoshana Cooper, public affairs officer. “We encourage people to get their families outside and enjoy their national forest this holiday weekend; we just want them to be aware of the rules that are in place to keep us all safe.”

Before you head outside to play, here are a few general tips for a fun and safe recreational experience!

  * Always check weather conditions before heading out to the forest. Carry enough water, food, extra clothes and gear that you may need.
  * Make sure to have a forest map and tell someone where you plan to be!
  * Fireworks—and the possession of fireworks—are prohibited on National Forest System lands; instead, folks are encouraged to attend community-hosted events for Fourth of July activities.
  * Visitors to the forest are asked to be very careful with fire. If camping, be sure to pack a shovel and a bucket for extinguishing your campfire. Please practice good sense by using caution with fire and smoking at all times, and in all places. Never leave your campfire unattended, and before leaving your campsite, douse the fire with water, stir, and check your campfire for heat with your bare hand. ALL fires must be DEAD OUT when left unattended and before leaving the site.
  * Be aware of your surroundings while in the forest. Watch out for wildlife and be sure to give them plenty of space. Place tents and park vehicles in areas where trees cannot fall on them. Store food in hard-sided vehicles or bear-proof containers. For more information, read the forest’s Food Storage Requirements web page. Proper food storage is required if you’re recreating on national forest system lands north of the Clark Fork, Lake Pend Oreille and the Pend Oreille River.
  * Please stay on designated routes, and obtain the appropriate travel maps before you go. Obey all off-highway motorized travel laws and regulations when exploring the forest on ATVs or other OHV equipment. Visitors should carry the FREE Motorized Vehicle Use Maps, available at any of our offices.
  * Remember to pack out your garbage and clean up your site before you leave.

Although our offices will be open on Monday, July 3 and Wednesday, July 5, they will be closed on Tuesday, July 4. For more information on the Idaho Panhandle National Forests, please visit our website at
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