With the start of the big game hunting season, Brian Ferebee, Supervisor of the Uinta-Wasatch-Cache National Forest, is reminding hunters and other forest users that current weather conditions are causing roads and trails to become extremely wet and muddy. Users will need to be extra cautious while traveling.
Driving on wet or muddy roads causes erosion, reduces water quality and makes roads hazardous for the next user. He is asking that hunters please check with the local ranger district offices to obtain the most current and accurate information about road and trail conditions.
The Forest Service would also like to remind hunters who use off-highway vehicles to use "Tread Lightly" principles: travel only where motorized vehicles are permitted, stay on designated routes, and avoid streams, lake shores, meadows, muddy roads, trails and steep hillsides.
"It is the responsibility of all hunters and other Forest users to obtain travel maps, which show roads and trails that are designated open to off highway vehicles," said Ferebee. "Under no circumstances are motorized vehicles ever allowed off-designated roads and trails not even to retrieve game."
In order to provide a healthy hunting environment, the national forests, in partnership with the state of Utah, will beef-up field patrols during the hunting season to both enforce regulations and educate the public about OHV rules and regulations.
Ferebee also reminds visitors that getting into the mountains is only half the battle; people also need to get safely home. Hunters and forest users who are heading to the woods should always keep safety in mind by being adequately prepared for weather conditions to change, to carry the proper gear, to leave a trip itinerary with family or friends and to have a check-in/check-out plan.