Frequently Asked Questions

Frequently Asked Questions

What is the difference between the Forest Service, National Parks, and State Parks?
The Forest Service is part of the US Department of Agriculture and manages the national forests and grasslands, forestry research and cooperation with forest managers on state and private lands. The Forest Service is dedicated to multiple-use management for the sustained yield of renewable resources such as water, forage, wildlife, forest product and recreation. Multiple-use means managing resources under the best combination of uses to benefit the American people while ensuring the productivity of the land and protecting the quality of the environment. Gifford Pinchot, the first Chief of the Forest Service, summed up the mission of the Forest Service - "to provide the greatest amount of good for the greatest amount of people in the long run.

The National Park Service is part of the US Department of Interior and focuses on preservation. They preserve, unimpaired, the natural and cultural resources and values of the national park system for the enjoyment, education, and inspiration of this and future generations. The Park Service cooperates with partners to extend the benefits of natural and cultural resource conservation and outdoor recreation. State Parks are similar to National Parks but are managed at the state level and can have fewer restrictions. History information about Okanogan-Wenatchee National Forest

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Do I need to make a reservation to camp on National Forests in Washington and Oregon ?
Many campgrounds are available on a first-come, first-serve basis. For any Forest Service campground reservation, contact the National Recreation Reservation Service (NRRS) at least five days before your planned arrival. Call 1-877-444-6777 (toll-free), or visit the Web site at www.recreation.gov for prices and availability. Also see question 4

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How can I purchase maps or books?
Recreation, Wilderness, and other maps are available and may be purchased at any Forest Office or mail order. Some sporting goods stores, outfitters, and map stores also sell these maps. USGS Maps can also be obtained at http://mapping.usgs.gov/.

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How can I get a campground space?
The ideal camping time in most Forest areas is May to October, prior to winter storm activity. Reservation campgrounds are available, however the majority of Forest campgrounds are operated on a first-come, first-served system. The maximum stay in most campgrounds is 14 days and a 21 day maximum stay per Ranger District, per calendar year. Most campgrounds fill quickly during holiday weekends, therefore visitors should come prepared to camp in undeveloped areas. Forest employees will assist you in choosing an appropriate location. Most Forest campgrounds will not accommodate oversized motor homes or camp trailers. Please contact the individual Ranger District nearest your destination to verify space availability in your selected campground. Electric hook-ups are unavailable at Forest campgrounds, however, many privately operated sites located in surrounding communities provide electricity. More information on camping »

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Can I camp in areas outside developed campgrounds?
You may camp outside of developed campgrounds in most parts of the Forest, at no cost. Potable water, toilets, and other amenities are not generally available. If you choose to camp outside developed areas, be sure to bring adequate water or be prepared to purify spring water before drinking. Water on the Wenatchee National Forest may be contaminated with Giardia or other microorganisms. Also be sure you check Campfire Restrictions if you plan to build a fire, and a Wilderness Permit if you plan to spend the night in the Wilderness.

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Where can I ride an Off-Highway Vehicle (OHV), All Terain Vehicle (ATV), or Over-Snow Vehicle (OSV)?
OHV recreation is just one of the many uses allowed on National Forest lands. OHV travel is restricted to designated routes. Many routes are open and accessible to those who enjoy recreating on OHVs.  It is your responsibility to know and abide by regulations relating to motor vehicle travel. State law requires registration of all motor vehicles before being operated on public lands. You must have either a current Green Sticker or Highway license, both issued by the State Department of Motor Vehicles. If highway licensed, the vehicle must meet all standards for operating on a public highway. Many areas are open and accessible to those who enjoy recreating on ATVs and OSVs during the winter months. Motorized over-snow travel is prohibited in some areas. Federal law (36 CFR 261.16(a)) prohibits operation of any mechanical or motorized equipment within the boundaries of a Wilderness. More information on OHV can be found on the Motorized Travel Management site

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What's Adopt-a-Trail?
One way to help with trails is to become involved in the Adopt-a-Trail program, in which interested clubs or organized groups take on volunteer maintenance responsibility for a portion of the trail. If you interested in the program, contact the District Ranger.

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How can I report trail conditions?
Report trail conditions to Ranger District Offices, the Forest Supervisor's Office, or to Forest Service people you meet in the field. Leave a note on your way home or drop it in the mail. Include the trail name and number (if available,) the trail condition, it's approximate location, and the date observed. Use any piece of paper, report in-person, or call on the phone. Photos are good, too. While hiking trails for pleasure you can remove debris from the trail and scatter it on the lower side. You can remove rocks over six inches in diameter, but be sure not to endanger anyone below. Where Cairns are used to mark the trail, you can help keep them intact. Picking up litter is in order at any time.

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What's a "prescribed" fire?
A prescribed fire is any fire intentionally ignited to meet specific land management objectives (i.e., to reduce flammable fuels, such as the accumulation of brush, logs, etc. on forest floors; or to help restore ecosystem health). Prescribed fires are preplanned ignitions, with predetermined boundaries. They are conducted only under certain weather conditions (i.e., during periods of low wind) when flame length and heat can be controlled. Land managers must obtain approval of prescribed fire plans from applicable federal or state agencies before conducting planned burns. In addition, all applicable requirements under the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) must be met on federal lands. Before federal land management activities (i.e., trail building, timber harvesting, use of fire, etc.) are conducted, NEPA requires that the environmental impacts of these activities be analyzed to assess their impacts on cultural resources, wetlands, soil, water quality, air quality, visibility, and other resources.

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What about the smoke from fires?
Fire managers must carefully coordinate with State and County agencies responsible for smoke management. Fuel consumption and the emissions produced, trajectory and dispersion can be estimated using computer models. Like forecasting weather, smoke management is not an exact science. Smoke management is also very complicated, because there can be many sources. If air quality levels deteriorate to a point specified by law or other guidelines, fire managers can decide to take appropriate management actions to suppress a fire.

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What's a Wilderness?
According to the Wilderness Act of 1964, wilderness areas are "where earth and its community of life remains untrammeled, where man himself is a visitor who does not remain".  Wilderness Protection will never be gained simply by issuing a set of rules and regulations. It must come with love and understanding of the land. Wilderness Protection is a personal ethic. Some mark is left in Wilderness each time we visit, but each of us can make sure this mark is a small one. Minimum impact or no trace camping should be considered common sense behavior in the back country, but many people are not aware of what they leave behind.

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Do I need a Wilderness permit?
A Wilderness Permit is required for overnight visits to the Enchantments area of the Alpine Lakes Wilderness from June 15-October 15. In all other areas of the Alpine Lakes, and other Wilderness areas of the forest, self-issue permits or registers are available at trailheads. A NW Forest Pass or Recreation Pass is needed for parking vehicles at certain trailheads accessing Wilderness areas.

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Where can I get information on contracts?
Contracts with the Colville, Okanogan and Wenatchee Forests fill a variety of needs for the Forest Service and provide economic opportunities for many types of businesses.

 

 

 

 





https://www.fs.usda.gov/detail/okawen/about-forest/?cid=fsbdev3_053648