Guidelines for recreating in watershed areas

National forests and grasslands are the primary source of drinking water for over 60 million people nationwide. The trees and forest are working hard to keep our drinking water clean and safe. Do your part and always follow Leave No Trace principles.

Report all illegal dumping or activities to the nearest ranger station.

The following trails are within a sensitive watershed area providing drinking water to residents of Eastern Jefferson County, including the City of Port Townsend:

Leave No Trace video

Please do your part to help protect our drinking water by following these few simple guidelines:

PACK IT IN, PACK IT OUT:

  • Pack everything that you bring into the forest back out with you.
  • Protect wildlife and your food by storing rations securely.
  • Pick up all spilled foods and carry out all leftover food.
  • Store any chemicals, including fuel, at least 200 feet away from any open water source. Pack out what you don’t use.
PROPERLY DISPOSE OF WHAT YOU CAN’T PACK OUT:
  • Use privies when available or deposit human and pet waste in “cat holes” dug 6 to 8 inches deep and at least 200 feet from any open water source, campsites and trails. Cover and disguise the hole when finished.
  • Use toilet paper sparingly.  Pack it out.
  • To wash yourself or your dishes, carry water at least 200 feet away from any open water source and use a small amount of biodegradable soap. 
  • Scatter strained dishwater.
CAMP AND TRAVEL ON DURABLE SURFACES:
  • Stay on designated trails.  Walk in single file in the middle of the path.
  • Do not shortcut trail switchback.
  • When traveling cross-country, choose the most durable surface available such as rock, gravel, dry grasses or snow.
  • Use a map and compass to eliminate the need for rock cairns, tree scars or ribbons.
  • Step to the downhill side of the trail and talk softly when encountering pack stock.
  • Choose an established and durable campsite that will not be damaged by your stay.
  • Avoid camping on vegetation and limit the number of days in one location to one or two days.
  • Keep pollutants out of water sources by camping at least 200 feet (70 adult steps) from lakes and streams.
LEAVE WHAT YOU FIND:
  • Treat our natural heritage with respect.  Leave plants, rocks and historical artifacts as you find them.
  • Good campsites are found not made.  Altering a site should not be necessary.
  • Let nature’s sounds prevail.  Keep loud voices and noises to a minimum.
  • When pets are allowed, be sure to keep them under control.  Bury pet feces 6-8 feet deep and 200 feet from water sources.
  • Do not build structures or furniture or dig trenches.
MINIMIZE USE AND IMPACT OF FIRES:
  • Campfires can cause lasting impacts to the backcountry.   Always carry a lightweight stove for cooking.  Enjoy a candle lantern instead of a fire.
  • Where fires are permitted, use established fire rings, fire pans or mound fires.  Do not scar large rocks or overhangs.
  • Gather sticks, no larger than an adult’s wrist in diameter, for firewood.
  • Do not snap branches off live, dead or downed trees.
  • Put out campfires completely before leaving camp. Scatter the cool ashes over a large area well away from camp and water sources.
  • Do not burn trash. Pack it out.
PLAN AHEAD AND PREPARE:
  • Know the regulations and special concerns for the area you plan to visit.
  • Visit the backcountry in small groups.  Some areas have limits on group size.
  • Avoid popular areas during times of high use.  Seek out less popular areas.
  • Choose equipment and clothing in subdued colors such as green, brown and blue.
  • Repackage food into reusable and lightweight containers or bags.  Leave cans and bottles home.
  • Use weed free animal feed.
  • Make sure your vehicle isn’t leaking any fluids.




https://www.fs.usda.gov/detail/olympic/recreation/?cid=stelprd3799607