Outdoor Safety and Ethics
Leave No Trace | Fire Safety | Know Before You Go | Respect Wildlife | Ten Essentials
It is everyone’s responsibility to be good stewards of your public lands and to take steps to minimize the chances of becoming lost or injured. Learn how to help protect the natural environment, ensure your health and safety, and to promote a pleasant and rewarding outdoor recreation experience for all.
Leave No Trace
Do you know the seven principles of Leave No Trace? Leave No Trace provides an easily understood framework of minimum impact practices for anyone visiting the outdoors.
- Plan ahead and prepare
- Travel and camp on durable surfaces
- Dispose of waste properly
- Leave what you find
- Minimize campfire impacts
- Respect wildlife
- Be considerate of other visitors
Learn more at lnt.org.
Research fire restrictions on campfires, generators, and firewood cutting ahead of time. If you are allowed to have a campfire, never leave it unattended, even for a moment. Be certain your fire is completely out and cold to the touch when you leave. Abandoned campfires cause forest fires.
- Learn more fire safety tips from Smokey Bear.
Remember, only YOU can prevent forest fires.
Know Before You Go
Your national forests provide a natural arena for a wide variety of fun and exciting outdoor activities. To get the most out of your experience, learn as much as you can about the area you plan to visit ahead of time.
- Contact one of our ranger stations for current trail conditions and closures.
- Carry a paper map and know your travel route ahead of time, as cell phone service may be unavailable on the Forest. Visit TripCheck.com for current road closures and conditions. Keep in mind that many Forest Service roads require high clearance vehicles and may be impassable in the winter.
- Learn about fire restrictions ahead of time.
- Check the weather forecast from the National Weather Service, and research avalanche conditions if exploring the backcountry in the winter.
- Be aware of the symptoms of hypothermia and heat-related illnesses and how to prevent them.
Learn more Know Before You Go tips from the Forest Service.
We share the outdoors with a variety of animals who make the forest home. Remember, these are not pets. Keep a safe distance from them and be careful not to disturb their habitat. Never approach, touch, or feed wild animals.
- Learn more about living with wildlife from the Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife.
- Learn seven tips for safely watching wildlife from the National Park Service.
Carry the Ten Essentials
It’s recommended to carry the Ten Essentials whenever exploring the backcountry or Wilderness.