Outdoor Safety & Ethics

General prohibitions apply to the entire National Forest System. The number of general prohibitions is staggering, but there are only a few (6) that concern most wilderness visitors. The following acts are generally prohibited:

  • Using motorized equipment or any form of mechanical transport in a wilderness. This includes, but is not limited to: motor vehicles, chain saws, generators, bicycles, hang gliders, wagons, carts, and the landing of aircraft, unless specifically exempted by legislation.
  • Under the provisions of the Americans with Disabilities Act, wheelchairs are exempted from this prohibition for mobility-impaired persons, as long as the chair is suitable for indoor use.
  • Failing to properly dispose of all garbage (pack it out) and leaving human waste in an exposed or unsanitary manner (bury it).
  • Damaging, altering, or removing any natural feature or other property of the United States. This includes, but is not limited to: falling or damaging trees, trenching, and vandalism.
  • Constructing any structure or improvement. This includes, but is not limited to: hitchrails, furniture, shelters, and rafts.
  • Leaving a fire without completely extinguishing it.
  • Discharging a firearm within 150 yards of an occupied area, across a body of water, or in any unsafe place or manner. Wilderness areas are not appropriate places for target practice.