Wednesday, 25 May 2016
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A wide range of recreational opportunities abounds for individuals of all ages and interests in Idaho. As Memorial Day approaches, BLM offers the following tips for safe enjoyment of the outdoors:

Camping: Most BLM campgrounds throughout Idaho are open and ready for the weekend. Please keep these tips in mind:

  • BLM campsites in Idaho are allocated on a first-come, first-served basis; online reservations are not offered. 
  • Recreation use fees are in effect for many established BLM sites; please be responsible. 
  • Please remember to be considerate of other campers and recognize established quiet hours at designated campsites, stay on existing roads and trials, “leave no trace” and “pack it out.” 
  • If you choose to camp at a dispersed site, please select a site that is already established and at least 100 feet away from water sources, and dispose of human waste properly (away from water and in a 6” or deeper hole).

River Etiquette: Although you may find solitude along Idaho's rivers and lakes, you will not be alone, so please be courteous to others. Busy launch sites and congested water traffic can be avoided if everyone practices a few simple courtesies, such as ramp manners, quietness and “sharing the water.” Here are some simple tips that will help:

  • If the river ramp is busy, please wait your turn and use the ramp only for loading and unloading. 
  • Please completely prepare your craft before approaching the boat ramp. 
  • Allow others to go before you if they are waiting with a loaded boat in the water. 
  • Never block a ramp with an unattended watercraft or vehicle.
  • After getting your craft into the water, move it to the end of the dock so others can launch and then proceed with your river trip as soon as possible to avoid congestion at the launch site and docks.

Hiking, Biking and OHVs: It is estimated that more than 19,000 trails abound in Idaho. Whether you are interested in hiking, bicycling or traveling by off-highway vehicle, Idaho BLM public lands have something for you to explore. These tips will enhance your visit:

  • Watch the weather! Many roads that access trails become impassable when wet! 
  • When using motorized equipment, stay on designated roads and trails. 
  • Be courteous and do not disturb wildlife. 
  • In the backcountry, use a backpack stove instead of building a fire. 
  • Don’t wash your dishes in streams. 
  • Pack out what you pack in.

Dragging Chains on vehicles: It is that time of the year when just one small spark can ignite the dry grass on fire. Take the time to make sure your vehicle and trailer are properly maintained, with nothing dragging on the ground. A shower of sparks from a loose safety chain striking pavement can easily start multiple fires in dry vegetation. 

Target shooting: Exploding targets are an exciting way to confirm your gun’s accuracy. But consider the environment around you before you pull the trigger. Explosive targets have the ability to start wildfires and are illegal on BLM lands from May 10 thru October 20. Please visit for additional fire prevention tips and a copy of the BLM Fire Prevention Order. 

Public lands are often located in your backyard, so get out and explore the outdoors, it’s yours! 

For additional information, visit the Idaho BLM Recreation Website, where you will find a downloadable state recreation guide and map, things to do, places to see, how to plan your trip and more:

John Stewart Managing Editor - 4x4Voice - 4x4Wire - Natural Resources Consultant - California Four Wheel Drive Association - Board of Directors - BlueRibbon Coalition

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