Memorial Day campers and outdoor recreationists encouraged to be good stewards, show respect for Idaho lands
Many people – potentially record numbers of people – are expected to venture into Idaho State Parks, National Forests and Bureau of Land Management lands and other federal and state lands to go camping and engage in outdoor recreation activities over Memorial Day weekend, the traditional beginning of the summer outdoor season.
State and federal agency officials urge campers and recreationists to Recreate Responsibly this weekend by setting a positive example as good land stewards and outdoor ambassadors. Practice Leave No Trace principles such as packing out garbage and planning ahead. Make a plan with several options for where to go on what could be a very busy weekend.
More tips for Memorial Day weekend and beyond:
- Know where to go – tap into Idaho trip-planning resources. Reserve your campsite in advance (highly recommended)
- Recreation.gov (for reserving campgrounds)
- Idaho National Forest interactive web site
- Idaho Fish and Game Fishing Planner web site provides hundreds of tips on where to go fishing for the traditional Memorial Day fishing season opener.
- Visit Idaho tourism site provides vast resources for where to go, what to do and more.
- Look for trails to explore statewide: Trails.idaho.gov
- Practice proper trail/boat ramp/dock etiquette – Be patient and neighborly to other outdoor recreationists, including those who might be engaging in a different type of activity than you are.
- Prevent human-caused wildfires – 80 percent of the wildfire starts in Idaho are started by humans in a typical year. Be sure to snuff out your campfire by fully by dousing it with water before leaving your camp site.
So far in 2021, Idaho is reporting 170 wildfires that have burned 3,100 acres, according to the National Interagency Fire Center. Of those, only two fires and 2 acres were lightning-caused. Ninety-eight percent of the fires were human-caused.
- Remember that Idaho lands are also working lands for livestock grazing, timber production, mineral exploration and commercial outfitting. Show respect for other multiple uses.
- Show respect for wildlife. View them at a distance. Keep dogs on a leash if you encounter wildlife or to comply with leash-dog requirements in campgrounds. Also, if you are camping in bear country, be mindful of food-storage tips for your safety.
- Dispose of human waste properly – use an outhouse, bring a portable toilet for your camping group, or dig a cat hole at least 6 inches deep to dispose of waste properly. See Tread Lightly video on how to bury human waste properly.
- Follow state and federal covid guidelines.
- Center for Disease Control: https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-nCoV/index.html
- Idaho Department of Health and Welfare https://healthandwelfare.idaho.gov/
- Idaho Public Health Districts https://healthandwelfare.idaho.gov/health-wellness/community-health/public-health-districts