White Mountain National Forest – Forests and fireworks don’t mix

Campton, NH (June 27, 2017) – The Fourth of July is one of America’s great landmark holidays, celebrating our nation’s independence. It is also a great time to enjoy the White Mountain National Forest. However, visitors should be aware that fireworks of any kind are not permitted on the White Mountain National Forest. Setting off fireworks in a national forest is not only illegal, it is also a hazardous activity that can lead to injury and wildfires," said Tom Wagner, White Mountain NF Supervisor. "We want visitors to enjoy their public lands, but please leave the fireworks at home."

Although many visitors and campers never encounter a bear, the Forest is their home and bears can quickly become habituated to human food. Improperly stored food not only attracts bears to people currently camping at a site, but lets the bear know that it can find food at that campsite in the future. The bear may return to the site when other families are recreating there. It is vital that you keep a clean campsite to ensure bears and other animals don’t forage for your food! Visitors who have not properly stored their food risk their own safety and receiving a citation. Be sure to properly store all food, including drink containers, condiments like ketchup and mustard, and empty food wrappers. Too many times, visitors believe they have stored their food safely, but in reality have left it within a bear’s reach. Read the rules and signs about bears posted at campgrounds and trailheads, and follow the instructions on how to properly store food. Free bear canister rentals are available on a first-come, first-served basis at all of our offices and visitor centers. Bears that get too used to people may have to be trapped and relocated or even killed. Remember, “A fed bear is a dead bear.”

Even if you’re just planning a short hike remember to hikeSafe! Severe weather or a wrong turn could become life threatening, and the weather in the White Mountains can be unpredictable. While it may be sunny and warm where you are, it may be cold in the mountains. Check the forecast before visiting and if need be consider postponing your hike – the mountains will be there another day. At any time of year you should be prepared with warm clothing and good rain gear. For information to help you plan a safe hike go to the hikeSafe website at www.hikesafe.com/.

The lakes, ponds, rivers, and streams of the White Mountain National Forest are beautiful, but slippery rocks and the strength of moving water can all affect your safety. Stream crossings can be dangerous and unpredictable. Water levels can change daily, even hourly – especially with rain. What may be thought of as safe today, may not be as safe tomorrow, or what you may have been able to cross this morning on your hike is no longer crossable this afternoon.

“We want visitors to enjoy their visit to the National Forest, and planning ahead will help ensure everyone enjoys the long holiday weekend and gets home safely,” said Forest Supervisor Tom Wagner.

For information about the White Mountain National Forest visit http://www.fs.usda.gov/whitemountain. For more information about bears, visit the New Hampshire Fish & Game Department: http://www.wildnh.com.

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