Wednesday, 17 April 2024

Mendocino National Forest offers holiday safety tips for visitors

To make your trip more enjoyable, Mendocino National Forest officials are providing some important tips and reminders for visitors.

The Mendocino National Forest offers nearly one million acres to explore, camp, hike, fish and ride off-highway vehicles. 

This is the only forest in California not crossed by a paved road or highway. If venturing into the forest’s more remote areas, visitors will likely have the road or trail to themselves. 

Along with the tranquility and solitude that visitors may experience, it’s important to remember that cell phone coverage is not reliable in some areas of the forest.

To prepare for a trip to the Mendocino, tell a friend or relative where you are going and when you are returning. 

Carry emergency equipment and appropriate maps in your vehicle and remember that food, gas, and lodging are not available on the forest road network or within forest boundaries.

Also, be prepared for the unexpected. One of the great attractions of this forest is the potential to observe animals in their natural setting. 

Besides black bears, turkeys and deer, there have been many rattlesnake sightings across the forest this season. 

Rattlesnakes are generally not aggressive and usually strike only when threatened or deliberately provoked. Given room, they will retreat.

While hiking, make noise to avoid surprising a bear. In the camping area, store food and equipment so that they won’t invite loss or damage by wildlife. 

The California Department of Fish and Wildlife provides important information about safety around wildlife. Please see https://www.wildlife.ca.gov/ .

Officials recommend that you know the weather forecast before heading out and be aware that conditions may change suddenly in the high country. 

During the summer months, there is the potential for daily thunderstorms, lightning and rain. Plan to be away from high risk areas such as peaks, ridges and higher terrain before a thunderstorm arrives. If caught outside far from a safe location, stay away from tall objects, such as trees, and take shelter in a low lying area.

While some roads have been cleared after significant winter storm damage; there are various road closures still in effect and hazards may remain in areas, such as falling trees and snags, rolling rocks and debris. 

For those traveling to Lake Pillsbury, the only route is through Upper Lake via M1; there is no access from Potter Valley. Also, do not ignore caution signs or go around barriers.

Know which roads are closed by checking the forest Web site at https://www.fs.usda.gov/detail/mendocino/landmanagement/?cid=FSEPRD542661 .

Remember, fireworks are always prohibited on national forest lands. Visitors are encouraged to check with local offices for information about current fire conditions before traveling to the forest. 

There are no fire restrictions at this time; however, the fire danger has increased to the high level. 

Campfire permits are required for the use of campfires, charcoal fires or portable gas stoves outside designated recreation sites. Permits are available online at http://www.preventwildfireca.org/   .

Follow these campfire guidelines:

· Clear all flammable material away from the fire for a minimum of five feet in all directions.

· Make a fire only if you have a shovel and sufficient water to put it out.

· Have a responsible person in attendance at all times.

· Never leave your campfire unattended.

· Never build a campfire on a windy day.

· To make sure your campfire is out, drown with water and stir with dirt, making

sure all burned materials are extinguished. Feel with your hand to make sure it’s out cold.

· Every campfire will be put DEAD OUT before leaving it.

Mendocino National Forest offices will be closed Tuesday, July 4, in observance of the Independence Day holiday. 

For more information, please call the ranger district office nearest your destination or check the forest Web site at https://www.fs.usda.gov/mendocino/  .

Upcoming Calendar

17Apr
04.17.2024 5:30 pm - 7:00 pm
Free veterans dinner
18Apr
04.18.2024 11:00 am - 3:00 pm
Earth Day celebration
20Apr
04.20.2024 10:00 am - 3:00 pm
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20Apr
04.20.2024 8:00 pm - 10:00 pm
Boatique Wines Stand-up Comedy Night
25Apr
04.25.2024 1:30 pm - 7:30 pm
FireScape Mendocino workshop
27Apr
04.27.2024 10:00 am - 2:00 pm
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04.27.2024 10:00 am - 2:00 pm
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04.27.2024 7:00 pm - 9:00 pm
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Cinco de Mayo

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