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Safe Winter Recreation & Volunterism Lead the Way for MLK Weekend

Forest Service News Release
Celebrate National Day of Service on January 16

A cross-country skier travels along a forest trail.
Credit: USDA Forest Service

 With record-breaking snow and rain throughout the Klamath National Forest, visitors should plan for winter road conditions. 

Recreation on public lands during winter presents many safety challenges. Recent surges in visitors saw winter travelers put themselves in unsafe situations. Vehicles have been stuck on snow-covered roads and in overcrowded parking areas. Illegal parking has even put public safety at risk by slowing traffic and blocking access routes for emergency vehicles.

Carefully plan your expedition, whether it’s downhill skiing at a ski area, snowshoeing on open trails, or taking a scenic winter drive through the forest.

  •  Know before you go — Check the weather for your destination. Pay attention to road conditions, chain control, and possible road closures en route. Use Caltrans QuickMap versus alternate routes suggested by travel apps and map services.They may not show the current situation. You could get lost or stuck.
  • Be prepared — Check tire tread and pressure. Top off windshield fluid. Pack tire chains, ice scraper, an extra blanket, and provisions for an emergency.
  • Stay safe when skiing and snowboarding — Know the weather and facility operating status before heading out. Check out Ski California’s mountain safety guide for a refresher.
  • Don’t go alone – Travel by snowmobiles in groups instead of going alone, especially on long journeys. At the very least, you can take a friend or companion with you. The person can be helpful in case your snowmobile gets stuck or breaks down, or you get injured. Their snowmobile can assist in freeing or towing your snowmobile as well. 
  • Be avalanche aware — Backcountry users should take extra precautions.Carry avalanche equipment, travel in groups if possible, and check avalanche reports. A helpful resource is the Mount Shasta Avalanche Center.

The USDA Forest Service also invites everyone to embrace volunteerism on Monday, January 16. Martin Luther King Jr. Day is the only federal holiday designated as a National Day of Service, to encourage volunteers to improve their communities. For volunteer opportunities in national forests, visit AmeriCorps’ United We Serve.

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