SILVER CITY, N.M. (KRQE) – Ahead of the Fourth of July, the Forest Service is urging New Mexicans to recreate responsibly. The Gila National Forest reports in a press release that the state’s mountains, parks, trails, and back roads have seen an unprecedented number of visitors.
However, crowds are damaging natural resources as garbage is being left behind and can be found stacked next to dumpsters that are overflowing. Forest Service officials are asking that the public follow the following tips ahead of the Fourth of July:
- Plan ahead for your trip. Arrive early, be prepared and have a Plan B for camping options
- When hiking when your dog, scoop waste and carry it out. Don’t leave poop bags on the trail.
- Be aware of bears when camping. Don’t leave food out when you’re not at camp. Keep food locked in vehicles out of view or in bear proof containers and never take food into your tent.
- When camping in the backcounty, camp away from the water. Don’t build fire rings, be bear aware and pack it in and pack it out.
- Never leave a campfire unattended.
Campers are reminded that the Gila National Forest is currently in Stage 1 Fire Restrictions. At this time fires, campfires, charcoal, coal, or wood stoves are prohibited except in Forest Service provided metal rings or pedestal grills.
Smoking, fireworks and pyrotechnic devices are also prohibited. Pressurized petroleum fueled stoves, lanterns, propane grills and heating devices are still allowed.