Modified camping regulations in place for Bridger-Teton National Forest

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WESTERN WYOMING (August 6, 2020) — The Bridger-Teton National Forest has implemented a modified Special Order pertaining to all camping across the 3.4 million acre Forest, except for certain areas on the Blackrock and Jackson Ranger districts, where a five-day stay limit is in effect during summer months.

This regulation applies to campgrounds, dispersed camping, backcountry areas, and wilderness areas.

Effective immediately, after camping for the maximum 14- days in a 30 day period, campers must move a distance equal to five-air miles from that location for a total of 30-days before returning to that area.

This is a change from the previous 16-day consecutive camping stay limit. The purpose of this change is to address the problem of people residing in the Forest and keeping individual groups from staying at a campsite for longer than 14- days.

As clarified by this Special Order, all camping is now limited to 14-days in any 30 day period except where five-consecutive day stay limits are in place. This order includes all Wilderness areas and Wilderness Study Areas managed by the Bridger-Teton. The 30-day period begins with the first-day camping equipment is set up with the intent of camping at that location.

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Areas of the Forest where a five-consecutive day camping limit is in effect from May 1-Labor Day annually include Toppings Lake Road, Spread Creek Road, Pacific Creek Road, and Colter Dump Road on the Blackrock Ranger District.

Everything except developed campgrounds and the Gros Ventre Wilderness Area on the Jackson Ranger District remains at a five-consecutive day camping limit as well.

All of these five-consecutive day limits dispersed camping areas are in Teton County, Wyoming, on the Bridger-Teton.

“To provide a better recreational opportunities for people,  and to provide more open campsites in the summer, we modified this Special Order addressing camping,” said Forest Supervisor Tricia O’Connor. “Some people spend maximum stay limits on the Forest, and then relocate to another area and stay for another maximum stay limit,” she continued.

“The Forest has stay limits and prohibits residency because when people don’t move frequently enough, the land has little time to recover, heal, and regenerate. Residing and exceeding stay limits creates problems with sanitation, human waste, trash, and campfires during fire restrictions,” said O’Connor.

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“National Forest land managers are responsible for the conservation and multiple uses of the public lands and providing forest products. We are not charged with providing housing”, she reminded. “The bottom line is that we are not equipped to keep up with the demands and impacts of residency on the public’s land,” she said.

O’Connor reminded people the camping and recreation opportunities across the Forest are plentiful.

“In general across the Forest, we have between five and 14 day stay limits, depending on the proximity to towns, developed recreational areas or established facilities and sensitive areas. After that, regulations are that a person moves five-aerial miles to a different area if they wish to continue camping. Leaving a clean camp free of trash, and completely extinguishing campfires are required for all campers on national forests,” O’Connor stated.

The complete order can be found at https://www.fs.usda.gov/Internet/FSE_DOCUMENTS/fseprd762989.pdf.

For information, visit https://www.fs.usda.gov/btnf/.

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