With summer just around the corner and everyone eager to enjoy some outdoor activities, Chippewa and Superior National Forests would like to share some important safety reminders to help ensure a fun and safe outdoor experience.

Be careful around water and always wear personal floatation device (PFD). Although lakes and streams have started to warm, water temperatures can still be cold enough to be dangerous. Water temperatures below 70 degrees cause the body to lose heat.  In cold water there’s a higher than usual potential for hypothermia.  For what to do if you fall in, check out “Cold Water Survival Tips”

Humans are not the only ones emerging after a long winter; our local bears are out and about after winter hibernation. They are hungry and always looking for easy meals, so be especially careful to keep food and garbage secured where bear cannot access them.

Although trees and shrubs have greened up, forest conditions are still ripe for wildfires. Fine fuels like dead grass and leaves will dry quickly on warm, windy days, creating potential for fires to start and spread easily. Be especially careful with outdoor campfires and follow fire restrictions. Cautions and campfire restrictions affecting the National Forests are posted on Forest websites. Fire restrictions outside of the National Forests are posted on the MN Department of Natural Resources website.

Be prepared and “Know Before You Go” to help ensure a great outdoor experience. If planning to visit the Boundary Waters Canoe Area Wilderness, the best place to begin planning your wilderness visit is with a review of the Trip Planning Guide, available online at: https://www.fs.usda.gov/Internet/FSE_DOCUMENTS/fseprd611535.pdf

When recreating outdoors, it’s always a good idea to leave your itinerary with friends, family, or a neighbor.

The Chippewa and Superior National Forests will continue to coordinate their COVID-19 response in alignment with federal, state, tribal, and local guidance. When visiting your public lands, it is important to be aware of current forest limitations. Everyone is urged to take precautions recommended by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention: https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/about/prevention.html

For up to date information regarding forest closures or restrictions, please visit the forests’ websites at: www.fs.usda.gov/superior or www.fs.usda.gov/chippewa.  Follow us on Twitter or like us on Facebook. On-line open campsite and wilderness reservations can be obtained through www.recreation.gov

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