Before heading for the woods, the Idaho Panhandle Forests suggest you check with the U.S. Forest Service office nearest your favorite hunting spot because a few roads and many trails remain closed from last winter’s ice storm.
“Even if a road is open, it may be rutted, reduced to a single lane or accessible only to high-clearance vehicles,” said Panhandle forests supervisor Dave Wright. “That’s why it’s important to check locally.”
Wright said some roads also are closed for protection of wildlife habitat and timber harvests.
Even during hunting season, the agency enforces its 14-day limit on camping within the forest, Wright said.
Although most of the woods are open to primitive camping, a few areas, especially those near towns, are off-limits to camping. Local offices can provide maps and directions, he said.
Although North Idaho has been dampened by recent rain, there still is a potential for forest fires, particularly if the weather warms.
Until Oct. 20, people who camp outside designated campgrounds must have a bucket and shovel. Those who use chain saws must carry a bucket, shovel and a fire extinguisher.
Phone numbers to call for closure updates:
Priest Lake Ranger District, (208) 443-2512.
Bonners Ferry Ranger District, (208) 267-5561.
Sandpoint Ranger District, (208) 263-5111.
St. Joe Ranger District, (208) 245-4517.