For the health and safety of all visitors, the Kootenai National Forest is reminding those recreating in our forest to please do so responsibly, and to follow social distancing and public health guidelines whenever possible.
Recreational activity is discouraged in areas that are overly crowded, where visitors cannot safely practice appropriate social distancing. A significant portion of the forest is open for dispersed recreation and day use activities such as hiking and biking, and for Off-Highway Vehicle (OHV) use on roads designated for motorized vehicle use.
“We encourage visitors to enjoy the Kootenai during these unprecedented times, but if you arrive at a recreation site that is already filled, please consider recreating elsewhere on our National Forest that is less crowded,” said Rexford/Fortine District Ranger Bryan Donner. “Unfortunately, we’re still experiencing overcrowding at areas like Lake Koocanusa west of Eureka, where recreational use of off-highway vehicles including motorcycles and all-terrain vehicles still needs to comply with current Montana State guidelines and Forest orders for social distancing, gatherings of no more than 10 people, and staying close to home.”
Guidelines of not more than 10 people also apply to dispersed camping, as well as day-use activities.
Visitors are also encouraged to make a pit stop before heading into the forest or after they leave. Many day-use site restrooms are closed, or offer reduced services. If necessary, bury human waste at least six to eight inches deep and 200 feet away from water, trails and recreation sites to prevent health hazards to our employees and for other visitors.
Thank you for doing your part while recreating responsibly during COVID-19.