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Clearwater Wilderness

General Maps Contacts Area Management Wilderness Laws

Area Management

The Clearwater Wilderness is part of the 109 million acre National Wilderness Preservation System. This System of lands provides clean air, water, and habitat critical for rare and endangered plants and animals. In wilderness, you can enjoy challenging recreational activities like hiking, backpacking, climbing, kayaking, canoeing, rafting, horse packing, bird watching, stargazing, and extraordinary opportunities for solitude. You play an important role in helping to "secure for the American people of present and future generations the benefits of an enduring resource of wilderness" as called for by the Congress of the United States through the Wilderness Act of 1964. Please follow the requirements outlined below and use Leave No Trace techniques when visiting the Clearwater Wilderness to ensure protection of this unique area.

General Wilderness Prohibitions

Motorized equipment and equipment used for mechanical transport is generally prohibited on all federal lands designated as wilderness. This includes the use of motor vehicles, motorboats, motorized equipment, bicycles, hang gliders, wagons, carts, portage wheels, and the landing of aircraft including helicopters, unless provided for in specific legislation.

In a few areas some exceptions allowing the use of motorized equipment or mechanical transport are described in the special regulations in effect for a specific area. Contact the Forest Service office or visit the websites listed for more specific information.

These general prohibitions have been implemented for all national forest wildernesses in order to implement the provisions of the Wilderness Act of 1964. The Wilderness Act requires management of human-caused impacts and protection of the area's wilderness character to insure that it is "unimpaired for the future use and enjoyment as wilderness." Use of the equipment listed as prohibited in wilderness is inconsistent with the provision in the Wilderness Act which mandates opportunities for solitude or primitive recreation and that wilderness is a place that is in contrast with areas where people and their works are dominant.

Wilderness-Specific Regulations

Wilderness managers often need to take action to limit the impacts caused by visitor activities in order to protect the natural conditions of wilderness as required by the Wilderness Act of 1964. Managers typically implement 'indirect' types of actions such as information and education measures before selecting more restrictive measures. When regulations are necessary, they are implemented with the specific intent of balancing the need to preserve the character of the wilderness while providing for the use and enjoyment of wilderness.

The following wilderness regulations are in effect for this area. Not all regulations are in effect for every wilderness. Contact the Forest Service office or visit the websites listed for more specific information about the regulations listed.

ALL VISITORS

-- Group size is limited to no more than 12, in any combination of people and pack or saddle stock. Dogs are not counted as part of the group size limit.

-- Campfires are prohibited in Summit Lake Basin. Stoves may be used.

-- Do not shortcut switchbacks.

-- Do not enter areas closed for restoration.

-- Do not cut standing green trees, snags, and boughs for firewood or other purposes.

-- Pack out all debris, garbage, or other waste. If you are in an area where fires are allowed, remove all non-combustibles such as foil and glass from fire rings. Never put litter into a backcountry toilet.

-- Caching or storing equipment, personal property, or supplies longer than 48 hours is prohibited.

STOCK USERS

-- It is prohibited to possess or store hay or crop products that are not state certified weed free including any hay, hay cubes, straw, grain or other crop or mulch product. This regulation does not apply to persons possessing or storing commercially processed feed (feed pellets or steamed, rolled grains) or to persons possessing state certified weed free hay or crop products packaged as bales, containers, or sacks, when also marked using official tags, twine or other identification as required by the product's State of origin, or in possession of the original and current State documents which certify the hay or crop products meet or exceed the North American Weed Management Association (NAWMA) or comparable certification standard.

-- Grazing, hitching, tethering, or hobbling any pack or saddle stock within 200 feet of a lake shore is prohibited.

-- Some trails are closed to use by pack and saddle stock due to steep grades, inadequate design, lack of grazing or other factors. Consult specific trail closure information at http://www.fs.usda.gov/detail/mbs/conditions/?cid=STELPRDB5126323 AND http://www.fs.usda.gov/detail/okawen/alerts-notices/?cid=stelprdb5308168


Learn more about why regulations may be necessary in wilderness.

Fees

The following user fee system(s) have been implemented for this wilderness: TRAILHEAD PARKING. Fees are most often used to offset the operating costs of a permit system or to help fund management activities such as trail maintenance. Contact the Forest Service office or visit the websites listed for more specific information on this fee system.



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