Partner logos: Bureau of Land Management, Fish and Wildlife Service, Forest Service, National Park Service, University of Montana Logo
Connecting federal employees, scientists, educators, and the public with their wilderness heritage

Safety Toolbox

This toolbox provides information pertaining to safety in wilderness. It includes law and agency policies, management guidelines and tools pertaining to both visitor and employee safety in wilderness. In addition to the resources provided here, you may also be able to obtain advice and recommendations through discussion on Wilderness Connect. Date of last update: 10/2/12.
  1. Introduction
    Safety is only mentioned briefly in the Wilderness Act of 1964 in the context of prohibited uses and minimum requirements. "...except as necessary to meet minimum requirements for the administration of the area for the purpose of this Act (including measures required in emergencies involving the health and safety of persons within the area), there shall be no..." Risk, adventure, discovery and the unknown are valued by many in a wilderness experience. Never-the-less, it is each agencies responsibility to consider the health and safety of both persons who visit and employees who work in wilderness.
  2. Visitor Safety
    1. Law and Policy
      1. The Wilderness Act
      2. Agency Policy
        1. FWS Wilderness Visitor Safety Policy
        2. FS Wilderness Visitor Safety Policy
        3. NPS Wilderness Visitor Safety Policy
    2. Management Guidelines, Strategies and Practices
      1. FS
        1. Single Log Stringer Diagram (R6)
    3. Case Studies
      1. Falling Tree Kills Logger
  3. Employee Safety
    1. Agency Policy
      1. FS
        1. 2326.1 - Conditions Under Which Use (of Motorized Equipment or Mechanical Transport in Wilderness) May Be Approved
        2. Health and Safety Code Handbook
        3. Wilderness Ranger Field Guide, Chapter 4: Safety
      2. NPS Backcountry Travel Procedures
    2. Management Guidelines, Strategies and Practices
      1. NPS
        1. Operational Leadership
          1. What is Operational Leadership?
          2. Seven Components of Operational Leadership
          3. Four Principles of Operational Risk Management
          4. Operational Leadership Program Overview
          5. Operational Leadership Curriculum
          6. DECIDE Decision-Making Model
          7. Fatigue Case Study
        2. IMR Wilderness Executive Committee Safety Issues
        3. IMR Safety and Wilderness Handout
        4. 2011 Employee Safety Handbook (ROMO)
        5. 2011 Backcountry Travel and Tracking Policy (ROMO)
        6. Backcountry Travel Plan Form (ROMO)
        7. Backcountry Travel Tracking Log (ROMO)
        8. Archeology Field Safety Plan (GRCA)
      2. Risk Assessment
        1. Risk Assessment Code (RAC) Matrix
        2. Severity, Exposure & Probability (SEP) Risk Assessment Model
        3. Universal Risk Assessment Model (URAM) Form
  4. Resources
    1. Job Hazard Analyses
      1. Archeology
        1. Bandelier National Park
        2. Grand Canyon National Park
      2. Education Programs and Students
      3. Campsite, Trail Projects
        1. Bridge Work
        2. Cleaning Fire Pits
        3. Old Forest Inn Privy
        4. Rock Work
        5. Signpost Construction
      4. Field Work
        1. Patrols
        2. Wilderness Rapid Assessment
      5. Fire
        1. BAER
        2. Drip Torch Use
        3. Fireline Construction
        4. Pile Burning
      6. Hazard Trees
        1. Interagency
        2. Rocky Mountain National Park
      7. Health
        1. Blood Borne Pathogens
        2. Dehydration
        3. Hantavirus
        4. Hypothermia and Frostbite
        5. Insect Bites and Stings
        6. Lightning
        7. Poisonous Plants
        8. Rabies and Blood Borne Pathogens
        9. Working in High Altitudes Environments
        10. Working with Treated Wood
      8. Physical Training and Lifting
        1. Handling Materials
        2. Lifting-Moving Heavy Objects
        3. Physical Training
      9. Stock
        1. Care and Transportation of Animals
        2. Feeding and Care of Animals
        3. Horse Use-Riding
        4. Packing Stock
      10. Tools
        1. Chainsaws
          1. Chainsaw Brushing
          2. Chainsaw Use
          3. Chainsaw Use and Maintenance
        2. Explosives
        3. Hand Tools
          1. Hand Tools, general
          2. Axe and Hatchet Use
          3. Crosscut Saw Use and Maintenance
          4. Griphoist and Highline Use and Maintenance
          5. Rigging
          6. Tool Sharpening
        4. Power Tools
          1. Power Brusher
          2. Power Hand Tool Use
          3. Rock Drill Use and Maintenance
      11. Trails
        1. Cyclic Maintenance of Trails
        2. General Trail Maintenance
        3. Trail Puncheon
        4. Trail Reconstruction (Rocky Mountain National Park)
      12. Travel
        1. Backcountry and Solo Camping
        2. Boat Travel
          1. Motorboat
          2. Non-motorized Watercraft
        3. Carrying and Using Bear Spray
        4. Dog Sledding, Mushing
        5. Foot Travel
          1. Backcountry Travel Footwear Specific
          2. Backcountry Travel
          3. Front and Backcountry Travel, Flash Floods
          4. Front and Backcountry Travel
          5. Hiking in Steep and Rough Terrain
          6. Hiking on Uneven Surfaces
          7. Ski and Snowshoe Activities
          8. Training Field Trips
        6. Helicopters
          1. External Loads
          2. Operations
          3. Travel
      13. Visitors, hostile
      14. Volunteers
        1. Field Work, General
        2. Field Work, Desert
        3. Steward Patrols
      15. Wildlife Encounters
        1. Bear, Mountain Lion Encounter (Rocky Mountain National Park)
        2. Bear, Mountain Lion Encounter (Tahoe National Forest)
        3. Travel Through Sensitive Wildlife Areas to Field Sites
        4. Wildlife Jams
      16. Wildlife, Vegetation Management and Monitoring
        1. Carnivore Monitoring
        2. Close Distance Wildlife Observation
        3. Electrofishing
        4. Elk Ground Surveys
        5. Exotic Plant Removal
        6. Firearms Use for Wildlife Management
        7. Goshawk Monitoring
        8. Jabstick Use for Wildlife Pharmaceuticals
        9. Mechanical Plant Removal
        10. Plant Material Handling
        11. Snake Monitoring
        12. Trapping Wildlife
        13. Vegetation Monitoring
        14. Wildlife Surveys
    2. SOLARA and SPOT Field Reviews
    3. OSHA Standards for Trail Bridge
    4. IMR Wilderness-Safety Bandana Contest
    5. IMR Safety Bandana Design
    6. Arthur Carhart National Wilderness Training Center Safety Bandana Design