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Think "safety" for autumn adventures in the Tillamook State Forest
News Release
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE                                                                                               Distribution:  Major Media
November 3, 2011
Contact:  Stephanie Beall, 503-359-7464
Fall is a terrific time to visit the Tillamook State Forest.  The landscape is a feast for the eyes as the brilliant reds, oranges, and yellows of fall foliage break through the deep greens of Douglas-fir, hemlock, and cedar stands. The Wilson and Nehalem Rivers have started to run with fall salmon heading inland to spawn while the rocky peaks along Highway 6 serve as challenging footpaths for elk herds. The developed campgrounds in the Tillamook State Forest may be closed until spring, but the trails, developed trailheads, and dispersed camping areas remain open to provide access to the many beautiful natural features within the Tillamook State Forest.
When planning your fall and winter forest travels, be sure to take steps to prepare for personal safety.  With any outdoor activity there is a degree of risk. The Oregon Department of Forestry Tillamook State Forest Recreation Staff offer the following safety tips for visitors:
  • Alert others. Always let friends and family know where you are going and when you plan to return home. If you are headed out for a day on the trails, let family and friends know where you plan to park and what your route of trail travel will be.
  • Know your location – and plan for an overnight trip.  Always carry a GPS or map of the area with you. The fall and winter months see many visitors stuck in disabled vehicles. Pack enough water, food, first aid supplies, warm clothing and blankets in the trunk of your car for an unexpected night out. Dress in layers and take enough food and water with you in your trail pack to last 24-hours if necessary.
  • Expect rapid temperature changes.  The temperatures in the fall and winter months can vary wildly across the forest depending on elevation and location. Even on a sunny day, dress in layers and be prepared for a rapid cool-down as you traverse the forest.
  • Dress for hunting season.  You may not be a hunter but you can still participate in hunter safety. Avoid being mistaken for game by wearing hunter orange while on trails or in the brush.
  • Take your wallet on the trail.  Avoid being the victim of a vehicle break in and identity theft by taking your identification and credit cards with you when you leave your vehicle.
  • Leave your valuables at home.  Avoid being the victim of a vehicle break in by leaving your valuables at home.  Clean up your vehicle passenger area before you leave the parking area. Take the extra time to lock items from CDs to cell phone cords in the trunk or stow them out of sight to make your vehicle less tempting to thieves.
Visitors are reminded never to confront people engaged in suspicious or criminal activity. The best help a member of the public can provide is to report accidents and incidents of suspicious or criminal activity by calling 911 where cell service is available in the forest or to the Tillamook County Sheriff’s Department at 503-815-1911 once they arrive home.
Taking a small amount of time to plan ahead and paying attention to these few simple safety tips can mean the difference between an amazing adventure and an infuriating outing – or even a dangerous one. The Oregon Department of Forestry wants your forest experience to be safe, fun, and memorable – for all the right reasons, not the wrong ones. Enjoy the forest and the amazing fall that we are fortunate enough to have here in Oregon.