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Summer Recreation Season Begins in National Forests

Mummy Range, Rocky Mountain National Park
Mark Jarvis
Flickr Creative Commons
Mummy Range, Rocky Mountain National Park

Thousands are expected to kick off summer season in the Rocky Mountains this Memorial Day weekend.  And the U.S. Forest Service wants visitors to be aware of potential dangers.

Many areas are still under a lot of snow because of late-season storms and cooler temperatures. That’s exciting for snowshoers and cross-country skiers - but it also raises concerns about avalanches.

“There have been several incidents just in the last week. And we get into, now, a season where we have these wet slab avalanches that are extremely dangerous and can slide without much warning at all,” says Janelle Smith, a spokeswoman for the Forest Service’s Rocky Mountain Region.  “We’re encouraging visitors to just be aware, understand those dangers, check conditions before they go, and be prepared for just about anything.”

Smith also cautions campers and hikers to stay vigilant about wildfires – especially in the southeastern part of the state, which hasn’t seen the recent rain and snow that northern Colorado has gotten.  And she advises people to be aware of the danger of falling trees when camping or picnicking in areas affected by the mountain pine beetle.  More than 33 million people visit the Rocky Mountains each year.

As the host of KUNC’s new program and podcast In the NoCo, I work closely with our producers and reporters to bring context and diverse perspectives to the important issues of the day. Northern Colorado is such a diverse and growing region, brimming with history, culture, music, education, civic engagement, and amazing outdoor recreation. I love finding the stories and voices that reflect what makes NoCo such an extraordinary place to live.
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