Tips to stay safe, out of jail and good to the environment this Memorial Day weekend

(Jackson, Wyo.) - For Memorial Day Weekend, there are lots of fun events happening around Jackson Hole. While you are out enjoying the festivities, make sure to stay safe, not get in trouble and not start fires. Here are tips from the Jackson Police Department, The Teton County Sheriff's Office, the Bridger-Teton National Forest and Yellowstone National Park for this Memorial Day Weekend: *Jackson Police Department* The Jackson Police Department has grant funded DUI cars out as well as grant funded officers working the “May Mobilization” event covered under our Highway Traffic Safety Grant. May mobilization efforts focus on speeding, seatbelt violations, driving while texting or using a cell phone, and careless driving in an effort to reduce collisions. They will also have mounted patrol officers assisting with the parade. "Our message would be to have fun responsibly," said Lieutenant Cole Nethercott. "If you plan to consume alcohol plan ahead so that you have a safe way home. Traffic has increased substantially in the past week. Be patient, leave a little earlier to get to your destination. Drive defensively and be on watch for cyclists and pedestrians. Conversely, cyclists and pedestrians need to obey applicable traffic laws and they should be alert for motorists." *Teton County Sheriff's Office* The Teton County Sheriff's Office will be fully staffed this weekend. "As usual, we would like to see everyone be responsible if they are drinking, plan to take a taxi or have a DD. There will be a lot of visitors here enjoying the beauty that this valley has to offer so slow down, be patient and plan on traffic delays," said Lieutenant Slade Ross of the Teton County Sheriff's Office. *Bridger-Teton National Forest* According to Mary Cernicek, Public Affairs Officer for the Bridger-Teton National Forest, Memorial Day weekend is the start of summer and historically is a very busy weekend at campgrounds and picnic areas on the Bridger-Teton National Forest. "Due to the moisture this winter, most campgrounds, trails and roads, even in the higher elevations, are only now becoming accessible," said Cernicek, "Visitors should be aware that even if a recreation site is accessible, all amenities may not be available yet." If you are planning to use livestock on The Bridger-Teton, remember that you are permitted to use only certified weed free straw, hay or pellets. "We are also asking equestrians to stay off wet and muddy trails until conditions become dryer," she said. "Even though we don't have an elevated fire danger rating, we have already had our first fire of the season," said Cernicek. The Bridger-Teton is asking the public to be extremely cautious with activities that could start a wildfire. Even the smallest spark has the potential to become a wildfire. The Bridger-Teton offers the following tips to safely celebrate time in the outdoors: - Do not leave campfires unattended. - Clear vegetation and dry debris down to bare soil within 10 feet around your campfire. - Be sure to completely put out campfires, leaving the site cold to the touch. - Ensure cigarettes, cigars and tobacco pipes are fully extinguished when not in use. - Keep food and attractants stored away in a manner that keeps them unavailable to bears and wildlife. Watch for changes in weather and be prepared with extra food and clothing in case your trip keeps you in the backcountry longer than you anticipated. Always let someone know where you are going, and when you expect to return. Be aware that if you travel in on frozen ground, later in the day after a thaw, you might not be able to travel that same route to get out. "This is also the time of year that we see high water and swollen creeks and streams," said Cernicek. Forest users also are reminded to avoid driving on snowy, wet or muddy roads. If an area is saturated, on or off-road vehicles will cause significant damage such as rutting, erosion, potholes and mud bogs. Visitors are also urged to be on the lookout for washouts, ruts, fallen rocks and trees, and flooding. "We recently had a visitor notify us of a slump in one of our roads in the Big Piney area," said Cernicek. "Be on the lookout for fallen trees or hazardous conditions and be sure to report them to the local ranger station on," she said. *Yellowstone National Park* Park rangers will conduct traffic safety checkpoints in Yellowstone National Park this upcoming Memorial Day weekend. The goals of the checkpoints are to identify and correct traffic and safety violations and to identify any impaired drivers to help ensure park roads are safer for the travelling public. With more than 300 miles of paved roads, Yellowstone’s driving conditions can be extremely challenging due to high traffic volume, stopped vehicles, rapidly-changing weather conditions, wildlife, and even people, on roadways. The checkpoints are conducted with the assistance of local law enforcement agencies and include vehicle inspections, as well as assessments of driver awareness and impairment. Vehicle inspections include a check for proper maintenance of equipment such as tires, brakes, headlights, and taillights. Law enforcement park rangers will look for signs of drowsiness or intoxication of a vehicle operator, which may lead to inattentive or impaired driving situations. *Feature Photo: h/t Jackson Hole Chamber of Commerce / Pitchengine Communities* #buckrail #news