We are fortunate to have the freedom to explore the vast & beautiful wilderness areas of our western states. It is the responsibility of every one of us to be good stewards of our lands. Just because public land belongs to all of us doesn't mean we're free to do whatever we want on it, or to it. On the contrary, it's important that we take care of it, so that those who come after us may also enjoy it as we have, just as we would like those who come before us to leave it for us.

Failing to treat our public lands with respect by the selfish few inevitably leads to closures for everyone. Fortunately, it's not difficult at all to be kind to the natural areas we're privileged to visit. Being thoughtful and respectful helps ensure everyone's ongoing access - including yours - to our public lands. 

Drive only on designated roads & trails.
Plants & trees, wildlife, watershed, and other ecosystem elements are easily disturbed. There are ample roads to get you where you want to go, and plenty of roads which present "off-road" challenges. If you really want to tear it up in mud, sand, and rocks, there are many OHV parks available within BLM and National Forest lands (you'll find some of these among the trail listings here.)

​​Don't leave litter.'s shameful how much litter gets left behind. I see it on every single excursion I take. Bringing your garbage home is not that hard. Keep a few extra plastic or paper grocery bags stashed in your vehicle so you can easily accumulate any trash you produce (and maybe pick up some that you find). 

Respect private property.
It's not uncommon for public lands, especially those managed by the BLM, to be interspersed with privately-owned properties. Roads which access public lands often pass through private property. Be aware of your location, and look for indications that the land you're on may not be public. Abide by the restrictions marked on posted signs. 

Build "Leave No Trace" Campfires
The principle of leaving no trace should apply to all activities in wilderness areas, including campfires. It's respectful to always leave a place looking just as you found it. Employ existing fire rings at dispersed campsites, build a mound fire using a tarp or fire blanket, or use a fire pan placed upon some rocks. Here are some Leave No Trace campfire basics . There are plenty of instructional videos on YouTube as well. If collecting firewood, never cut branches off trees - used downed wood only. Be aware of areas which prohibit firewood collection.  

Shoot with care.
Target shooting is generally permitted on undeveloped BLM and National Forest lands. If target shooting is part of your exursion, please adhere to the relevant guidelines and respect designated "No Shooting" areas. Always place your targets in front of a dirt embankment. Do not shoot on or across roadways. Do not use exploding targets or incendiary ammunition, or use old TVs, computers, or other electronics as targets, which release toxins. Always clean up your target debris and pick up your spent shell casings.   

Leave it better than you found it.
Stay on the trail. Pick up trash left by others. Practice safe fire management. Do your "business" properly.  :-)