Steamboat briefs for Sept. 29

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— Free camping, picnicking in National Forests, Grassland

In recognition of National Public Lands Day, fees will not be charged today for use of campgrounds and picnic areas on the Medicine Bow and Routt National Forests and Thunder Basin National Grassland. The federal Departments of Agriculture and the Interior established a common fee-free day to be observed each year on national public lands. Visit http://www.fs.fed.us/r2/mbr/recreation/camping/ for a listing of all campgrounds, hiking trails and picnic areas on the Medicine Bow and Routt National Forests and Thunder Basin National Grassland.

Also today, the grand opening and inaugural ride on the Medicine Bow Rail-Trail is scheduled, in conjunction with Public Lands Day. Visitors will be able to ride 23 miles of the old Laramie, Hahn's Peak and Pacific Railroad route. The rail-trail is located on the Medicine Bow National Forest in southeastern Wyoming and is open to hikers, bikers, and horse riders. It is the longest rail-trail in Wyoming.

Free motor vehicle maps for Routt National Forest

New maps showing motorized routes on the Routt National Forest are now available free of charge at U.S. Forest Service offices in Steamboat Springs, Yampa, Kremmling, Walden and the Forest supervisor's office in Laramie, Wyo.

"The maps, along with signs on the ground, will help motorized users know where and when they are allowed to travel and with what types of vehicles," said Forest Supervisor Mary Peterson. "It is the responsibility of motorized travelers to be aware of the legal designated routes and stay on them to ensure responsible use and enjoyment of the national forest."

Information and maps are also available at www.fs.fed.us/r2/mbr/recreation/travel_management/mvumindex.shtml. New motorized use maps for the Medicine Bow National Forest and the Thunder Basin National Grassland will be available in 2008 and 2009, respectively.

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