Blind Bull Shelter for Day Use only
by Bridger-Teton National Forest
February 25, 2010
The Bridger-Teton National Forest reports that the Blind Bull Safety Shelter is being improperly used for overnight stays by snowmobilers. The cabin is located in the Wyoming Range on the boundary between the Greys River and Big Piney Ranger Districts. Trey Hall, Recreation Specialist for the Big Piney Ranger District, said that the intended purpose of the Blind Bull Safety Shelter is for emergency and day use only. "We want people to enjoy the warming hut and also to know that itís there for them if they have an emergency situation and canít get back to their vehicles due to inclement weather, mechanical problems, or other unforeseen difficulties. We do want to make it clear, however, that the facility is not an overnight recreation destination." Hall stated that when people choose to stay overnight it creates more wear and tear on the building and uses up firewood that was gathered over the summer by volunteers for use in emergencies and occasional warming stops.
The Pinedale Snow Explorers and the Sweetwater County Snowpokes snowmobile clubs spend many hours throughout the year cutting, splitting, and stacking firewood, cleaning and maintaining the building, and making sure the necessary provisions such as matches, paper, axe, blankets, and first aid kit are on hand. These items are all donated by club members. George Pryich, President of the Pinedale Snow Explorers, said that they are happy do the work and provide this service, but are now experiencing problems with people leaving garbage. "One of my pet peeves is people leaving their cans and other garbage. We have to pick up after them, wrap up the garbage and haul it out on the back of our machines. There is no garbage pickup out there. If folks could just haul their own out and help us keep it clean, it would be a lot less work for the club."
From the reports he has received, Hall believes the individuals who are illegally staying overnight are mostly people from surrounding communities and itís possible they donít know they are doing anything wrong. In an effort to educate, Hall is posting signs at the shelter as well as trailheads to notify the public of the day use only rule. "Hopefully people will respect the rule and not stay overnight unless they have a very good reason. These volunteers put a lot of their time and effort into making this a nice place to warm up and have lunch during the winter months. They also realize the importance of having a safety shelter stocked with wood and provisions in the event of a real emergency. It would be a shame if a few individuals spoil the privilege for everyone else."
For more information call the Big Piney Ranger Station at 307-276-3375 or the Greys River Ranger Station at 307-886-5300.