The Main Stream

Jun 9, 2012 8:43 PM

Parks celebrate National Get Outdoors Day

TUCSON- Saturday marked "National Get Outdoors Day" and to encourage people to do just that, many forest service parks waived entry fees. Regardless of the heat, there were quite a few people enjoying the parks.

"Oh, we love the hot weather because we're from Connecticut and snow used to be up to here," said Paul Ginasko who was at Sabino Canyon.

At Saguaro National park, most people enjoyed the scenery by car or bicycle to avoid the heat.

The picnic areas were empty as fire restrictions prohibit anyone from using the grills or smoking.

"Obviously that's very important because this is open wild and we are in a dry area," said Quichao Pan, a tourist from China.

He was eager to read up on the rules and stay close to the roadway.

"Because I'm alone, I won't go that far," he said.

Bill Kaufman is a volunteer naturalist at Sabino Canyon, he said these volunteers are on the lookout to make sure everyone follows the rules including the fire restrictions.

"If we observe people that are doing something that they shouldn't be doing it's certainly our duty to clue them in to what they're supposed to be doing," said Kaufman.

Sabino Canyon is recruiting volunteer naturalists.

If you love the outdoors and want to help educate both adults and kids about what the outdoors have to offer, Sabino Canyon will train you and make you a volunteer naturalist.

To see how you can volunteer, head to

This is a list of the fire restrictions:

Current prohibitions on all ranger districts of the Coronado National Forest are:

1. Building, maintaining, attending or using a fire, campfire, charcoal, coal, or wood stove fire, except within a developed recreation site, or improved site. 36 CFR 261.52(a) EXCEPTION: Use of petroleum-fueled stoves, lanterns, or heating devices is allowed so long as such devices met the fire underwriter's specifications for safety.
2. Using an explosive. 36 CFR 261.52(b)
3. Smoking, except within an enclosed vehicle or building. 36 CFR 261.52(d)
4. Operating or using any internal combustion engine, except motor vehicles.
36 CFR 261.52(h)
5. Welding, or operating acetylene or other torch with open flame.
36 CFR 261.52 (i)
6. Discharging a firearm, air rifle, or gas gun, except while engaged in a lawful hunt pursuant to state, federal, or tribal law and regulations. 36 CFR 261.58(m)
7. Possessing or using a motor vehicle off National Forest system roads, except when parking in an area devoid of vegetation within 30 feet of the roadway, and except for parking overnight in Forest Service developed campgrounds and trailheads. 36 CFR 261.56

Prohibitions are temporary and will be lifted when fire restrictions expire. Any violation of the prohibitions is punishable by a fine of not more than $5,000 for individuals and $10,000 for organizations and/or imprisonment for not more than six months. Fireworks are always prohibited on National Forest lands.

For additional information on fire restrictions on public lands in Arizona and New Mexico please call the toll-free Regional Fire Restrictions Hotline at 1-877-864-6985.


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