Cowboy Character: Winter Out West
Out here in Wyoming, Cowboy Character is at the heart of who we are. The Cowboy recreates a little differently here out West during the winter. We ask that when recreating in the cold months, you follow the ten core principles of Wyoming's Cowboy Code of Ethics. These principles help each Cowboy preserve our forest's search and rescue resources, keep them safe from the cold, and protect sensitive winter wildlife species as we share our forests.
1. Live Each Day with Courage
Wear the correct gear for winter weather and pack for emergencies, remembering that forecasted conditions can always change. Communicate your location and schedule to family or friends before you head out, and stick to your plan. Pack plenty of extra layers, food, water, safety equipment, fire starter, and a USFS trail map.
2. Always Finish What You Start
When recreating, practice the principles of Leave No Trace by packing out all trash, including trash from the warming huts. Practice space heater safety and put out all fires.
3. Take Pride in Your Work
Do not snowmobile over lakes or reservoirs in any season. Always respect the skin track when snowshoeing, snow biking, or cross-country skiing.
4. Do What Has to be Done
Purchase a snowmobile permit and pay the day use parking fees. Keep fuel tanks full, check the weather and avalanche reports, bring avalanche beacons, and know before you go.
5. Be Tough, but Fair
Check ahead to make sure your recreation matches the trail. Uphill travelers have the right-of-way, fat-tire bikes yield to all on foot, and snowmobiles always yield on the right. When chasing powder stashes on the slopes, the downhill skier or snowboarder has the right of way, and always remember to alternate in the lift line.
6. Ride for the Brand
Always remain aware of those around you when riding down the ski slopes. Fat tire bike riders should air down as needed to avoid making trail ruts. Tune handheld radios to Channel 3 and Privacy code 07 (307) for Search and Rescue. It’s Wyoming’s area code!
7. Talk Less & Say More
When snowmobiling, use and heed rider hand signals by holding up the number of sleds remaining in your party as you pass others. The last rider signals with a closed fist.
8. Remember that Some Things Aren’t for Sale (Or to Pet)
Wild animals are particularly vulnerable in the winter months. Avoid protected wilderness habitat areas and keep your distance from animals to reduce unnecessary movement and stress.
9. Know Where to Draw the Line
Preserve search and rescue resources by knowing your limits, equipment, and the area, and being wise about how you engage in your activity.
10. When You Make a Promise, Keep It
Pledge to take care of Albany County’s public lands when recreating. A Cowboy always keeps their word.