Forest Service Makes Preparations for Eclipse
Written by Andrew-Rossi on June 28, 2017
The August 21st solar eclipse will bring unusually intense levels of activity to Wyoming – which means local agencies are preparing for any and all possibilities.
Wyoming is the closest destination to view the totality of the solar eclipse for 10 million Americans. According to the website Great American Eclipse.com, officials estimate that between 48,000 and 192,000 people will visit the path of totality in Wyoming on eclipse day.
Sue Stressor, District Ranger for the Wapiti District of the Shoshone National Forest, says that they are expecting heavier travel through the Shoshone National Forest surrounding the event.
Stressor says they expect quite a few people will want to disperse camp, or camp wherever they can pitch a tent. However, disperse camping is not allowed on the North Fork, which will cause concern for Forest Service staff.
Food storage and sanitation issues are also a concern, both from the perspective of bear attractants, and from the sheer volume of people who will be using restrooms on the Forest, keeping the toilets pumped out. Fire danger is also a concern, if people who are disperse camping decide to start a campfire in unauthorized areas.
Additionally, Stressor says that although they are canceling vacations for staff during the days surrounding the eclipse, they are being asked to share some of their employees with other forest districts in the path of totality, which stretches their available resources.
Stressor also says they are considering setting up kiosks at various locations throughout the forest to provide information for visitors.