Black Hills National Forest under high water saturation

BLACK HILLS NATIONAL FOREST, S.D. (KOTA TV) - If you have plans to recreate out in the Black Hills, the U.S. Forest Service urges you use caution while out on the trails.

Recent rains have saturated the Black Hills National Forest and is causing high water levels and swift currents at lakes and creeks. The current conditions also create potential hazards on the trail. Whether your hiking, biking, 4-wheeling or horseback riding, please use caution as the trails may give out underneath. The Norbeck Wildlife Preserve and Black Elk Wilderness trails have an increased potential for hazardous conditions.

"Yeah the streams are filling fast, I did hear a report last week of a family that was crossing stream going up to Devil's Bath Tub in the northern hills and heard that a little girl was actually taken by the current," said Scott Jacobson, public information officer with the Forest Service. "Her father had to go and scoop her out of the water. So if your going out into the forest and you are going out with ATV's and riding trails and things like that, just tell someone where you are going when you expect to be back. If you get out there and get yourself caught up in a bad situation on a muddy trail, you can slide off the road and get stuck."

The US Forest Service urges all forest users to follow the TREAD Lightly principles: Travel responsibly, Respect the rights of others, Educate yourself, Avoid sensitive areas and Do your part.

For questions on the Norbeck Wildlife Preserve and Black Elk Wilderness, please contact the Hell Canyon Ranger District at (605) 673-9200. Contact a local District office for other Forest related questions.