In the month of January 2017 Box Elder County Sheriff has been called to the west desert five times for individuals lost, stuck or overdue. All have turned out as rescues in one form or another; however basic rules are being broken. Some individuals are going alone and most of them are going into areas where there is extremely unreliable cell phone service. The majority of these individuals have not notified anyone exactly where they are going to be and when to expect them home. In at least two cases it was only by luck that there was a specific location to start looking for individuals.
We are very blessed in Box Elder County to have a fine group of Search and Rescue volunteers to call on to find those in need of help. They put themselves in danger and take time from work and families to complete these callouts with no pay. The Search and Rescue time does not take into account the many hours the residents in the area have donated to assist people, not calling for emergency services.
This is an unusual snow year by recent past standards; a normal snow year for those of us that were around when it was always like this. Please don’t take it for granted that we are always going to be able to find you. If you have no urgent business in Western Box Elder County please use the utmost caution and pre plan your visit when going there for your recreation.
In no way are we trying to be critical or judgmental of anyone and are not discouraging your visit. We want you, and encourage you, to enjoy the outdoors and especially the beautiful west desert. What we are asking is to be prepared and take every available precaution so you can have a safe and enjoyable outing. Everyone needs to be able to return to their families safe and share the memories.
Last fall on the Box Elder County Sheriff Facebook page an article was posted about preparing for the open season deer hunt. Most of those tips are applicable in visiting the west desert, since most visits we encounter involve hunting of some description. To view these tips follow the link to the Utah Division of Wildlife here.