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Storm warning for outdoor activities


CONCORD, N.H. - Officials from the New Hampshire Fish and Game Department, the New Hampshire Department of Resources and Economic Development and the White Mountain National Forest today issued a joint advisory urging outdoor enthusiasts to exercise caution if they are venturing out onto the state's trails, State Parks and forestlands during the severe winter storm bearing down on New Hampshire. The storm is expected to dump a foot or more of snow on the Granite State this weekend, and may bring high winds and power outages.

"We are urging the public, whether you're hiking, camping, snowmobiling or fishing anywhere in the state, to keep safety foremost in mind before heading out during this big storm, and to monitor weather conditions closely as the weekend progresses," said Col. Martin Garabedian of the New Hampshire Fish and Game Department's Law Enforcement Division, which is responsible for wilderness search and rescue. "Deep snow and high winds in backcountry areas will hamper rescue efforts during the storm. For your safety and the safety of rescue personnel, please use caution when recreating outdoors and plan ahead."

White Mountain National Forest officials advised that backcountry travel over the weekend will be difficult for the unprepared. Above treeline, travelers can expect whiteout conditions and 80-90 mile per hour winds on Saturday, along with a foot or more of snow. Use caution and continue to monitor the weather before traveling.

Safe hiking advice and a list of emergency gear for winter outdoor enthusiasts can be found at www.hikesafe.com.

Earlier in the week, Fish and Game issued an advisory on ice safety, particularly on the state's large lakes, following the release of a N.H. Civil Air Patrol aerial photo taken on February 5 documenting areas of open water on Lake Winnipesaukee. See www.wildlife.state.nh.us/Newsroom/2013/Q1/ice_safety_020613.html.

For updated New Hampshire storm-related information and safety tips, visit www.nh.gov/readynh.

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