We are GO for Oktoberfest! The US Forest Ranger says we may proceed as planned/scheduled, with the usual precautions and extra vigilance for fire risks and hazards.
We have been given the GREEN LIGHT from the US Forest Service for OKTOBERFEST (October 5th, 6th and 7th) on the Pawnee National Grassland at NCR’s North Site. An important reminder – in spite of the current forecast for scattered rain showers, the Fire Risk remains high – extra vigilance will be expected. Currently, there are no fire restrictions in place in Weld County or on the Pawnee NG, which is subject to change, so everyone will need to be very careful and implement extra precautions. The prairie remains fragile and combustible – NO SPARKIES ALLOWED. In the event of any fire on the range, all launch activities will cease until the fires are completely extinguished and it is determined if it is safe for us to continue.
On-site registration will be available. Friday October 5th and Saturday October 6th and Sunday October 7th. Our waiver will be a constant 20,000’ AGL, with arrangements for “windows of opportunity” to be coordinated. If you will need a higher altitude “window” during the weekend, please advise me ASAP.
Remember Range Etiquette. If you find a gate closed, close it behind you. Stay on the authorized roads (Foot recovery only) and please don’t park more than 100’ off the road at the launch site. Be prepared for changing weather conditions. Afternoon thundershowers should be expected.
We anticipate having the range set up and ready by 9 AM on Friday, and we’ll operate until 5 PM. On Saturday the range and waiver will be open at 8 AM and close at 5 PM. On Sunday, the range will open at 8 AM and probably close by 3 PM. Wristbands will be required for ALL flyers and ALL flyers will need to be registered. ALL high power flyers must be current NAR or Tripoli members. Please remember that Range Safety is in everyone’s best interest. Enjoy Oktoberfest responsibly.
The Pawnee National Grassland offers the ultimate in rustic, open space camping although for this event we will have Porta-Potties on site. Self sufficient camping is permitted on site. NO Campfires allowed. The nearest motels are in Wellington, CO, Cheyenne, WY, and Ft. Collins, CO.
Please treat our National Grassland with respect. As is typical with camping in most public areas, we are required to remove all of our trash. Be considerate and responsible. If you bring it, be prepared to leave with it. Please clean up your parking and prep area before you leave and take all of your stuff with you.
NCR is an Authorized Permitee of the Pawnee National Grassland. A morning orientation briefing for participants will be held and will include a discussion of safety and emergency procedures, fire conditions and instruction, applicable rules and regulations, and what is expected of participants with regards to the use of NFS lands under our special use permit.
Please note that all launch events will be conducted using nationally approved/accepted range safety practices. The launching of rockets on NFS land is normally prohibited under a Forest Service Region 2 fire regulation. The issuance of NCR’s permit allows launches to take place by exempting the Holder from that regulation for approved launch events only. All launches, other than those conducted by the Holder during approved launch events, are outside the scope of this permit and are prohibited by Forest Service regulations.
As always, volunteers are needed to help with range set up, operation and clean up. Hope to see you out on the range.