photo courtesy of afagen/flickr

Skiers, snowmobilers, and other winter recreationists can now get important forest information right at their fingertips, thanks to new digital visitor maps available for their mobile devices.

Bitterroot National Forest Public Information Officer Tod McKay said on Tuesday, December 24, that maps that were once only available in paper form, can now be purchased and viewed online.

"The four ranger districts on the Bitterroot National Forest are now available in a digital format," McKay said. "These are our visitor-use maps that people have come into our offices and purchased in a paper format, and they're now available digitally for people's mobile devices."

McKay said the U.S. Forest Service has teamed up with a digital mapping company to make the materials available online.

"The forest service is working with a company called Avenza, and they have developed an app for us," McKay said. "You can just download the map you need. Each one is only $4.99. I just hit the 'buy' button and I've been downloading digital maps all morning, so I've found it's very simple to use."

McKay said almost 700 forest service maps are available through the Avenza app, It works with both the I-Phone (3G of newer) and Android 4 operating systems on devices with at least one megabyte of memory.

Bitterroot National Forest Public Information Officer Tod McKay