MOUNTAIN AREA — The U.S. Forest Service is closing campgrounds and “developed recreation facilities” on National Forest lands statewide, according to a press release issued Thursday by Forest Service officials.
The move comes in response to the Governor’s recent shelter-in-place order and the state’s efforts to stem the spread of COVID-19.
“The Sierra National Forest and California Land Management will be begin closing campgrounds and developed recreation sites on Sierra National Forest lands on March 26. Closures of developed recreation facilities are being put in place until at least April 30 in an attempt to avoid groups of people and promote social distancing of staying more than six feet apart.”
“This is not a decision we make lightly, but we feel it is important in order to put everyone’s safety first,” the release stated.
While designated recreation sites will be closed, the general Forest area including the extensive trail system will remain open and available to the public.
“Hiking and walking outdoors are widely considered beneficial to maintaining one’s health,” Thursday’s release stated. “It is the intent of USDA Forest Service to maintain trail access to the extent practicable.”
“We ask that you consider whether your personal participation in outdoor recreation at this time would pose an unnecessary risk to others as we all work together to flatten the curve and slow the spread of COVID-19. We appreciate your cooperation in keeping our National Forests safe and healthy for everyone’s use.”
California Land Management, which holds a special uses permit to operate the campgrounds, will begin to process refunds for reservations made during this early part of the season for those sites that they manage on the Sierra National Forest.
California Land Management Services can be contacted at (650) 322-1181 or Fax: (650) 322-1194 or via email at firstname.lastname@example.org.