NORTH FORK – Sierra National Forest Officials have announced the temporary seasonal closures for campgrounds and picnic areas along the Merced River, Highway 140 corridor.
The locations scheduled for closure will include four picnic areas – McClendon Beach, Indian Flat, Red Bud, and Cranberry Launch – and two campgrounds – Dirt Flat and Dry Gulch.
These locations are being closed due to safety concerns with changing weather conditions, say Forest officials.
“Experience from the last two years has shown damage to multiple areas along the river caused by a rising waterline leading to heavy erosion and damage along the shoreline. This activity has forced California Land Management (CLM) LLC, operator of these recreations sites to make the decision to close these locations until they can return to repair damages, and/or clean up.”
With the potential of a heavy rainy season approaching, there is an expectation and a heightened risk of flooding, debris flows and road closures in the area of this past July’s Ferguson Fire where these recreation sites are located.
Some flooding, debris and rock slides have already occurred since the first rains of the 2018/2019 season. Out of concern for worsening conditions and the safety of their employees, CLM has already moved their camp host.
Each year during the fall and winter months, use along this corridor is fairly light. CLM has decided to take advantage of the slower period of time to begin work when conditions are favorable to return these recreation areas allowing public use and enjoyment. We can expect closures by this weekend, Saturday, Oct. 20.
For more information on the planned closure and alternative recreation sites on the Sierra National Forest, please contact any Forest Service Office: the Bass Lake Ranger District Office at 559-877-2218, the High Sierra Ranger District Office at 559-855-3533 ext. 3301, or the Forest Supervisors Office at 559-297-0706.
For more on the Sierra National Forest visit www.fs.usda.gov/sierra.