Forest Service extends closure of developed recreation sites in national forests through May 15

Local News

FILE – Wishon Reservoir in the Sierra National Forest. (Courtesy of Sierra National Forest)

CLOVIS, Calif. (KSEE/KGPE) — The U.S. Forest Service announced Thursday it has extended the closure of all developed recreation sites in California national forests due to COVID-19, including the Sierra and Sequoia National Forests, through May 15.

The closure affects campgrounds, picnic areas (including all tables and barbecue/firepits), bathrooms, water stations, paved parking areas and boat launch ramps.

Courtesy of the U.S. Forest Service

“Closing any site for any reason is not one we take lightly, but protecting our visitors and employees remains our highest priority,” said spokesman Alex Olow of the Sierra National Forest. “We are working with our state and local partners to determine the best path forward to safely reopening closed sites.”

Hiking trails, areas that function as a trailhead for dispersed recreation and dispersed camping are not affected by the closure.

People should choose parking locations with care and park in a spot that is clear of the roadway while not causing damage to forest resources.

Olow said while the forests remain open for use, the Forest Service recommends complying with local and state guidance and not travel for recreation.

For more information on specific Sequoia National Forest information, visit here.

RELATED: Parts of Sequoia National Forest remain closed, with some exceptions

People that plan to visit area forests should be aware that:

  • High-risk activities should be avoided — Law enforcement and/or search and rescue operations may be limited due to COVID-19. High-risk activities like backcountry activities increase your chance of injury or distress should be avoided.
  • No trash removal is currently offered — people are expected to pack out all trash and waste www.lnt.org
  • All toilet facilities are currently closed — please plan accordingly. All human waste and tissues should be placed in a plastic bag and taken with you — Leave No Trace.
  • Avoid large gatherings — If an area is crowded, please search for a less crowded location.

Forest officials would like to provide these TREAD Lightly principles to all visitors to the national forest:

T – Travel Responsibly, obey the rules of the road or trails
R – Respect the Rights of Others, please practice physical distancing
E – Educate Yourself, know before you go… www.lnt.org
A – Avoid Sensitive Areas – do not create your own trails, or parking areas.
D – Do Your Part – call ahead to determine where you can go. View the forest webpage
www.fs.usda.gov/sierra to become informed, use the interactive map to locate your destination.

For specific details on areas that are closed visit the Sierra National Forest or Sequoia National Forest web pages.

COVID-19 resource links:

For local, national, and breaking news, and to get weather alerts, download our FREE mobile app from the Apple App Store or the Google Play Store.

Copyright 2020 Nexstar Broadcasting, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

CBS47 On Your Side

Do you have a problem that you need help solving? Contact CBS47 and let us be On Your Side.

Phone: 559-761-0383
Email: OnYourSide@cbsfresno.com