PORTLAND, Ore. — The U.S. Forest Service says that it will work to reopen its developed recreated sites on National Forest land "in the coming weeks," following an announcement from Governor Brown that she will lift restrictions on most outdoor recreation areas.
Though Governor Brown did bar overnight camping throughout the state, the decision to close down developed recreation sites on federal land was done by the Forest Service and Bureau of Land Management voluntarily, albeit in solidarity with state parks.
Now supervisors and staff at Oregon's National Forest sites are working on how to safely reopen areas in a "phased manner."
“Our recreation landscape is interconnected, and changes to access will have an impact across many jurisdictions. Decisions about what sites to reopen, and when, involves careful consideration of potential effects on nearby communities,” said Glenn Casamassa, regional forester for the Pacific Northwest Region of the Forest Service. “A deliberate process and a gradual transition will also allow us to reopen individual locations while prioritizing the safety of our employees and volunteers.”
Forest Service roads, trails, and dispersed areas have remained open on most National Forests in Oregon and Washington, also allowing hunting and fishing in undeveloped areas.
Visitors to the National Forests are asked to check each area's website for current conditions, including any possible seasonal or area closures, before visiting.
"As developed sites reopen, please remember to avoid congregating at trailheads and/or parking areas and refrain from gathering in groups of 10 or more," the Forest Service said. "Visitors should be prepared to be self-sufficient as possible, since many services – including visitor centers, restrooms, and trash collection – may remain unavailable."
Counties are opening their parks and recreation sites on an individual basis, with Jackson County announcing last week that it would begin opening sites in several phases.