MEDFORD, Ore. — The federal Bureau of Land Management announced on Friday that it will temporarily close its developed recreation facilities due to coronavirus, many of which are popular outdoor spots in Southern Oregon.
"The health and safety of our visitors and staff remains the number one priority of the Bureau of Land Management," the agency said. "In accordance with guidance from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the state of Oregon public health officials, the BLM Medford District will temporarily close many of its developed recreation facilities to help limit the spread of COVID-19."
Those closures include:
- Upper and Lower Table Rocks
- Cathedral Hills
- Dollar Mountain
- Graves Creek Trail
Trash pickup and sanitation at these recreation facilities will also be temporarily suspended, BLM said. A spokesman for the agency confirmed to NewsWatch 12 that this closure generally includes all trails, parking lots, and any other facilities at these sites.
The Upper and Lower Graves Creek parking lot is closed, but the boat ramp remains open at this time.
The agency said that despite the closure of these popular spots, "millions of acres of BLM-managed public lands across Oregon remain open to enjoy, as long as you do so responsibly."
Though these are the specific areas in the BLM Medford district, the federal agency has closed down all campgrounds, some day-use sites, and restrooms across Oregon.
“Local, state or federal, we’re all in this together. The BLM is doing what we can as part of the whole of America response to the coronavirus,” said Jose Linares, acting state director for BLM. “Although we have vast open spaces we continue to want people to use, we can’t stress enough that everyone listen to local officials and practice safe social distancing.”