LAKEVIEW – Most of the recreation sites on the Fremont-Winema National Forest will open for the summer season as early as this Friday, May 22, according to a news release.
The sites opening are a blend of day use areas, boat ramps and campgrounds. Forest visitors are advised to check the Fremont-Winema National Forest website for the status of individual sites or check the weekly recreation report for information on current conditions.
Recreation specialists and technicians have spent the past several weeks evaluating sites for their safe opening for the season. This includes water testing, identifying and removing hazard trees, restoring signage and checking on facilities.
“We appreciate everyone’s patience as we work to safely reopen Forest recreation sites,” said Forest Supervisor Barry Imler. “Many of our sites are typically not accessible until later in the spring, which presents additional challenges. The hard work of our recreation employees – including addressing hazard tree and water issues over the past few weeks has made it possible for us to open so many sites this Memorial Day weekend.”
There are still sites requiring repairs or additional work before they are safe for public use. Several sites on the Forest remain inaccessible due to snow. Both the website and recreation report will be updated weekly with the latest information regarding recreation sites, trails and road conditions.
For example, those wanting to hike the Mt. McLoughlin Trail are advised to access it using the Summit Trailhead and Pacific Crest Trail due to a bridge closure. Information on this recreation site will be included in regular updates throughout the recreation season. It should be noted that hikers may want to give this challenging hike another week or two to allow for snow to melt at higher elevations and improve access.
Visitors are also encouraged to take the time to plan their trip before heading out to the Forest, to check the weather, be prepared for changing conditions and take steps to be self-reliant no matter what recreation activity they are planning. This includes measures to protect personal health and safety as well as the health of the forest.
This includes principles like not leaving trash in the forest – pack-it-in and pack-it-out – and being prepared for a lack of services. In recent months, Forest employees have seen an increase in trash, vandalism and visitors not adequately prepared for weather and road conditions in the forest.
“We want everyone to have a safe and enjoyable Memorial Day weekend. For those choosing to spend it on the Fremont-Winema National Forest, please be responsible, be prepared and respect the personal health and safety of others,” Imler said.