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Forest officials consider closures

Up to 17 developed recreational sites could be partially or fully decommissioned as part of an effort to create a sustainable recreation program in the Rogue River-Siskiyou National Forest.

The sites are included in a draft five-year plan following a year-long recreation facility analysis of the forest's 208 developed recreation sites.

However, no action will be taken until the public has an opportunity to comment on their preferences, stressed Tim Chesley, the forest's recreation, lands and engineering staff officer.

"The agency wants to hear from the public directly to better understand visitors' needs to ensure future recreation opportunities meet what people want and how they use the land," he said.

Seven public meetings will be held beginning Nov. 26 through Dec. 11 to gather public comments on the 48-page draft which reviews all the forest's developed recreation sites, including campgrounds, trail heads and rentals. Comments are due by Jan. 7.

Under the proposal, six developed recreation sites in the Gold Beach Ranger District would be decommissioned as soon as possible, including the Billings Creek campsite, First Camp, Humboldt Spring, Illahe Campground, Little Redwood Picnic area and the Packers Cabin campground.

The draft plan would decommission as soon as practical the Boundary Springs recreational site in the High Cascades Ranger District. The Huckleberry Campground in that district would be partially decommissioned.

Three sites in the Powers Ranger District — Lockhart, Peacock and Pioneer Camp — would also be decommissioned as soon as possible. In addition, the Sucker Creek-Powers West Trailhead site in the Powers Ranger District would be decommissioned over a five-year period.

In the Siskiyou Mountain Ranger District, the Gin Lin and French Gulch sites would be partially decommissioned.

The Briggs Creek and the Tin Pan campgrounds in the Wild Rivers Ranger District would be decommissioned when funds are available. The Sam Brown campground in that district would be partially decommissioned.

The proposal also considers changes to existing fees and adding new fees at 27 sites while changing the period of use at 65 sites.

"These are just proposal at this point," Chesley reiterated, adding that public involvement is crucial to the process.

The goal is to have the five-year program in place by March.

For more information, see tinyurl.com/2xeoq3 online.

Reach reporter Paul Fattig at 776-4496 or e-mail him at pfattig@mailtribune.com