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Lost Creek Lake reopens as COVID-19 park shutdowns ease

Boat access to Lost Creek Lake reopens Wednesday along with a handful of other day-use parks as Gov. Kate Brown slowly starts to ease COVID-19 restrictions in Oregon.

The Lost Creek Lake boat ramp at Stewart State Park will open at 6:30 a.m. Wednesday after six weeks of closure of Oregon State Parks and Recreation Department properties meant to help slow the spread of the coronavirus.

Lost Creek Lake Marina hopes to open at 8 a.m. Wednesday for boat rentals, slip use, store access and other amenities that have been shelved since the planned April 1 opening, marina owner Cindy Broadwater says.

The marina’s opening is contingent upon it creating a state-approved plan to help reduce the potential spread of COVID-19 at the marina. Broadwater says she hopes to have that in place and approved by late Tuesday evening.

Since Brown’s social-distancing restrictions went in effect March 23, Broadwater has been lobbying the governor’s office and state parks officials for a reopening, and she turned to social media last week to turn up the heat.

State parks officials Tuesday announced the opening and began working with Broadwater to put together a plan, she says.

“State parks have been very cooperative today,” Broadwater says. “I’m very grateful.”

However, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers did not follow suit, so the Takelma boat ramp on the lake’s northwest corner remains closed.

Those are the only two ramps at Lost Creek Lake, which is the largest reservoir in Southern Oregon and impounds the upper Rogue River near Trail.

The marina area and boat ramp are open only as day-use facilities, and will be among seven inland state parks holdings to open Wednesday.

Also opening are Tyron Creek in Portland, Willamette Mission north of Keizer, Mongold boat ramp at Detroit Lake, State Capital State Park in Salem, Cove Palisades boat ramp on Lake Billy Chinook near Culver, the Prineville Reservoir boat ramp near Prineville, and the Pilot Butte pedestrian trail in Bend.

The openings come six days after Jackson County opened its boat ramps on the upper Rogue River.

Wednesday’s openings do not include the Casey State Park day-use area and ramp off Highway 62, or the TouVelle State Recreation Area and ramp along the upper Rogue off Table Rock Road.

Reach Mail Tribune reporter Mark Freeman at 541-776-4470 or mfreeman@rosebudmedia.com. Follow him on Twitter at www.twitter.com/MTwriterFreeman.

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