Government Shutdown: Forest Areas ARE OPEN

Updated: 10/16/2013

David Whiting incorrectly reported in his OC Register Article, Whiting: Shutdown is the ticket to confusion that the National Forst Areas are shut down. He cited cases in which people were cited for entering the Grand Canyon, Valley Forge in Pennsylvania, and the Acadia Park in Maine. But those are not National Forest areas; they are National Parks, so yes, of course the hikers were cited! I can certainly understand the confusion.

Original Story Published 10/04/2013:

First reported by KCET on October 2, 2013, the KCET reporter got a clarification from authorities regarding forest access.

You can go for a hike, but all facilities are closed down,” said Captain Mike Mercado, the forest’s law enforcement captain.

Locally, this applies to all trails in the Cleveland, San Bernardino and Angeles forest areas. But nationally it applies to ALL national forest areas. Of course, don’t expect any of the parking lots, camping areas, bathrooms, ranger offices, etc. to be open. They are closed. You’re pretty much on your own out there if you get into to trouble so BE PREPARED.

The sign says that the “facility” is closed. (That’s the bathroom and parking.) But the trails ARE OPEN.

P.S. While they won’t let you the facilities, they are still enforcing parking regulations on all roads within the National Forest Boundaries. If you don’t have your Adventure Pass, enforcement officers who are still on duty despite the shut down will issue you a $5.00 ticket. Thanks a lot, huh?

See also:
U.S. Department of Agriculture Lapse in Funding Plans
And specifically, the plan for the Forest Service: Forest Service (FS) (PDF, 94KB)
Press Release 10/01/2013 – Cleveland National Forest Closures