The Chief, each Regional Forester, or Forest Supervisor may issue orders which close or restrict the use of described areas within the area over which he or she has jurisdiction. An order may close an area to entry or may restrict the use of an area by applying any or all of the prohibitions authorized in this subpart or any portion thereof. Orders are issued to protect resources, prevent resource damage, address public health and safety concerns, or set limits on use and occupancy of Tongass National Forest infrastructure and facilities.
The Penalty for violating a forest order or any other prohibition found in 36 CFR 261.1 – 261.23. is punishable by a fine of not more than $5,000 for an individual or $10,000 for an organization, or imprisonment for not more than six months, or both. [16 U.S.C. 551, and 18 U.S.C. 3559 and 3571]
US Forest Service Law Enforcement and Recreation Staff would like to remind users of the Ward Lake Recreation Area that building, maintaining, or attending a fire using wood pallets, construction materials with nails or hardware attached, or treated wood of any kind is a violation of 36 CFR 261.52(a). The Ward Lake Recreation area includes all overnight (Signal Creek Campground, Last Chance Campground, and 3 C’s Group Use Site) and day use locations (Ward Lake and Grassy Point Shelters, roadside and lakeside picnic sites, and roads and trails within the recreation area). Violations of these Prohibitions are punishable by a fine of not more than $5,000 for an individual or $10,000 for an organization, or imprisonment for not more than six months, or both. Users are encouraged to bring their own fire wood if wishing to build a fire in the Recreation Area.
The Blue Lake Expansion project conducted by the City and Borough of Sitka will increase the height of the Blue Lake dam. This construction began in November 2012. For reasons of safety, several recreation spots are now unavailable to the public because they lie within the construction and safety zone of the project. Blue Lake Road and Sawmill Creek Campground will be closed to public vehicles, bicycles and foot traffic. Also included and closed is the Beaver Lake Trail between the campground and Beaver Lake. Foot traffic is allowed on Blue Lake Road only to access the Thimbleberry – Heart Lake Trail from the Blue Lake Road end. Signing will be in place to remind users of these closures which will be in place until sometime in 2015. For updates during this time, stay tuned to the local media.