Georgetown Lakes Piney Campground and Boat Launch to Close

Contact(s): Leona Rodreick

Due to wet unstable soil conditions and recent wind events the Pintler Ranger District will be closing the Piney Boat Launch, Day Use Area and Campground for the remainder of the year to provide for the public health and safety of visitors. In the past two weeks wind storms have caused numerous trees to fall in the campground. These trees have all been green and were not identified as hazard trees creating very unpredictable conditions for managing a safe recreation experience within this site.

The closure will begin late afternoon of Mon. July 25. Campers may find alternative campgrounds for recreating in the area at Philipsburg Bay, Lodgepole and Spring Hill campgrounds which are fee sites. Flint Creek, East Fork and Spillway campgrounds are additional non fee sites that are available for camping. Alternative boat launches are located at Grassy Point and Red Bridge.

Currently crews are working to reopen Rainbow Bay Picnic Area by removing hazard trees along the access road. Rainbow Bay Picnic Area was closed in late May after strong winds blew down several lodgepole pine trees that were left standing after a hazard tree removal project removed dead and dying trees affected by the mountain pine beetle. The wet soils and thinned trees reduced the stability of the remaining live trees making them more susceptible to the strong winds. This situation has created unsafe and unpredictable conditions along the access road to Rainbow Bay. Crews will begin removing trees along the access route on Mon. July 25 and plan to have the picnic area opened by Thu. July 28.

Falling trees are always a hazard when traveling or recreating in the forest. Here are some tips to help visitors minimize risks:
• Be aware of your surroundings. Avoid dense patches of dead trees. Dead trees can fall without warning.
• Stay out of the forest when there are strong winds. If you are in the forest when winds kick up, head to a clearing out of reach of any trees – dead or green.
• Place tents and park vehicles in areas where they will not be hit by falling trees.
• When driving in remote areas of the forest, be aware that falling trees could trap your vehicle miles from a main road. Go prepared.

For additional information, contact the Pintler Ranger District in Philipsburg at (406) 859-3211, or the Deer Lodge information center at (406) 846-1770.