Forest Service urges responsible recreation during July 4 holiday

Contact(s): Public Affairs, Lisa Herron 530-721-3898

[Image]: Forest Service Shield.SOUTH LAKE TAHOE, Calif., July 1, 2020 The July Fourth holiday at Lake Tahoe will look a bit different this year with Tahoe Basin firework shows canceled and concerns about responsible recreation. The holiday weekend is still a great opportunity to get outdoors and celebrate our nation’s birthday by enjoying your public lands provided you follow local, state and federal guidance for staying healthy and safe.

“With an expected increase in the numbers of visitors to our most popular recreation sites over the holiday weekend, I want to remind everyone that the fire danger remains high,” remarked Acting Forest Supervisor Danelle D. Harrison. “Lighting fireworks is prohibited and enforcement is in high gear. If you witness the illegal use of fireworks or illegal campfire activity, please call 911.”  

Before heading out on Lake Tahoe Basin Management Unit (LTBMU) National Forest lands, there are several things to be aware of including the following:

Fireworks – Visitors are reminded to do their part to help prevent wildfires. All fireworks are illegal in the Tahoe Basin, including sparklers and firecrackers. Fireworks are never allowed on National Forest System lands, so be sure to leave the illegal fireworks at home. If you see something, say something by reporting to 911 immediately and help us keep our communities safe from wildfire. 

Fire Restrictions – Under fire restrictions, forest visitors may not:

  • Build, maintain, attend or use a fire, campfire, or stove fire outside of the Exempted Developed Recreation Sites list ed in Exhibit A. 36 CFR 261.52(a).
  • Smoke, except within an enclosed vehicle, within a n Exempted Developed Recreation Sitelisted in Exhibit A, or while stopped in an area at least three feet in diameter that is barren or cleared of all flammable material. 36 CFR 261.52(d).
  • Operate an internal combustion engine off paved, gravel, and dirt National Forest System roads and trails, except within the Sand Pit Off-Highway Vehicle Area and boats on a water surface. 36 CFR 261.52(h).
  • Weld or operate an acetylene torch with open flames,. 36 CFR 261.52(i). Pursuant to 36 CFR 216.50 (e).

Alcohol Prohibition – To promote public safety, the annual alcohol prohibition will be in effect at Nevada Beach, Zephyr Cove Resort and Zephyr Shoals (former “Dreyfus Estate”) on July 4 from 6 a.m. until midnight and at Chamber’s Landing Beach from July 3 through July 5. The Forest Order and maps will be posted at To ensure compliance, these areas will be patrolled by law enforcement personnel from the Forest Service, state and local law enforcement and private security staff. 

Increased Fees – Day use parking fees for July 4 at Baldwin, Pope and Nevada beaches will be $30 and at Zephyr Cove Resort beach the fee will be $40 on July 4 and $15 on July 3 and 5 to cover increased security and facility maintenance costs of the holiday.

Camping, Beaches and Day Use Areas - Fourth of July is one of the busiest weekends on the LTBMU. Most National Forest beaches, campgrounds and resorts are open. Visitors should plan to arrive early as parking areas at beaches, trailheads and picnic areas fill up quickly. Campsites should be reserved before traveling to Tahoe and are typically full this time of year. Wood and charcoal fires are only allowed within metal fire rings and provided metal grills in developed campgrounds with an onsite host.

Responsible Recreation - Visitors should recreate responsibly and adhere to precautions recommended by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) along with local health and safety guidance, including social distancing. Tips for preventing illnesses are available from the CDC at If an area is crowded, please find another location and follow responsible recreation practices at all times, including the following:

  • Practice Social Distancing. Provide space of at least six feet at all times during your visit.
  • Do Not Gather in Groups. Follow the latest guidance from officials.
  • Share the Trail. Alert other trail users of your presence and step aside to let them pass.
  • Pack Out Your Trash. Leave with everything you bring in and use.

Leave No Trace - Be responsible for picking up and disposing of your trash. If trash cans or dumpsters are overflowing, please don’t add to the problem, take your trash home with you. Trash and debris left behind after festivities can be harmful and even fatal to wildlife. It represents a human health hazard, and degrades Lake Tahoe’s water quality. Trash cans and dumpsters may become full, so plan ahead and bring a trash bag with you and become part of the solution by packing out your own garbage.

Keep Tahoe Red, White and Blue Beach Cleanups - Consider volunteering for the League to Save Lake Tahoe’s Annual Keep Tahoe Red, White and Blue Beach Clean-Up from 8 - 11:30 a.m. on Sunday, July 5, to help clean-up sites all around Lake Tahoe. To volunteer and learn more, visit

For additional information, visit us online at and follow us on Twitter @LakeTahoeUSFS or

The LTBMU wishes everyone a safe and fun Independence Day!


The mission of the U.S. Forest Service, part of the U.S. Department of Agriculture, is to sustain the health, diversity and productivity of the nation's forests and grasslands to meet the needs of present and future generations. The agency manages 193 million acres of public land, provides assistance to state and private landowners, and maintains the largest forestry research organization in the world. Public lands the Forest Service manages contribute more than $13 billion to the economy each year through visitor spending alone. Those same lands provide 20 percent of the nation's clean water supply, a value estimated at $7.2 billion per year. The agency has either a direct or indirect role in stewardship of about 80 percent of the 850 million forested acres within the U.S., of which 100 million acres are urban forests where most Americans live.

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