Wallowa-Whitman officials close small area near Sumpter to overnight camping due to resource damage

Contact(s): Travis Mason-Bushman

Deep rutting from motor vehicles in meadow and wetland

BAKER CITY, Ore.—July 25, 2019—The Wallowa-Whitman National Forest has determined that a temporary closure to camping is needed in a small area of the forest due to ongoing resource damage. This damage is the result of long term occupancy of the area. The Huckleberry Creek Area Closure affects approximately 240 acres of the Whitman Ranger District, located south of Sumpter along Forest Road 1090, and prohibits overnight camping in the area until July 24, 2021, unless rescinded earlier. A legal description and map of the closure area is included in the Forest Order, which can be viewed at the Whitman Ranger District office in Baker City or at https://www.fs.usda.gov/Internet/FSE_DOCUMENTS/FSEPRD645413.pdf.

The closure order is necessary due to significant damage to natural resources in the area that has been documented by Forest Service employees. The Forest would like to thank local residents and the public who brought this to our attention, so that further damage did not occur. Septic holes, discarded litter and personal belongings, deep ruts in meadows and wetlands, and other forms of abuse from unmanaged long term camping have been documented. Multiple complaints were received from multiple sources. The order will allow the damaged area to revegetate and recover.

For more information about the closure order, contact the Whitman Ranger District at (541) 523-6391.