Shield Project Information

Current Campground Closures in the Newberry Caldera 

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The Deschutes National Forest has begun the “Shield” forest management project in the Newberry Caldera to remove trees that are exhibiting signs of future failure from insect infestation and disease.

In order to allow operators to safely remove marked trees in the Caldera section of the Newberry National Volcanic Monument, some campgrounds will be closing early for the season. Tree removal work will continue through the fall at various campgrounds and roadways within Newberry Caldera.

The Shield project’s aim is to remove trees that exhibit signs of future failure from campgrounds and along roadways within the Newberry Caldera. Forest Service employees marked trees during the summer of 2017. Painted trees do not pose an immediate hazard to visitors, as trees that imminently threaten campground visitors are removed annually.  Some trees are showing signs of future failure from insect infestations and disease and completing this work now will help reduce further outbreaks around the developed recreation sites.  Tree removal work will continue through 2020 and may affect campground reservation availability for next year. 

The Newberry National Volcanic Monument is a special place and care has been taken to complete this work in a timely manner. Our goal remains to maintain the beauty of the Caldera and the health of our forest so visitors can enjoy this natural wonder long into the future.

Which campgrounds and recreation sites will be affected this year?

Operations may affect several different campgrounds this fall. The following campgrounds are currently planned for early close, but additional campgrounds may close early to allow for both operator and public safety.  As the project continues, plans can change due to site conditions and weather so please check back for more information.

East Lake Campground and Boat Launch: Operations are no longer active in the area. Campground is closed for the season, but the boat launch is still accessible. 

Newberry Group Camp: Closed.

Cinder Hill Campground, Boat Launches and Day Use: Closed to all use. Active tree removal operations are in progress. 

Newberry Crater Trail: Section of Newberry Crater Trail around Cinder Hill Campground and a section adjacent to Chief Paulina Horse Camp is closed. (See map for general location)

Little Crater Campground:  Campground closed for the season. 

Paulina Lakeshore Loop Trail: Open.

Chief Paulina Horse Camp and Trailhead:  Campgroup and trailhead will be closed beginning November 2. During this time it will be closed to all uses. Active tree removal operations are in progress. 

Paulina Lake Campground: No planned tree removal operations this fall. Campground closed for the season. 

East Lake Resort and Paulina Lake Lodge are not affected by these closures. Please visit their websites for their fall schedule.

When will the Shield project be finished?

It is anticipated that implementation of the project will continue through 2020. Over the next summer seasons, campground reservations may be affected. There are many campgrounds and roads that were identified for treatment as the insect and disease risk and infections were wide spread. In an effort to complete this work in a timely manner and also minimize impacts to visitors, operators will rotate through the identified campgrounds. Please check back to the Deschutes National Forest website for continued updates on campground reservation changes and closures.

How will this impact my visit?

Until implementation of this project is complete, campgrounds and other developed recreation sites may be periodically closed or have reduced availability of reservable campsites. Some campgrounds may have periods of time where reservations will not be available through This will allow flexibility using first-come first serve camping to keep the campground open for as long as possible until operators begin work in a particular campground.  The aim during implementation planning is minimize the amount of time a single campground is closed. Please note that while a campground is closed, day use including boat launches and trails around the campgrounds will also be closed. 

In addition to campgrounds, many roadsides will also have removal of marked trees. At this time, there is no anticipation for road closures. For safety, there may be times when flaggers may be needed on roads.  

Why is the Shield project needed?

The Newberry Caldera has areas of high risk for insect and disease and recent outbreaks of mountain pine beetle and western gall rust that slowly cause tree damage and mortality. Dead and dying trees and excessive down fuels are not compatible with visitor safety in campground and keeping primary access roads cleared. Removing diseased trees and thinning the forest can help prevent bark beetle mortality and future outbreaks within the campgrounds and along roads reducing the number of future danger and hazard trees within these highly used areas.

During the planning stages, the Deschutes National Forest used provisions within the 2014 Farm Bill addressing insect and disease threats on National Forest lands. The Shield project is located within one of four focal areas designated in Oregon as experiencing declining forest health and at risk for increased insect and disease outbreaks.

Will the Shield project remove all the trees within the campgrounds?

No. Within developed recreation sites, including campgrounds, the project targeted trees showing signs of future failure. These include tree showing evidence of insect infestation, disease, and structural defects (i.e. forked tree tops, exposed roots). In addition, in some areas thinning the density of trees may be needed to promote overall forest health increasing resilience to insects and disease. During planning, care has been taken to keep vegetation within the campground to allow for screening between campsites.  To help fill in gaps from needed tree removal, there may also be follow up planting of trees and shrubs.