Stay Safe Stay close to home


COVID-19 and your National Forest

A note from Jason Kuiken, Stanislaus National Forest Supervisor:

"We find ourselves in a new situation when dealing with the COVID-19 virus. I want you to know we are taking every precaution available to us to protect our visitors, our employees and our local communities. As we receive more information, we will share it here. Please check back frequently."

Updated May 29, 2020: Forest Supervisor Jason Kuiken signed Forest Order 16-2020-08, which prohibits campfires outside of open, developed forest recreation sites; limits areas where smoking is allowed; and limits the use of internal combustion engines. The fire restrictions include all elevations on the forest, including wilderness areas, and remain in effect through Nov. 30,  2020.  

Human-caused ignitions are a significant fire management challenge for the forest and unintentional human-caused ignitions far outnumber intentional ones. When a forest fire ignites, the forest's proximity to large population centers and communities within the wildland­-urban interface creates a situation where the risk of catastrophic property damage and loss of life is high. In California, over the past 10 years, escaped campfires ignited 25 percent of all wildfires. Reducing the number of these starts will best enable us to successfully suppress the fires that do occur while protecting the safety of our employees and the community. 

Always remember - it's not just firefighters who are at risk during fire operations in this time of COVID-19 - you shouldn't have to move to an evacuation center where your risk increases as the number of people increases.  Don't forget - we depend on you to help minimize fire danger as much as you depend on us to fight fire!

Updated May 30, 2020The Stanislaus National Forest announced that most developed recreation sites will remain closed through June 15, 2020.  The local forest order STF-16-2020-07 is scheduled to expire May 31. The new forest order, STF-16-2020-09, is effective from June 1, 2020 through June 15. A copy of the forest order will be posted as soon as it is available. Visitors are asked to honor the shelter in place order by Gov. Newsom and recreate locally. 

At this time, we are asking that members of the public do not travel to recreate on the National Forest.  We recognize that spending opportunities outdoors during this challenging period is important, but at this time our ability to accommodate visitors is extremely limited.  We look forward to seeing you all in the future, when it is safe to do so and Gov. Newsom's shelter-in-place executive order is rescinded.We remain committed to the health and safety of recreational visitors and our staff. We are following the guidelines from our department and the CDC regarding COVID-19, and are closely monitoring the situation and responding to current conditions.

Although offices are closed to the public, you may contact our ranger districts with your questions.

Office Information
Forest Supervisor's office
Groveland Ranger District
Calaveras Ranger District
Summit Ranger District

Please avoid visiting national forests if you are sick and/or experiencing COVID-19 symptoms. Follow CDC guidance on personal hygiene and social distancing before and during your visit to the forest.

Find tips from the CDC on preventing illnesses like the coronavirus

U.S. Department of Agriculture Coronavirus web page

Stanislaus National Forest Closure Order STF-16-2020-07 (New, Developed recreation site closure) (Updated May 15, 2020)

Stanislaus National Forest Season of Use Closure Extension STF-16-2020-04 (Still in effect, High-elevation seasonal road closure)

Stanislaus National Forest Closure Order STF 16-2020-02 (COVID-19) (Expired)

Stanislaus National Forest Closure Order STF-16-2020-01 (COVID-19) (Expired)

Important information for recreation residence permitees during the forest closure

Forest Product Permits: Updated May 15 2020  Fuelwood permits will be issued beginning Monday, May 18. If you are seeking a fuelwood permit, please call 209-288-6241 and leave a voicemail message with your name and telephone number. A front desk representative will call you and issue you a fuelwood permit over the phone. Once it is digitally signed by our front desk rep they will email the permit to you, or if you do not have an email address, we will mail it to you. Fuelwood tags are not required and all fuelwood permits are free of charge during the 2020 collection season, but you must have your permit with you when you are gathering wood on the forest. Our front desk representatives will be able to answer your questions when they call. We appreciate your patience while we developed a new process for issuing fuelwood permits.

Wilderness Permits: As long as the Shelter In Place Executive Order issued by Gov. Gavin Newsom is in effect, the Stanislaus National Forest Service will not issue wilderness permits required for overnight camping in our wilderness areas.  Visiting wilderness is not deemed to be essential business under the definition of the governor’s order.  If an overnight visitor were to become sick or injured while in a remote location, rescue efforts may be delayed, limited, or simply not attempted, given the expected strain on medical and law enforcement resources.  If the snow pack recedes before the governor’s order is lifted, we ask that visitors consider other safer alternatives, such as day hiking in your neighborhood or within your county.

Region 5 Developed Recreation Sites Closure Order 20-01 (Expired)

Region 5 Developed Recreation Sites Closure Order 20-03 (Expired)

Stanislaus National Forest News Release: Forest Service closes developed recreation sites in California until April 30

Forest Supervisor's Notes

Photo of Jason KuikenForest Supervisor Jason Kuiken believes there is nothing more critical to maintaining good relationships than communication. Residents, communities and ranger districts share a dedication to keeping the forest healthy, but sometimes Forest Service procedures and actions may not be clearly understood by those outside the agency. Jason is committed to engaging the community by sharing information about some of the actions being undertaken on the forest. Jason will post a series of notes highlighting some of the vital activities that go into regaining a healthy forest. Read Jason's notes.

A Public Safety Power Shutoff may affect your next trip to the Stanislaus National Forest!

In May 2019, Pacific Gas & Electric Company announced its plan to shutoff, and later restore, power if necessary due to extreme weather and wildfire danger.  Sometime during the fire season, your planned visit to the Stanislaus National Forest may be impacted if your visit coincides with a PG&E Public Safety Power Shutoff. Learn more about preparing for your forest visit during a power shutoff.


Pinecrest Lake Recreation Area Closed

Pinecrest Lake Recreation Area is closed by Forest Order. The closure includes the National Recreation Trail, boat launch ramp, Pinecrest Campground, Day Use Area, and the Amphitheater.

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