SISTERS, Ore. - (Update: Comment from Forest Service spokeswoman)
Beginning late next week, the Sisters Ranger District will close an area to overnight camping adjacent to Whychus Creek and in close proximity to the city of Sisters due to user conflicts and health and safety issues. All day-use in the area will remain open.
The temporary closure will begin on April 30 and end on April 29, 2019.
U.S. Forest Service officials said Monday the impetus for the closure order is ongoing user conflicts that are leading to public health and safety issues.
Long-term illegal camping in the area has led to chronic law enforcement, trash and sanitation problems, according to the Deschutes National Forest.
The temporary closure will give the Forest Service time to assess a more permanent closure of overnight camping in the area.
In general, the overnight camping closure applies to Section 17, Township 15, South; Range 10 East, which is west of Forest Road 16.
Forest spokeswoman Jean Nelson-Dean said currently, people are allowed to camp in the area for up to 14 days, but some are doing so longer. “We are just closing it to all camping so it is more enforceable,” she said.
For more information about the closure, contact Acting Recreation Team Lead Sarah Baughman at the Sisters Ranger District, 541-549-7730 or email@example.com.