Starting June 1, the Malheur National Forest will begin opening previously closed recreation sites.
Nearly all developed recreation sites that had been closed will be opened, according to a press release. These sites include campgrounds, restrooms, trailheads, trailhead facilities, boat ramps and day use areas. At this time all recreation rental sites such as cabins and lookouts will remain closed. Campground water systems will be turned on and tested during the first two weeks of June.
Visitors are encouraged to follow local and state guidance if traveling from outside of the local area. The forest also asks visitors to follow basic safety guidance and good camping etiquette when recreating on the forest. Visitors should be prepared to be self-sufficient even in developed campgrounds. Bathroom cleanings will be scheduled and not guaranteed weekly.
Campfires are allowed while recreating on the forest, but the threat of wildfires always exists. Campers are reminded to use fire pits surrounded by dirt, rock or commercial rings and in areas not conducive to rapid fire spread. The area should also be clear of all flammable material within a radius of three feet from the edge of the fire pit and free of overhanging material. Use existing fire pits wherever possible. Carry a shovel and a gallon of water whenever using a campfire. Do not burn any garbage; unburned debris remains and is difficult to separate from ash during clean up. Never leave a campfire unattended. When leaving a campsite, be sure the fire is cold.
Camping etiquette: •Pack it in/Pack it out- anything you bring with you into the forest, please take home with you. This includes packing out all trash – yours and others. Examples: cigarette butts, lunch or snack wrappers, used diapers, cans, soda and food.
•Protect riparian areas and trails by camping at least 200 feet (about 70 steps) from lakes, streams, and trails.
•Good campsites are found, not made. Altering a site is not necessary and may cause damage natural resources.
•Keep the wild in wildlife; don’t bury or leave behind any food or food scraps.
•When a latrine or bathroom is not available, deposit solid human waste in a cathole dug 6 to 8 inches deep at least 200 feet (about 70 steps) from water, trails, and worksites. Cover and disguise the cathole when finished.
•Use toilet paper sparingly and do not leave it on the ground. Pack out all toilet paper and hygiene products, don‘t burn them – fire hazard. TIP: Carry a zip-lock baggy in an emergency cathole kit to make this trash easy to carry out.
•To wash your hands, carry water 200 feet (about 70 steps) away from any water source, like streams or lakes. If you must use soap, be sure to use a biodegradable soap in small amounts. TIP: Try using a waterless hand-cleanser or wet wipe instead.
For more information, call 541-575-3000 or visit fs.usda.gov/malheur.