Forest officials on the North Fork John Day Ranger District of the Umatilla National Forest have opened a limited number of campsites at Olive Lake Campground due to hazard trees surrounding the campground.
Trees within the campground have been impacted by a recent mountain pine beetle infestation that has caused tree mortality within the area, according to a press release.
These trees have been identified as hazardous and must be removed prior to opening the campsites to the public. All closed campsites within Olive Lake Campground are clearly marked by a sign on the site number post that states “Campsite Closed Due To Hazard” in orange and red lettering.
The limited number of campsites that have already been cleared of hazard trees are open to the public for camping. A volunteer camp host is onsite and available to help answer questions or assist forest visitors with identifying available camping locations.
“I appreciate the public’s patience and understanding while we complete the necessary maintenance and hazard tree removal over the next few weeks,” said District Ranger Paula Guenther. “We realize this is a popular recreation area and are committed to maintaining recreational opportunities at the site, while providing for public safety.”
Forest Service personnel will be at the campground during the next week cutting down the remaining hazard trees. The downed wood will be available to campground visitors for use at their campsites.
Olive Lake Campground is available on a first-come, first-served basis, and campsites cost $12 per night for a single-site (with a $5 per vehicle charge if there are more than two vehicles parked at the site) and $25 per night for a group site (no extra charge for vehicles).
In addition to the limited number of available campsites, forest officials would like to remind the public that a small portion on the northeast side of Olive Lake near the dam and spillway is closed to public access for safety due to mechanical failure in the water release gate located at the bottom of the dam structure. The area closed to public entry is approximately one-half acre in size and is signed and defined by a string of buoys (extending from the dam into the water about 200 feet) to notify swimmers and boaters of the closure.
Olive Lake is a popular mountain lake and campground located 12 miles west of Granite. The natural lake was deepened by a 30-foot-high dam built in the early 1900s by the Fremont Power Company to provide hydroelectric power, generated at the Fremont Powerhouse, to the then-booming gold mining community.
For more information, call 541-427-3231 or visit fs.usda.gov/umatilla.