Forest Service extends temporary closure of some facilities

The closure order does not apply to trails, trailheads, and general forest areas.
This week, federal officials extended the closure of 'developed recreation sites' on National Forest System lands in the Pacific Southwest Region until May 15th.

That includes day use areas, bathrooms, and campgrounds, many of which are still closed for the season anyways.

Brian Lowe lives near Coy Flat Campground in the Sequoia National Forest.

Despite the partial closure, he's noticed more visitors over the last few weeks, including some people who camped just outside the campground, which remains closed.

While he'd prefer to see fewer people here during the pandemic, he says he won't complain if they keep the area clean.

Forest service officials say trash removal is not available to visitors at this time.

So plan to pack it out yourself.

"If they're going to come up here they should clean up their mess, especially trash and Kleenex," Lowe said. "I don't want to touch someone's Kleenex at this point."

The closure order does not apply to trails, trailheads, and general forest areas.

Forest Service officials add that outdoor recreation can be beneficial to physical and mental health.

Ricky Gonzalez couldn't agree more.

He's been cooped up inside, but on Thursday, he joined his family on a day trip to the forest.

"I guess we're going to go down and just kind of wander off, see where it takes us," Gonzalez said. "Hopefully we don't get lost."

Gonzalez isn't concerned about his safety.

He'll avoid touching anything he doesn't have to, and plans to practice social distancing, which shouldn't be too difficult.

"Usually you go in your group and sometimes you don't even see anyone else," he said.
Copyright © 2020 KFSN-TV. All Rights Reserved.