Campground closures explained

Contract: NRSO Park: 73771With the recent government shutdown and re-opening, some citizens locally have wondered why campgrounds managed by concessionaires had to close. We asked Mammoth District Ranger Jon Regelbrugge, who said orders came from the national level about government-owned facilities.

He said that campgrounds which are under permit to concessionaires are government-owned. The permit, said Regelbrugge, allows a concessionaire to operate the facilities “subject to the terms and conditions in the permit.” Forest Service staff exercises “oversight and ensures compliance with permit terms and conditions,” he said.

Forest Service employees do operate the water and waste water systems at campgrounds and conduct certain types of repairs. Regelbrugge said many of the water systems service other facilities in addition to campgrounds. The decision to shut down Inyo National Forest campgrounds was not made locally. Officials here received direction from the national office of the Forest Service to suspend permits for operating federally-owned facilities. The same policy was activated in national parks.

For those residents questioning the status of Forest Service campgrounds, some have re-opened following the government shutdown but have no water or trash service. One concessionaire, California Land Management or CLM, holds a number of permits for campgrounds on the Mammoth and Mono Lake Ranger Districts. Since it was close to the end of the season, CLM decided not to re-open their campsites after the government got back into business.

CLM campgrounds include Shady Rest, Sherwin Creek, Mammoth Lakes Basin, Reds Meadow areas, June Lake Loop area and Lee Vining Canyon. A number of campgrounds on the White Mountain and Mount Whitney Ranger Districts have re-opened with no water or trash service. For the Eastern Sierra, the government shutdown mostly eliminated campground use for the month of October.


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3 Responses to Campground closures explained

  1. Roy October 23, 2013 at 9:13 pm #

    Whatever the reason I was not happy having to have a 10 day camping/fishing trip ruined when I had to pack up and leave my campsite after only 2 days..

    • Mark October 24, 2013 at 8:22 am #

      You’re not happy, and you’re not even part of the working public who had their only vacation of the year ruined by the shutdown and campground closures.

      Besides I’m sure there were places to disperse camp if you really had your heart set on camping and fishing.

  2. Wayne Deja October 23, 2013 at 4:33 pm #

    Here’s what I think it might be……some in Government thinking they need some type of “authority figure” present at all times….even in campgrounds….kinda like thinking people would do stupid things,causing trouble,maybe even getting themselves in trouble(getting hurt,lost,etc.) unless there is some type of “authority” around or available to “save the day” or be telling people what to do and/or how to act and survive in case of an emergency or an accident….we see it all the time,nationwide, when something happens out of the ordinary…


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