Category Archives: Vandalism

Wallowa-Whitman NF closes area to camping due to damage

Deep ruts and tire tracks amidst torn-up forest meadow grass.

BAKER CITY, Ore. (July 25, 2019) — The Wallowa-Whitman National Forest has determined that a temporary closure to camping is needed in a small area of the forest due to ongoing resource damage.

This damage is the result of long-term occupancy of the area, and the closure is intended to allow vegetation in the damaged areas time to become reestablished.

Multiple complaints were received from multiple sources. On further investigation, a number of issues, including septic holes, discarded litter and personal belongings, deep ruts in meadows and wetlands, and other forms of abuse from un-managed long term camping, were documented by Forest Service employees.

The Huckleberry Creek Area Closure affects approximately 240 acres of the Whitman Ranger District, located south of Sumpter along Forest Road 1090, and prohibits overnight camping in the area until July 24, 2021, unless rescinded earlier.

A legal description and map of the closure area is included in the Forest Order, which can be viewed at the Whitman Ranger District office in Baker City or at

Forest and district leadership thank local residents and the public who brought this to our attention, so that further damage did not occur.

For more information about the closure order, contact the Whitman Ranger District at (541) 523-6391.

Source information: Wallowa Whitman National Forest (press release)

Vandalism forces early closing of campground on Umpqua NF

A lake, surrounded by trees

ROSEBURG, Ore. – Sept. 7, 2018 – The Lake in the Woods Campground on the Umpqua National Forest closed early for the season, due of vandalism. The campground was originally scheduled to be open until November 1.

Vandalism-caused damage to the fee tube rendered it unusable, preventing the forest from collecting fees that keep the campground open.

Without the ability to collect fees, managers decided to close the campground early. Four other nearby campgrounds – Wolf Creek, Coolwater, White Creek, and Hemlock Lake – will remain open. The vault toilet near the gate is unlocked, and can be accessed by parking outside and walking in through the gate. Fishing is permitted at Lake in the Woods, but visitors will need to park outside the gate and walk to the water during the closure.

Additional vandalism has occurred at multiple recreation sites along Highway 138 and Little River Road. The vandalism is being investigated. Anyone with information about the damage is asked to contact the North Umpqua Ranger District at (541) 496-3532.

“It baffles me as to why people destroy what is actually their own property when they are on public lands,” Steve Marchi, Staff Officer in charge of recreation for the Umpqua National Forest, said. “Not only did the public’s tax dollars build these facilities, but 95 percent of the fees collected there go directly to keeping the site open and operating.”

Agency officials regret the impact that the closing of Lake in the Woods Campground early may have on hunters and others.

For more information, contact the Umpqua National Forest at (541) 957-3200 or visit

Cover photo: Fishing can still take place at Lake in the Woods if people park outside the gate and walk to the water. 2016 file photo, courtesy of USDA Forest Service Employee Dean Schlichting.

Source information: Umpqua National Forest staff report