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Forest Service campgrounds set to open this month

| May 21, 2020 1:00 AM

Since March, developed campgrounds and other recreation sites on the Idaho Panhandle National Forests have been temporarily closed for public safety. The sites are tentatively scheduled to start opening May 30 upon entry into Stage 3 of Idaho Gov. Brad Little’s Idaho Rebounds Strategy. Dispersed camping, hiking, trail use, and other dispersed activities are encouraged across the National Forests. Memorial Day weekend visitors should prepare for limited or no services, such as restroom facilities and garbage collection. Campers must practice “pack it in pack it out.”

The Forest Service is working closely with concessionaires that operate many of the campgrounds and day use sites to ensure compliance with COVID-19 guidelines and prepare sites after the winter closures to ensure a safe experience. Many campgrounds have experienced extensive wind and hazard tree damage over the winter and repair is ongoing or will begin soon.

The Forest Service asks visitors to avoid developed campgrounds so staff can work as quickly as possible to open many sites by the end of May.

— Ralph Bartholdt