Apache Sitgreaves National Forests reopens 13 developed campgrounds

Contributed Article

SPRINGERVILLE – The Apache-Sitgreaves National Forests continue to work through an unpredictable and changing situation. USDA Forest Service is making every effort to expand access to recreation sites within the context of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention guidance and state and local government orders for residents while prioritizing employee and public health and safety.

The Forest Service continues to perform risk assessments and implement available mitigation measures. Some of the mitigation measures evaluated are personal protective equipment and sanitizing product accessibility, social distancing feasibility, and physical engineering installation ability to protect employees.

“Our public has a special connection to the land and is eager to enjoy using the developed campgrounds again,” said Anthony Madrid, Apache-Sitgreaves National Forests, Acting Forest Supervisor. “We are excited to reopen 13 developed campgrounds over the next week.”

The following areas are opening:

  • May 15: Aspen, Black Canyon Rim, Canyon Point, Crook Group, Sinkhole, Spillway, Spillway Group, and Woods Canyon Lake Campgrounds on the Black Mesa Ranger District scheduled to open with reduced services.
  • May 22: Apache Trout, Hoyer, and Rainbow Campgrounds on the Springerville Ranger District; Luna Lake and Horse Springs Campgrounds on the Alpine Ranger District are scheduled to open with reduces services.

Each reopened developed campground has site-specific restrictions, as reopening is based on state and local health and safety guidelines and availability of personal protective equipment for employees. Please visit www.recreation.gov for site restrictions.

Reduced services may include:

  • Self-contained RVs only, no tent camping
  • Sites limited to 10 people or less
  • No trash services; campground visitors must pack it in and pack it out
  • No unregistered guests permitted; must display a permit in the vehicle
  • Closed restrooms, shower buildings, group sites, ramadas, pavilions, etc.
  • Maintain social distancing; visitors must wear a mask when interacting with employees

The Forest Service continues to perform risk assessments after a site has reopened. If risks cannot be mitigated and conditions no longer support federal, state, and local public health guidelines, a reopened developed recreation site will close. Preparation and planning are key to reducing waste and minimizing natural resource damage. Respect wildlife and be considerate of other visitors. Leave what you find, Pack it in, Pack it out and Leave No Trace.

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