By BROOKE SNAVELY
CENTRAL OREGON DAILY NEWS
Despite the closure of developed campgrounds, hundreds of campers visited Wickiup Reservoir this weekend.
Many people may have thought they were doing the right thing by disperse camping along the shoreline, but that’s illegal too.
Greg Sahly of Bend witnessed the crowd. He was boating on Wickiup Reservoir on Saturday.
“It looked like there were campers all through here along the shoreline. They had separation but there were a lot of people. It looked like they were having fun,” he said.
Dispersed camping is allowed on BLM and Forest Service lands, but not in wetlands such as below the high watermark of Wickiup Reservoir which means most shoreline campers were camped illegally.
Other than this unattended campfire and some scattered trash, campers appeared to do a pretty good job cleaning up after themselves.
But it wasn’t consistent.
Loads of trash and human waste were left behind in other areas.
All developed BLM and Forest Service campgrounds remain closed at this time.
Day use is now allowed in The Cove Palisades, La Pine and Prineville Reservoir State parks, but state park campgrounds remain closed as well.
Staff from Deschutes Recreation, a private concession company that operates campgrounds under contract for the Forest Service, were cleaning toilet paper from the bushes around North Twin Lakes campground. They said they were not picking up the solid human waste.