Deschutes National Forest seeking public input on camping and campfire restrictions

The Deschutes National Forest has launched a 30-day “scoping” period to gather public input about the rules around camping and campfires on national forest land.

The agency is looking at rewriting a Forest Order, which outlines what, where, how and when certain activities are restricted on a national forest.

Eight previous Forest Orders since the 1990s have addressed restrictions or prohibitions of camping and campfires in very specific locations on the national forest. The proposed revision would take those existing orders and create a single more comprehensive and consistent Forest Order for the entire national forest. In other words, there would be little change to what is already being enforced.

“A more comprehensive forest order, rather than multiple forest orders, will be more responsive to changing recreational use patterns, minimize or avoid adverse resource impacts, and clarify regulations to the public about where and how camping and campfires are prohibited or restricted,” said Holly Jewkes, Forest Supervisor for the Deschutes National Forest.

The goal of the Camping and Campfires Forest Order is to:

• Minimize impacts to riparian areas and water quality.

• Minimize impacts to scenery in areas with high scenic quality.

• Reduce the risk of campfires spreading and causing a wildfire.

The public can find out more information about the specifics of the proposal and how to comment by going to the following link (https://www.fs.usda.gov/project/?project=57437 ) or by contacting Sasha Fertig, Forest Planner, Deschutes National Forest at sasha.fertig@usda.gov or 541-383-5563.

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