All dispersed camping is temporarily closed in Oregon state forests beginning Monday, May 11, according to the Oregon Department of Forestry. Dispersed camping means camping anywhere in the forest outside of a designated campground.
In a press release, the ODF referenced sanitation issues as a reason for the closure. Dispersed camping areas usually don’t have designated places for people to go to the bathroom or dispose of waste, so campers are expected to pack out everything they bring in.
The ODF said the agency does not have an adequate capacity to manage the sanitation issues that have been popping up at various camping sites.
“Problems with trash and human waste accumulation in these areas have become insurmountable and hazardous for the public and ODF employees,” the release said.
The closure applies to dispersed camping on the Tillamook, Clatsop, Santiam, Sun Pass and Gilchrist state forests, along with all other land managed by ODF.
The closure will last several weeks while ODF cleans the areas and makes them safe for the public again, the press release said. There is no exact date for reopening.