Minam Campground

A hiker stands above the Minam River near the Minam State Recreation Area near Elgin. The Oregon Parks and Recreation Department says worker layoffs are necessary because of a revenue dropoff caused by the coronavirus pandemic.

SALEM — Campgrounds in state parks, forest areas and wildlife areas have been ordered to close after April 3 in the state’s latest attempts to curb the spread of COVID-19.

The Oregon Parks and Recreation Department will accommodate current overnight guests through April 2, according to a release. Reservations for campsites in state parks from April 3 through May 8 will be canceled and site fees will be refunded.

The recreation department will review the state campground closure prior to May 8 and determine at that time if the closure should be extended. All individual and group overnight facilities are affected, including campsites, yurts, cabins, tepees and services operated by concessionaires. Reservations for group day-use areas are also suspended.

The restrictions do not affect daytime access to state parks, so people are still encouraged to visit state parks in Eastern Oregon.

Most campgrounds run by the Oregon Department of Forestry are currently closed for the season and will not reopen for individual and group use. Year-round campgrounds close starting Monday. Trails, forest roads and trailheads on state forestlands remain open to the public, but day-use campgrounds are temporarily closed due to limited janitorial services.

The Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife will close its wildlife areas to overnight camping starting Sunday. The closure affects both dispersed camping and established campgrounds. Wildlife areas currently open will remain open to visitors for day-use activities.

Reporter: 541-617-7818, mkohn@bendbulletin.com

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