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Crews clearing winter storm debris as camping season heats up

KEZI 9 News has compiled a list of some of the open parks and campgrounds.

Posted: May 17, 2019 3:23 PM
Updated: May 17, 2019 6:32 PM

EUGENE, Ore. -- As Memorial Day weekend fast approaches, park rangers are working to clear away debris caused by February's winter storm.

Pine Meadows Campground at Cottage Grove Reservoir opened on Friday. Park Ranger Christie Johnson with the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers said they prioritized cleaning up the campground over the day-use areas and are expecting a large turnout during the holiday weekend.

Below is a list of some of the parks and campgrounds managed by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers and their current status:

COTTAGE GROVE RESERVOIR

  • Pine Meadows Campground: Open
  • Lakeside Park and Boat Ramp: Open
  • Wilson Creek Park and Boat Ramp: Open
  • Riverside Park: Open
  • Shortridge Park: Closed (should be open by mid-June)

DORENA LAKE

  • Schwarz Campground: Open
  • Harms Park and Boat Ramp: Open
  • Bake Stewart Park: Open

LOOKOUT POINT LAKE

  • Meridian Ramp: Closed temporarily
  • Signal Point Boat Ramp- open
  • Ivan Oakes Campground: Scheduled to open Memorial Day Weekend (could be delayed)

"People have reservations and are expected to come," Johnson said. "People have traditions where they come out to these parks over the holidays and we just really want to make sure it was available to them."

KEZI 9 News reached out to park officials at the Willamette National Forest and Umpqua National Forest to learn about the status of their campgrounds but has not heard back. But in April officials at the Umpqua National Forest said 270,000 acres, 582 miles of road, 133 miles of trails and 27 recreation sites were impacted by the winter storm.

Nikki Lomu who was fishing at Pine Meadows Campground on Friday said it's frustrating some campsites may not be ready by Memorial Day weekend. But Lomu said she understands crews can only do so much after Mother Nature throws them a curveball. 

"I don't think there could have been more done 'cause there were so much ... every tree branch was broken. It was so bad," Lomu said. 

Johnson is urging the public to obey any closures and watch for debris floating in the water, and visitors should stay safe by wearing a life jacket.

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