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Mount Pisgah reopening hampered by visitors ignoring closure, officials say

Park officials said it could be another week before even parts of Mount Pisgah reopen.

Posted: Mar 4, 2019 6:13 PM

EUGENE, Ore. -- Although "Park Closed" signs are up around Mount Pisgah, visitors ignoring the closure are slowing efforts to get the park ready to reopen, Lane County Park officials said.

Officials are citing people for trespass who enter parks that are closed because of the winter storm.

Tom LoCascio, the site manager for Mount Pisgah Arboretum and caretaker for the Howard Buford Recreation Area, said their roadblock hasn't been enough to keep everyone at bay.

"It's kind of been triage for us here," LoCascio said.

LoCascio said in one case people blocked the entrance to the park while they were trying to get crews in to clean up the mess.

"Just doing stupid things," LoCascio said. "Going into areas that had multiple hazards, and that hampers our efforts."

Tucker Campbell rode his bike from Eugene on Monday with the hopes of hiking up Mount Pisgah.

"It's kind of a bummer 'cause that's one of the best parts of living around here is all the hiking trails," Campbell said.

LoCascio said crews are working to clear some of the debris from the lower trials at Mount Pisgah. The park is also without power and he said some trails have downed powerlines on them. He said another major concern is that there are many broken branches still in trees that could come falling down. He's urging park goers everywhere to use caution.

"Anytime you are in the woods right now, I'd say for the next year, you should always be mindful of looking up because a lot of limbs broke," LoCascio said.

He said it could be another week before even parts of the park reopen.

"I'm sure everyone will have a lot of pent up energy and get out once they clear it all out," Campbell said.

Along with Mount Pisgah, Hendricks Bridge Wayside is closed due to numerous hazards.

City leaders in Eugene said all city parks including Skinner Butte are open.

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