FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
March 30, 2009
Rain and snow delay opening of Capitol Forest recreation area
ORV and horse riders will have to wait until May 1 to ride in Capitol Forest
OLYMPIA – Off-road Vehicle (ORV) enthusiasts and horseback riders longing to get out and play in Capitol Forest in April will have to wait another month. The popular recreation area closes for winter and typically re-opens April 1. The Washington State Department of Natural Resources (DNR), which manages the forest, is delaying the opening until May 1 due to trail conditions.
“Because of the heavy winter rains and snow, the trails have not had a chance to recover and are in no condition for ORV and equestrian use,” said Dwight Combs, Education and Enforcement Forester with DNR’s Pacific Cascade Region. “We need another month to get them ready and make sure they are safe for the public.”
The following areas, closed for winter since December 1, 2008, will open May 1, 2009:
• Margaret McKenny campground and trailhead
• Middle Waddell campground and trailhead
• Mima Falls campground and trailhead
• Fall Creek campground and trailhead
• Sherman Valley campground
• North Creek campground
• Porter Creek campground
• Rock Candy trailhead
Signs have been posted letting the public know of the delayed opening. Combs added that people caught riding motorized vehicles and horses in these areas before May 1 may be ticketed and fined.
The new opening date of May 1 is a permanent change. The forest will close for winter each year on November 30. Capitol Forest is open year-round to non-motorized outdoor recreation.
Recreation on DNR-managed lands
DNR manages more than 5 million acres of state-owned forest, aquatic, agricultural, conservation and urban lands. Most recreation on these lands takes place in the 2.2 million acres of forests that DNR manages as state trust lands. By law, state trust lands are managed to produce income for schools, universities, prisons, state mental hospitals, community colleges, local services in many counties, and the state’s general fund. State trust lands are also managed to provide fish and wildlife habitat and educational and recreational opportunities.
DNR-managed lands provide 1,100 miles of trails, 143 recreation sites, and a variety of landscapes throughout Washington State. Recreational opportunities include hiking, hunting, fishing, horseback riding, camping, motorized vehicle riding, mountain biking, and boating.
DNR’s main recreation focus is to provide trails, trailhead facilities, and a primitive experience in a natural setting.
Media Contact: Toni Droscher, communications & outreach specialist, 360-902-1523, firstname.lastname@example.org
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