SILVER CITY, NM — In recognition of National Get Outdoors Day celebrated on June 9, 2012, the Forest Service is waiving fees at recreation sites that normally charge a day-use or overnight camping fee.
“Fee free” sites where no fees will be charged on June 9th include:
• Lake Roberts: Mesa and Upper End Campgrounds
• Quemado Lake: Piñon and Juniper Campgrounds
Due to the Whitewater-Baldy Fire, closures are in place that affects some developed campgrounds, picnic areas, trails, and backcountry areas. Some of the more popular developed areas that are not open include Dipping Vat Campground at Snow Lake, Willow Creek Recreation Area, the Catwalk National Recreation Area, and Upper and Lower Scorpion Campgrounds. An area closure is in effect on portions of the Black Range, Glenwood, Reserve, and Wilderness Ranger Districts. The National Park Service has closed the Gila Cliff Dwellings National Monument and the Gila Visitor Center.
“There are Forest areas away from the vicinity of the Whitewater-Baldy Fire to be enjoyed by campers, picnickers, hikers, bird watchers, wildlife enthusiasts, and horseback riders,” says Recreation Staff Officer Pat McKee. However, due to the number of areas closed, Forest visitors are urged to contact the local Ranger District office or the Supervisor’s Office in Silver City for updated information on recreation opportunities and fire activity. Not all offices are open on weekends so requests for information should be made between Monday through Friday.
As a reminder, Stage 1 Fire Restrictions have been in place as of this past Monday, June 4th due to very high fire danger. Campfires are allowed only in designated developed campgrounds and picnic areas, and must be in a Forest Service provided grill or fire pit. Fires in rock rings are not permitted. The uses of petroleum-fueled stoves, lanterns, or heating devices are acceptable, provided they meet underwriter’s specifications for safety. Smoking is limited to a vehicle or building. As always, fireworks are prohibited on National Forest System lands.
Help protect the Gila National Forest from human-caused fires, abide by the fire restrictions, and practice aggressive fire prevention!