The Rogue River-Siskiyou National Forest this morning abruptly closed three of its campgrounds that a concessionaire had kept open during the federal government shutdown.
Rogue Recreation Inc. got word of the closure this morning and informed campers at Union Creek, Farewell Bend and Fish Lake campgrounds that they had 48 hours to evacuate, says Melody Goodboe, Rogue Recreation's vice president.
The camp hosts were also ordered out and they will be gone early next week, Goodboe says. Those who paid for closed dates will get refunds, she says.
"They're going to close the gates so nobody else comes in," she says. "We all know why."
The closure comes four days before the start of the Cascade general bull-elk rifle season, which brings hundreds of hunters to the Union Creek area.
Rogue Recreation had planned to keep those three campgrounds open through October. They stayed open during the shutdown because they were run by a private contractor and not by federal employees, Goodboe says.
It is not yet known what prompted today's closure by the U.S. Forest Service.
For more information, telephone Rogue Recreation at 541-560-3900.
— Mark Freeman