Campground closures due to COVID-19 have been lifted in some Demonstration State Forests. Please check the individual Forest's websites (links below) for specific information.
The State of California recognizes the importance of outdoor activities and exercise during this challenging time of COVID-19. As such, CAL FIRE Demonstration State Forest staff are working with local officials on a regionally-driven approach to increase access to camping and recreating.
While stay-at-home orders may be modified, it does not mean things are going back to normal. It is critical that Californians continue to stay close to home, practice physical distancing, and avoid congregating with others outside their immediate household to mitigate the spread of the COVID-19 pandemic. In addition, CAL FIRE is asking that visitors and campers at Demonstration State Forests adhere to the following guidelines to keep you and our staff safe:
- Stay Clean:
- Bring and use your own soap, disinfectant supplies, hand sanitizer, paper towels, and toilet paper.
- Bring plastic table cloths for picnic tables that can be disposed of or taken back home for washing.
- Pack out what you pack in:
- Pack out all trash wherever possible to minimize the amount of trash staff must dispose of at the campsite, trailhead, or other facilities.
- Practice Physical Distancing:
- Maintain a physical distance of 6 feet or more
- Do not gather in groups larger than currently recommended by the local county.
- Camp Safely
- Only one household should occupy each campsite.
- Group campsites remain closed.
- Stay Informed:
- Visit CA GOV for the latest information on COVID-19.
- Check the local city and county reopening guidelines for additional regulations and safety procedures.
- When arriving at a Demonstration State Forest for camping or other recreation activities, be sure to follow any posted signs or verbal direction from CAL FIRE staff.
The California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection (CAL FIRE) operates nine Demonstration State Forests totaling approximately 72,000 acres. The forests represent the most common forest types in the state. The State Forests grow approximately 75 million board feet of timber annually and harvest an average of 20 million board feet each year, enough to build 12,500 single-family homes. Revenue from these harvests fund the management of the State Forests. In addition, the forests provide research and demonstration opportunities for natural resource management, while providing public recreation opportunities, fish and wildlife habitat, and watershed protection. Common activities on State Forests include: experimental timber harvesting techniques, watershed restoration, mushroom collecting, hunting, firewood gathering, cone collecting for seed, a variety of university research projects, horseback riding, camping, mountain biking, and hiking.
The Board of Forestry and Fire Protection (Board) policy provides that the State Forests shall be used for experimentation to determine the economic feasibility of artificial reforestation, and to demonstrate the productive and economic possibilities of good forest practices toward maintaining forest crop land in a productive condition. The management objectives and plans developed for each State Forest are subject to periodic review and approval by the Board.
Statutory: Section 4631of the Public Resources Code states that it is in the interest of the welfare of the people of this state and their industries and other activities involving the use of wood and other forest products that desirable cutover forest lands be made fully productive and that the holding and reforestation of such lands is a necessary measure. Section 4631.5 provides that the state shall retain the existing land base of state forests in timber production for research and demonstration purposes. The department, in accordance with plans approved by the board, may engage in the management, protection, and reforestation of state forests (PRC 4645) where "management: means the handling of forest crop and forest soil so as to achieve maximum sustained production of high quality forest products while giving consideration to values relating to recreation, watershed, wildlife, range and forage, fisheries, and aesthetic enjoyment (4639).