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Due to crowds, Oregon now plans to close all state parks Monday

Columbia Gorge traffic state park 3-22
Oregon State Parks and Recreation Dept.
Crowded traffic in Columbia Gorge is type of situation that has prompted full state parks closure earlier than announced

For both camping and day-use; beaches may follow, if social distancing practices aren't followed; Multnomah Falls also being closed due to crowds

SALEM, Oregon (KTVZ) – At the direction of Gov. Kate Brown and in keeping with the guidance that all Oregonians should stay home and stay healthy, the Oregon State Park system will close at the end of the day Monday, earlier than initially announced.

Day-use areas will be closed at 5 p.m. Campers need to check out no later than 1 p.m.

The Oregon Parks and Recreation Department previously ordered a campground closure that would have started April 3, and advised travelers to avoid day trips to full parks.

"With new guidance from the governor, and clear signs that travelers are not following advice to avoid full parks, a statewide state park closure is necessary," the agency said. "Beaches can be closed by OPRD at their discretion and will be closed if social distancing practices are not followed."

All daytime park services will be closed statewide, including parking areas and restrooms. Campers will be refunded for all canceled nights. All travelers are advised to follow the guidance to stay home to stay healthy.

City and county parks and other public land managers are open at their discretion, with the recommendation they do so only if they can adhere to social distancing practices.

 “We would have preferred an orderly shutdown of the system and to remain open for daytime visits, but our concern for the effects on rural health care systems requires us to move up and expand our plans,” said Lisa Sumption, director of the Oregon Parks and Recreation Department.

“We know this will cause a disruption, since we’re suspending service to everyone, even people who live near a park," she said, but added, "Reducing contact between people is more important than recreation at the moment.”

Know before you go:

I-84 parking lot at Multnomah Falls will close Monday as USFS closes falls area 

MULTNOMAH FALLS -- ODOT will close the Interstate 84 parking lot at Multnomah Falls early Monday morning as the U.S. Forest Service shuts down access to the entire falls area because crowds haven’t complied with safe social distancing practices in place for the COVID-19 public health emergency.

Starting about 6 a.m. Monday, the Forest Service will put up fences along the south side of the Historic Columbia River Highway to shut down access to the Multnomah Falls area, including the plaza, viewing areas and the trail to the upper platform. The lodge is already closed.

At the same time, ODOT will close the I-84 parking lot out of concern that safety issues could develop on the entry and exit ramps and to deter people tempted to illegally access the closed trails. ODOT will also close public parking along the north side of the Historic Highway near the falls.

The lots will remain closed until ODOT and the Forest Service determine that conditions have sufficiently improved to reopen access.

The Historic Columbia River Highway remains open, but visitors should expect major delays Tuesday, March 24 at Horsetail Falls for tree work.

  • Starting at 8:30 a.m. Tuesday, ODOT will periodically stop traffic in both directions while the Forest Service removes trees that may threaten the highway.
  • Each closure will last 20 to 30 minutes, controlled by flaggers, and will continue until late afternoon.

In addition, the Columbia Gorge Express will no longer stop at Multnomah Falls but remains available for local riders. Because of COVID-19, the service now operates only twice a day, early morning and late afternoon, and only on weekdays, not weekends. This schedule continues to provide access to Gorge communities but will not stop at Multnomah Falls. Go to Columbia Area Transit for more information.

Government-politics / News / Oregon-Northwest / Top Stories

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    1. “Why can’t people follow simple instructions?!”

      Because social and economic suicide doesn’t come natural to most of us. Maybe you can explain why a healthy 26 year old pipe-fitter- with a wife- two kids- and a mortgage should lose his income for a month or more- be confined to his house- while the community around him implodes- should stay sit by and do nothing but watch KTVZ peddle CNN hysteria and panic ?

      The worst excuse I’ve heard so far is that younger people will transfer it to the “at risk” population… so how is that possible if the “at risk” population are the ones “sheltering in place” ? Grandma doesn’t need to be out and about with her walker. The elderly gent down the block doesn’t need to be walking “sparky the wonder-dog” in the park.

      “THAT” is your target group for this shut-down… not the people that are trying to keep the economy afloat ! Pure Madness as dumbed-down Americans continue to walk the plank to a global depression- then we are clearly “fudged up” !

  1. Govenor Brown, learn from your neighbors and shut the movement down sooner. It is the only way to stop this. So far we have good numbers compared to our neighbors but why not have people “shelter at home” sooner so our numbers never match theirs?

    1. Yes indeed Kate ! Learn from our neighbors to the North and acknowledge that the Wuhan Bat virus is only deadly towards an “at risk” population- and healthy individuals under 60 should be back at work repairing the damage you have single-handedly done to the state’s economy.

      Simply the worst Governor ever- in the history of the state- even during the world wars- we didn’t cannibalize our own !

      Kate will go down in history as the worst Governor Oregon has ever had- and she knows it !

        1. And you are a worthless maggot infested carcass with no potential for intellectual thought whatsoever.

          See how easy and unproductive the name calling is. Up yer game or move on.

    1. Sure the DOJ wants to suspend parts of the Bill of Rights, but closing state parks? That’s too far! There are some lines you just don’t cross without risking revolution!

  2. “With new guidance from the governor, and clear signs that travelers are not following advice to avoid full parks, a statewide state park closure is necessary,”

    “Guidance” ? Kate Brown continues to ramp up her efforts to put all Oregonians under house arrest. There has been no declaration by Nazi Kate that we are confined to our homes- yet she continues to isolate Oregonians by banning public gatherings- restaurants- and now our State Parks- which belongs to “we the people”- not her !

    So where are the public protests ? Where are the Veterans groups who are sitting idly by as our civil liberties are being stomped on over an illness that is no where near as dangerous as the common flu or seasonal pneumonia virus !
    Where are the college kids- takin’ it to the streets- you gotta fight for your right to party ???

    America has turned into a nation of weak-kneed sheeples that is buying into the great hoax of 2020.

    If President Trump declares martial law and decides no elections this year- that he will just self-appoint himself the President until the Wuhan Bat has been defeated- well- you can only blame yourselves !

    Right now- Kate Brown has gone to war on our civil liberties. She has no constitutional right to close anything ! Time for a serious recall petition to start up- Oregonians aren’t doing anything anyway for the next four to six weeks ! Sign your name and kick her bum outta office !

    1. Hey Wishy, if you think your civil liberties have been jerked away from you because the Governor closed the parks, why don’t you file a lawsuit? Prior to that, though, you might want a refresher course on powers of the State. Reading the law might be enlightening.

      1. There goes Dumb Bunny- the poster child for the flaccid limp wristed sheeple that currently reside here in CO- never drank from the hose- always wore their bike helmet goofy lookin’ dweebs that refuse to stand up for themselves as the historically disgraced Democant Governor Kate Brown leads him around by his 12 karat gold nose ring !

        What an embarrassment you are- “why don’t you file a lawsuit?” Yeh- and why don’t you grow a pair!

        This nation was built on the backbone of public resistance and demonstrations- and not the kind you put on the bumper of your Subaru- you half-wits with your “I will not Comply” stickers are about as worthless as a submarine with screen doors !

        Right at the top of the “let’s krap all over America” are the dumbo-crats- the west coast Governors set the gold standard for incompetence in handling this Wuhan bat- now their solution is to close everything- destroy the economy- make idiotic demands (boy they all sure were uiet when Obama sat by for 5 months and did nothing to address the H1N1 virus- and that one killed 12,600 Americans).

        I will be out and about tomorrow- and if I find my way to any Oregon State Park- I will waltz right in like I own the place- cause I do ! Aside from Grants- Lottery Money- and User fees- I pay for the right to use these parks… and I will ! You just stay right there at home where it’s safe- you “at risks” don’t need to be out in public anyway !

  3. People need to get outside. There are more people walking in Redmond’s dry canyon than i have ever seen. It’s pretty easy to stay 6 feet from another person in Redmond.

  4. boundless selfishness – just like the ones still flogging some inane “political” agenda – must be something in the water to make people so full of themselves

    1. Politicl agenda… Hmm. Like the democrats blocking a “stimulus” package until it has union handouts, abortionist handouts, and dozens of other things for things that have nothing to do with economic stimulus. And I predict. Kate that the democrats will call an emergency session and force the climate tax before any talk of Oregon based stimulus.

  5. “Beaches can be closed by OPRD at their discretion and will be closed if social distancing practices are not followed.”

    So are you saying if I go to the beach with my wife and kids we all need to be 6′ away from each other? What about the idea we all came in the same car? Granted I don’t go the beach every week but NEVER have I seen groups set themselves up within 6′ of another group – even in Dune Fest. Are we hoping to conjure the image of a Florida spring break beach and project that to our Oregon beaches so more controls can be put into place?

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