The coronavirus pandemic may have cut many camping plans short this spring, but outdoor enthusiasts may be able to make up some of that lost time thanks to a longer season in some parts of the state.
The U.S. Forest Service is extending the traditional period of time when overnight stays are allowed on its lands in several districts. The agency says unprecedented use and need to provide the service to the public led to the decision.
"Because of the sheer number of visitors and a need for a longer season this year, we have made the decision to extend the availability for camping wherever possible," Alice Carlton, Umpqua National Forest supervisor, said in a post on the district's Facebook page.
Depending on the area, some campgrounds will close in mid-September or October, particularly around Diamond Lake in Douglas County. Others, including all Cottage Grove and Tiller overnight areas, will remain in operation through November, weather permitting.
Anyone who wants to recreate on U.S. Forest Service land later in the season should call the local ranger district in the area they intend to visit for the most up-to-date information about conditions and availability. Also be sure to check on the land agency's website to see whether open burns are permitted, as fire danger is currently high across the state.