Popular WA Forest Closed Due to Vandalism, Illegal Camping
The Washington State Department of Natural Resources announced this week a popular camping and recreation area is closing due to issues.
Harry Osborn Natural Forest near Sedro Wooley closing
DNR announced that after several years of battling garbage, vandalism, and other issues they are closing the 26 square mile forest and camping area. It is located in Skagit County, not far from Sedro Wooely, WA.
According to DNR:
"The Harry Osborne State Forest in Skagit County is temporarily closed to motor vehicle access after years of vandalism, garbage dumping, illegal camping, timber theft, and other public safety issues."
The problem has accelerated recently, especially the illegal camping, and vandalism issues, which officials say could be tied to its increasing use by homeless people.
Trailhead parking, camping and other normal activities will be closed, it will be open for day hiking but no other overnight activity will be allowed til further notice. DNR issued this statement as well:
"We appreciate that most people are responsible when they recreate in the area, and limiting access to public land is not a decision that we take lightly, but we need to protect public safety and protect our forests."
This is the first of WA state public forest or large recreation areas to be placed off limits because these kinds of issues.