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Ice damage closes campgrounds

Thursday, February 19, 2009

Jan Thompson

Staff Writer

OREGON COUNTY -- The Mark Twain National Forest's Eleven Point Ranger District has temporarily closed 15 river accesses and campgrounds in Oregon County due to ice damage from the late January winter storm.

Currently forest service roads, trails, river accesses and campgrounds are inaccessible due to downed trees, power lines and road conditions.

"This situation is expected to continue for several more weeks," said Eleven Point District Ranger Tim Bond. "Efforts are still underway in cooperation with state and county officials to ensure private residences and rural communities are accessible for emergency responders within forest boundaries."

Forest visitors are asked to limit travel within the Eleven Point Ranger District to allow for roads to improve and cleanup operations to continue. Bond said current priorities are to provide public assistance where needed, and clean up major forest roads and recreation areas.

Eleven Point River Access and Campgrounds closed in Oregon County include:

* Thomasville

* Cane Bluff

* Greer River Access

* Turner Mill South

* Turner Mill North

* Whitten

* Riverton East and West

* 142 at the Narrows

* Greer Crossing

* McCormack Lake

* Stinking Pond Float Camp

* Barn Hollow Float Camp

* Whites Creek Float Camp

* Boze Mill Float Camp

* Morgan Springs Camp

Bond said all of these areas are closed due to public safety. He advises forest service visitors to contact the Eleven Point Ranger District prior to traveling to the area and get a condition update.

"We are experiencing damage to a large area that will take some time to clean up to ensure public safety," Bond said. We recommend visitors don't hike trails in the district this month, and that they be prepared to cross downed trees and other storm debris when hiking and riding later this spring."

As clean up is completed, Bond said areas will be reopened for public use.

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