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MT. SHASTA WILDERNESS AREA CLOSURE

*Updated: 5.6.2020*

**Closure extended though May 15th, 2020** (Will be re-evaluated at that time)

Mount Shasta is a popular destination location for spring climbing, skiing and other recreation. Visitors from many populated areas travel to visit the mountain. Due to concerns of public health and safety regarding the COVID-19 pandemic, the risk presented by recreational use on Mount Shasta, above 10,000 feet in elevation, needs to be addressed knowing that use will continue to increase over the coming weeks with thousands of out-of-the-area recreational users staying overnight at Lake Helen base camp in hopes of summiting the mountain. Lake Helen base camp and the Avalanche Gulch climbing route are confined geographical areas in which maintaining social distancing safely cannot be adhered to. Through recreation site monitoring over the last 4 weeks, it has been observed that more out-of-state vehicles are beginning to recreate on the mountain and will continue to increase.

With limited Forest Service personnel to patrol on the mountain, provide climbing, weather/safety, and wilderness rules and regulations information, and to assist with Search and Rescue operations there is a need for temporary closure above 10,000 feet in elevation. This forest closure order is placed in conjunction with the Governor of California’s Executive Order N-33-20, which directs all individuals living in the state to stay home or at their place of residence, as well as following an advisory and order by the Siskiyou County Public Health Officer which is asking all non-residents of Siskiyou County to stay out of the county as ordered by the Governor of California.

This Forest Order cites 36 CFR 261.53 (e) authorizing area closures in the interest of public health and safety. An exemption is provided for persons operating under special permission from the Forest Service pursuant to 36 CFR 261.50 (e).

Below are attached documents: Closure order, map and official news release