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The U.S. Forest Service has announced that it will indefinitely close camping and group recreation sites in the Chattahoochee-Oconee National Forests to help slow the spread of COVID-19.
Closures will include picnic pavilions and restrooms, both at recreation sites and trailheads, according to a recent press release by the United States Department of Agriculture.
“As we work through an unpredictable and rapidly changing situation, health and safety is our number one priority,” Acting Forest Supervisor Edward Hunter said in the release. “We are committed to continuing to support our communities and fulfill our mission as we all work together to minimize the impacts and spread of COVID-19.”
In addition to the closures, all Chattahoochee-Oconee National Forests offices will be operating virtually until further notice. The employees will not be meeting customers face-to-face; however, customers needing assistance can still call the nearest office during regular business hours.
For visitors with reservations to camp in the National Forests, notifications will be made as soon as possible and refunds will be processed, according to the release.
“By closing campsites and group recreation sites, the USDA Forest Service is taking necessary measures to safeguard the health of employees and the public,” the release said. “The health and safety of employees and the nearby communities is always our top priority at the USDA Forest Service.”
For updates and more information, visit the Chattahoochee-Oconee Nation Forests’ website at www.fs.usda.gov/CONF