KCET finally managed to track down some Forest Service officials to ask them about what is actually going on with their federal lands during the shutdown. It was very clear that National Park units were closed down and off-limits, but the rules for National Forests and BLM lands were anything but.
Now, some questions are answered … and here’s the gist for the Angeles National Forest:
– All Facilities are closed: that includes rangers’ stations, vistors’ centers, restrooms, campgrounds, and parking lots that can be gated.
– Privately owned vendors and businesses within the Forest remain open, including Newcomb’s Ranch and Crystal Lake Cafe. Adams’ Pack Station is closed because the road to Santa Anita Canyon is gated shut. If you DO find yourself near one of these businesses, stop in and pick something up – I’m sure they’re going to feel the effects of this shutdown, too.
– The Adventure Pass is still required inside the Angeles National Forest. However, since the Forest Service offices are closed, if you don’t have one you’ll have to get one from a private business inside or outside the Forest. Once those businesses run out of their stock of passes, they will not be able to get new passes until the shutdown ends.
– For anyone who sees the phrase “government shutdown” and thinks “now I can do whatever I want!” know that the law enforcement and firefighting departments of the Forest Service are still at work and will be patrolling the area. L.A. County Sheriffs, California Highway Patrol, and CALTRANS will also still be active in the Forest.
– But good news: trails are open, other than those closed for repair or environmental reasons, or those in the Station Fire Burn Zone.
If you do decide to go hiking in the Angeles during the shutdown, please be sure to hike responsibly – and if you find some trash along the way, pack it out with you, ok?