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Contact: Jim Milestone, (530)242-3460
On June 1, 2008, the National Park Service will be closing the road access gate on South Fork Mountain Road to motor vehicles. Only official vehicles, businesses, and residents will be allowed access in motor vehicles on the road. This temporary closure will be in effect until November 1, 2008. Hikers, bicyclists, equestrians and in-season hunters are welcome to use the road and access the area for appropriate recreational purposes.
The road is being closed to vehicles during this time to reduce accessibility by illegal marijuana growers who have been using this road as access into remote park lands for marijuana cultivation sites in the Whiskey Creek drainage of the park. Over the past two years, illegal marijuana growers have used South Fork Mountain Road to supply their illegal grow sites on both private and public lands. Furthermore, illegal dumping and vandalism to the telecommunications facilities on the private and Bureau of Land Management lands has occurred.
According to Superintendent Jim Milestone, “the gate closure on South Fork Mountain is one more tool, in our tool box to assist the National Park Service rangers in reducing opportunities for illegal marijuana cultivation in the park. The National Park Service, working with Shasta County Sheriff’s Office, is putting a tremendous amount of resources into trying to prevent marijuana cultivation from occurring throughout the county.”
Since 2001, Whiskeytown National Recreation Area has been raiding illegal marijuana cultivation sites with Shasta County Sheriff’s Department. The sites cause water and stream pollution, the growers kill deer and black bears, and large amounts of trash and human waste is left behind for park staff to clean-up. Marijuana sites in Whiskeytown are a major threat to park resources and to the youth of America.
South Fork Mountain Road is a popular destination for long-distance runners, mountain bikers and horse back riding, affording wonderful views of Whiskeytown Lake and the greater Redding area.
Please contact the Superintendent’s Office at 530-242-3460 with questions or comments.