ANF announces the closure of Morrison Run Road campsites | News, Sports, Jobs
Federal authorities have closed a series of scattered campsites on Morrison Run Road.
The Forest Service announced on Tuesday that a decision notice had been signed to restrict the use of overnight camping to a total of eight sites within the first mile of Morrison Run Road.
Camping will also be prohibited for 500 feet on either side of the road.
The area remains open for daytime activities.
A scoping letter prepared for the project explained that there were a total of eight sites within that first mile, with the first three being particularly used. The remaining five sites aren’t under as much pressure, but federal officials stress “Narrowness and proximity of the stream” as factors that increase the impacts on users.
This document pointed out that there are few places to park off-road that can lead to traffic jams on the road itself, sanitation issues when campers do not pack or bury garbage as well as “Vegetation loss and soil compaction caused by visitor use contributes to erosion along the watercourse, and these problems persist despite previous efforts to reduce erosion …”
Tuesday’s announcement said the decision would also address issues with people exceeding the 14-day limit for camping, improve conditions for wildlife and waterways, reduce the introduction of non-native plant species and improve soil conditions and water quality.
Scattered camping – camping on unofficial sites such as these – is allowed in much of the forest with a few exceptions, the most notable being the area around the Allegheny Reservoir.