Press Release: USDA Forest Service
Tallahassee - The three National Forests in Florida, the Apalachicola, Ocala and Osceola National Forests, are beginning to reopen recreational facilities after employees began returning to work on Thursday, October 17, 2013.
“We are very pleased to be back at work and reopen these facilities that people care about. We hope everyone will be patient with us as we safely resume normal operations,” said Forest Supervisor Susan Matthews.
Forest employees are working not only to clean and evaluate the safety of each facility and site, but also to repair any vandalism or resource damage that may have occurred during the shutdown.
“It took us a few days to close all of our facilities, so it may take us the same to reopen them, however, all facilities will be open by the weekend,” said Matthews. “We look forward to making all of our programs and activities available to the public as soon as possible.”
The forest is also reinstating timber and stewardship contracts that were suspended during the shutdown, although factors such as weather, terrain conditions and contractor readiness may affect the timing of this work.
Fort Gadsden in the Apalachicola National Forest will remain closed due to circumstances not related to the government closing. For a current listing of open sites, please check our website at http://www.fs.usda.gov/florida or call your local Forest Service office.