Friday, April 7, 2017

CAL FIRE NEWS RELEASE: San Mateo-Santa Cruz Unit Soquel Demonstration State Forest Remains Closed

California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection
San Mateo-Santa Cruz UnitSoquel Demonstration State Forest Remains Closed
Soquel – The California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection (CAL FIRE), Soquel Demonstration State Forest (SDSF) was officially closed to all public use, including hiking and cycling on January 11, 2017 to protect the public safety.  With the latest storm, the rainfall for the season measured at SDSF is 88.5 inches, the highest in recorded history. 
SDSF infrastructure has suffered major damage due to multiple landslides and road failures.  This damage makes effective emergency response impossible. When SDSF is open for public use, the emergency response for major rescues averages about one per month with an additional one or two responses for less major rescues. With the current lack of access, it would be impossible to perform any rescue at SDSF and therefore must remain closed until access is restored.  Entering SDSF during the closure is a misdemeanor under the authority of Title 14, Section 1439, California Code of Regulations.  Law enforcement officers will continue to patrol the forest and will issue citations to violators.
SDSF staff is putting in place the required permits, contracts and funding to begin work as soon as the there is a dry period which could be as soon as next week.  The repairs are expected to take 4 to 5 weeks.  The forest will be reopened after repairs are completed.  A notice announcing the reopening will be sent out as well as posted on the CAL FIRE Soquel Demonstration State Forest Facebook page, web page and CZU Twitter account.
During the week of Sea Otter Classic in neighboring Monterey County, SDSF has always seen a large influx of users coming to visit with people from all over the world who are in the area.  Please help us spread the word at the Sea Otter, bike shops, social media and word of mouth that SDSF is still closed and will likely be reopened in late-May or early-June. For information updates follow us on:

·         CAL FIRE Soquel Demonstration State Forest Facebook page @CALFIRESoquel
·         CAL FIRE CZU on Twitter @CALFIRECZU

CONTACT: Angela Bernheisel (831) 475-8643 
RELEASE DATE: April 7, 2017

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