This is why we can’t enjoy nice things.
People have been cramming themselves into Lake Cushman recreation area and now they’ve gone and gotten the roads to it closed.
The U.S. Forest Service said Thursday the roads allowing public access to the Mason County lake, day spots, trails and the Staircase entrance to Olympic Natonal Park will be closed starting Saturday, for safety and health reasons.
A huge increase in visits to the area recently resulted in gridlock on the narrow road and hazardous conditions in which emergency vehicles could not respond to requests for help, Forest Service officials said in a news statement.
“The extreme numbers of people recreating at Lake Cushman are creating unsafe conditions and degrading the experience for everyone. No one wants to be stuck in a 6-mile-long traffic jam on a narrow, gravel road with no way to turn around,” said District Ranger Yewah Lau.
Lau said there will be zero public access to Lake Cushman until the weather
cools and visitation returns to a manageable level.
Last weekend, so many people were clogging the four-mile stretch of road and parking illegally beside it, that emergency services could not get through, said a Forest Service spokesperson.
The Forest Service said that around the country, increased recreation on public lands has led to overcrowding, overparking, excessive trash and scattered human waste this summer during a time of limited Forest Service staffing.
“This was a hard decision to make, but necessary for the health and safety of visitors and staff. I hope people can discover other, less-crowded areas to enjoy,” said Lau in the statement.