Selma, OR—The Wild and Scenic Illinois River is renowned for its outstanding remarkable values: its blue-green, crystal-clear waters; its abundant and diverse fisheries; its unique and diverse landscapes; its spectacular and varied recreational values; and its botanical biodiversity. Recreation segments of Wild and Scenic Rivers are places regarded for providing a variety of experiences, including solitude, a connection with the landscape, or a family-friendly recreation-based experience.
2016 marked the first year that the Rogue River-Siskiyou National Forest had implemented a temporary ban on alcohol possession on this stretch of river. Due to the successes in the last two years, the RRSNF is renewing the ban for 2018, effective May 25, 2018 through September 30, 2018. Said Wild Rivers District Ranger Matt Paciorek, “The decision to implement the ban arose from the concern for public safety, and has been met with overwhelming support from both the local communities and those who travel to the river from outside areas. People feel they can once again take their families to the river, and are really grateful that the Forest has taken steps to address an ongoing problem.”
As in previous years, the area included in the temporary alcohol ban extends from the Forest boundary on the Illinois River Road to an area near the McCaleb Ranch, and also includes the area surrounding Cedar Camp. The ban is effective approximately ¼ mile on either side of the Illinois River Road in those areas.
A list of developed recreation sites included in the ban is included in the Forest Order.
The temporary ban will not be in effect on privately-owned lands, nor will it apply to those who are driving on the Illinois River Road to reach a destination outside of the closure area. Violation of the alcohol ban is punishable by law, with the penalty for violation up to 6 months in jail and a $5,000 fine.
“Responsible recreation is something that all Forest visitors can participate in, simply by remembering to pack out what they pack in—leaving no trace—and by being good stewards. We all have a stake in our public lands,” said Paciorek.
2018 marks the 50th Anniversary of the signing of the Wild and Scenic Rivers Act of 1968, which has grown to include 208 rivers nationwide. The Illinois River is a part of that system, with 50.4 miles designated in 1984, which includes the 3.8-mile long Recreational section.