New Camping Restriction at Bastendorff Beach

K-DOCK 92.9

COOS BAY, Ore. – The Bureau of Land Management’s Coos Bay District is implementing an immediate restriction on overnight camping on public lands at Bastendorff Beach starting September 7, 2011.

Camping on the 111 acres of BLM land in the Bastendorff Beach area will be limited to 24 hours within any 14 day period. The limit had been 14 days within any 28 day period. The reduced camping limit will be in effect until September 30, 2013. A map of the lands where camping is restricted is available on the internet at www.blm.gov/or/districts/coosbay, and will be posted throughout the Bastendorff Beach area.

“We are seeing more and more safety and sanitation problems associated with the long term camping that is occurring at the beach” said Dennis Turowski, Umpqua Field Manager for the BLM. “The recent stabbing underscored the need for us to take action to deal with this problem right now. As the land manager, it’s our responsibility to provide a safe and clean place for people to recreate.”

Criminal activity associated with the long term, residential camps at Bastendorff Beach has become a rapidly growing problem for the BLM, Coos County Sheriff’s Department, Oregon State Parks and Oregon State Police. Between January 2010 and March 2011, Coos County Sheriff’s Department responded to 303 incidents at the beach. Long term camping at the site has also spawned several additional issues, including unattended campfires, many complaints by adjacent homeowners, and unsanitary conditions.

“We’re hoping a 24 hour camping limit will still allow visitors to enjoy a night on the beach, but keep the problems associated with people living at the site at bay because it will be easier to enforce,” said Turowski.

Since 2009, the BLM, Oregon State Parks and Recreation Department, and Coos County have been working together with the public to develop the Bastendorff Beach Cooperative Management Plan. All of the partners recently approved the plan, which calls for a 24 hour camping limit. The BLM must publish the proposed rule in the Federal Register, allow time for public comment and publish a final rule before a permanent change in the camping limit will take effect. A copy of the cooperative management plan is available at: www.blm.gov/or/districts/coosbay/plans/activityplans.php

This entry was posted on Wednesday, September 7th, 2011 and is filed under Local News, Press Releases.