Jessica Cejnar / Thursday, Sept. 17 @ 12:33 p.m.
National Forests in California Remain Closed Due to Fires; Closure Applies to Hunters, According to U.S. Forest Service
Though hunting season is opening, national forests in California remain closed due to wildfires across the region.
Though persons with a non-special-use written authorization with the U.S. Forest Service to conduct non-recreational activities including harvesting timber or grazing livestock, this does not apply to hunting. Hunting is considered a recreational activity, according to the FAQs page on the U.S. Forest Service website.
According to an FAQs page from the U.S. Forest Service:
Q) Is there anywhere I can currently go hunting on a National Forest?
A) Currently no, all Forests in the Pacific Southwest Region are currently closed due to the severe fire situation. These closures were put in place to protect the public and our employees.
Q) Forest Service closure orders include an exemption for “Persons with a Forest Service non-special-use written authorization to conduct non-recreational activities, such as harvesting timber or forest products, or grazing livestock.” Does this exemption apply to hunting?
A) No, this exemption does not apply to hunting. Hunting is considered and managed as a recreational public use of Forests. All Forests are currently closed to protect the public and our employees due to the unprecedented fire season and the additional risks associated with extreme fire weather and fast-moving fire conditions throughout the state.
Q) I have a hunting license and tag, will I be able to use it?
A) Yes, opportunities to hunt and utilize tags may alternatively be available on non-Forest Service lands. Additionally, we are assessing the fire situation and closure decision on a daily basis in order to make a determination to retain the Forest closures or remove them. It is possible, depending on fire behavior and weather, the closures may be lifted before hunting season concludes.