Sheriff’s deputies assist forest service enforce Cedar Creek closure
By Karen Brainard
San Diego County Sheriff’s Department is providing additional units to enforce the temporary closure of
the Cedar Creek Falls trail, said Lt. Julie Sutton of the Ramona substation.
The U.S. Forest Service implemented a “hard closure” of the trail and falls, effective at midnight, Friday, July 8. Sutton said sheriff’s units will be posted seven days a week at the trailhead and in the surrounding area.
“Our primary role there will be to educate the public,” she said.
The sheriff’s department will enforce the trespassing code, said Sutton, and if people come to the trail and refuse to leave, the officers will issue tickets.
Since the U.S. Forest Service completed upgrades to the trail earlier this year, authorities and nearby homeowners have said the trail has attracted many people who were unprepared for the six-mile round-trip hike to the falls, and as a result there have been more helicopter rescues. Improper footwear for hiking, lack of drinking water, and hiking in the heat of the day can lead to injuries or dangerous situations, say police and fire officials. Young people partying and drinking alcohol, which is prohibited at the site, has also been a problem, said Sutton.
Although numerous meetings have been held to address concerns about the trail and the hikers, it was after Wednesday’s death of a 16-year-old at the falls that pressure mounted for the forest service to temporarily close the trail and come up with a better management plan.
Brian Harris, public information officer for the Cleveland National Forest, in a news release said that the trail and falls will be closed through Nov. 8.
“The forest service can reopen the area prior to Nov. 8, 2011, if deemed appropriate,” Harris stated in the release. “The closed area includes the trailhead at Thornbush Road, the trail to and from Cedar Creek Falls from the Thornbush Road Trailhead, the trail from Saddleback (located on Eagle Peak Road), and the specific Cedar Creek Falls site. The closure extends for 1/4-mile on both sides of the trails and the falls.”
- ‘Hard closure’ of Cedar Creek Falls starts
- Cedar Creek Falls trail closes after news of fatality
- Ramona CERT draws attention to Cedar Creek hiking hazards
- Rescuers airlift 8 from Cedar Creek Trail near Ramona
- Officials work to resolve Cedar Creek trailhead brouhaha
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