The recreation sites are starting to open on the Chequamegon-Nicolet National Forest.
Forest spokesperson Hilary Markin says one recent development is the reopening of the popular Boulder Lake Campground in Oconto county...
"....about Boulder(Lake campground), we had made some announcements that it is temporarily closed for the 2018 recreation season but now we are going to have it open..."
The campground was closed by the Forest Service in January after there were reports of an armed man near the campground. A judge ordered a neighbor to a mental health facility. The announcement means the closure of Boulder Lake Campground has been lifted and the campground will be open later this month.
Markin says they've been working hard to get the facilities open...
"....we still have campgrounds with snow piles in them. The weather has hampered our ability to get things open. We have crews taking water samples to make sure the wells are safe after the winter, hazard tree analysis, clearing off camp pads, raking, all of those things that go into preparing the campsites. Typically we do all that stuff in April when we get the campgrounds ready and obviously this year April was a little different story...."
Markin says five campgrounds will be opening this Friday: Bagley Rapids, Bear Lake, Boot Lake, Laura Lake and Pine Lake...those campsites in Forest and Oconto counties are on a first-come basis.
The remainder of the campsites are likely to open on May 24.
Markin says members of the Forest Service's Job Corps program in Forest county are helping provide additional crews to get the recreation and camping areas open. More information openings and changed fee structures are available at the Chequamegon-Nicolet National Forest website.