Free weekend in SoCal forest

SAN BERNARDINO, Calif. The Forest is celebrating the annual National Public Lands Day, held each year on the last Saturday in September, as well as this year's special initiative, "This Land Is Your Land," geared to engage new Americans in volunteerism on public lands. No Adventure Pass is required for use of High Impact Recreation Areas or day-use sites on Saturday, September 27 or Sunday, September 28.

For additional information about the San Bernardino National Forest, click here

"National Public Lands Day is a great way to connect communities with public lands all over the country," said San Bernardino National Forest Supervisor Jeanne Wade Evans. "This weekend is a great opportunity to get outdoors and appreciate the open spaces here in Southern California."

Each year the forest offers a variety of fun and meaningful volunteer opportunities across the forest to encourage public participation on public lands. This year's projects include a cleanup project at Forest Falls and Thurman Flats Picnic Area, a trash clean-up and brush trimming/removal project in Lytle Creek, tree plantings at the Ribbonwood Campground and the air curtain destructor site in North Lake Arrowhead, and an improvements project at the Santa Rosa Springs Campground.

The "Free Day" policy was established as part of the Adventure Pass program in 1998 allowing three free days per year. In addition to National Public Lands Day, the four Southern California national forests also recognize National Trails Day on the first Saturday of June and Veterans Day on November 11.

The "This Land Is Your Land" initiative was unveiled on July 7 as 20 new citizens from 15 countries took the Oath of Allegiance to the United States. Upon naturalization, new citizens are granted the right to ownership of these federally managed lands and the shared responsibility to preserve these national treasures for generations to come. The initiative encourages more civic engagement among America's newest citizens and fosters a greater sense of ownership in our public lands.

Other fees are still required, such as those in campgrounds, reservation and group sites. Exceptions will be posted onsite. Visitors who accidentally use their Daily Adventure Pass on a Free Day may have it replaced free-of-charge.

Volunteer opportunities planned for the weekend:

Forest Falls and Thurman Flats Picnic Area Clean-Up
Trash clean-up at Forest Falls, Thurman Flats Picnic sites and surrounding areas.
Contact: Alfredo Zarate
Agency: US Forest Service
Phone: (909) 382-2900
Location: Forest Falls / Thurman Flats near Mentone, CA

Lytle Creek - "Lytle is Vital"
Lytle is Vital is a watershed protection program, sponsored by a Calfed Grant from the State of California. Trash clean-up and brush trimming/removal at the Applewhite Campground and surrounding areas. Creek restoration of various portions of Lytle Creek.
Contact: Mark Uthus
Agency: US Forest Service & Water Resources Institute
Phone: (909) 382-2722
Location: Lytle Creek Ranger Station

Ribbonwood Campground Tree Planting
On the 27th and 28th, volunteers will plant pinyon trees at Ribbonwood Campground and Cahuilla Tewanet. Anyone wishing to join in can meet Friday evening and stay at the campground or show up on Saturday morning by 8-8:30 a.m. On other weekends, volunteers are needed to continue with the Perry Pinyon Pines Protection Project weekends. The event starts each Friday, the weekends of Oct. 3, 4 and Oct. 10, 11. Volunteers will continue to work on Thomas Mountain area, Ramona and Santa Rosa Reservations to remove/thin vegetation around Pinus quadrifolia species of pinyon trees.
Contact: Daniel McCarthy
Agency: US Forest Service
Phone: (909) 379-9332
Location: Highway 74 near Pinyon Pines

San Bernardino Mountaintop Planting Project
Planting project at the air curtain destructor site in North Lake Arrowhead where volunteers will assist with planting native trees, shrubs and flowers. Lunch will be provided for volunteers.
Contact: Stacy Gorin
Agency: US Forest Service & San Bernardino National Forest Association
Phone: (909) 382-2794
Location: North Lake Arrowhead, north of Rock Camp Fire Station on Hwy 173

Santa Rosa Springs Campground
Improvements will be made to tent-pads and fire-rings; trails will be constructed leading to camping sites; and the site will be cleaned up after a summer of activity. Volunteers will learn about the special resource values being protected in accordance with the Monument's enabling legislation, particularly those found in the project area.
Contact: Lee Beyer
Agency: Bureau of Land Management & US Forest Service
Phone: (760) 251-4800
Location: Highway 74, North of Palm Desert

Check with the following forest offices for Adventure Pass requirements, current fire use restrictions and our free forest visitor's guide:

  • San Bernardino National Forest Supervisor's Office: (909) 382-2600
  • Lytle Creek Ranger Station: (909) 382-2850
  • Skyforest Ranger Station: (909) 382-2758
  • Idyllwild Ranger Station: (909) 382-2922
  • Mill Creek Ranger Station: (909) 382-2881
  • Big Bear Discovery Center: (909) 382-2790
For additional information about the San Bernardino National Forest, click here


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