Services reduced at some Ottawa Forest campsites; new fee at Black River Harbor

IRONWOOD –There will be several changes in the management of Ottawa National Forest campgrounds and recreation areas in the Watersmeet/Iron River-Bessemer ranger districts in 2019.

Changes include temporarily reduced services for several campgrounds; implementation of previously approved day use fees at Black River Harbor; and closure of Langford Lake as it is converted to a dispersed site.

“The Ottawa National Forest has always had a goal of providing high-quality recreation experiences for our public,” said acting Forest Supervisor Jamie Davidson. “These changes will allow us to continue to offer a wide range of experiences while taking into consideration our resources and capacity to manage these sites.”

In 2019, these campgrounds will have limited services and, therefore, no fees will be charged: Henry Lake Campground, Pomeroy Campground, Bobcat Lake Campground, and Moosehead Campground. During this period, Forest Service employees will be working at these sites to improve the facilities and perform needed maintenance. All services should resume in 2020.

As approved in 2017, the forest will begin charging a fee for the day use area at Black River Harbor. A daily fee of $5 will be collected May 15 through Sept. 30; all other dates outside of this season are free.

Thursdays will be a fee-free day. Additionally, a $30 annual sticker may be purchased that not only provides access to the Black River Harbor Day Use Area, but includes Sylvania and Lake Ottawa.

“Implementation of this fee was postponed due to ongoing work at the Black River Harbor area,” Davidson said. “Now that we have completed work at the Day Use Area, we will begin charging the previously approved fee.”

Revenue from user fees goes directly back to recreation facilities and services.

One additional change being made is the transition of Langford Lake Campground to a dispersed camping area. In 2019, this site will be closed while infrastructure is removed. The boat landing will remain open.

This decision is based on recreation site analysis work and the limited amount of use the site receives.

“As you can tell, 2019 will bring several changes to the Ottawa’s management of its campgrounds,” Davidson said. “We are working hard to ensure that these changes allow us to meet the needs of our diverse public while providing the high quality experience we are known for.”

For more information on the 2019 camping season, call Lisa Klaus, public affairs specialist, at 906-285-6904.

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