Reclamation Closes South Shore Camping Area at Haystack Reservoir

Media Contact: David Walsh, (208) 378-5026
Kathleen Cushman, (541) 389-6541

For Release: September 05, 2008

Who: Bureau of Reclamation.

What: Temporary closure of campgrounds at South Shore of Haystack Reservoir.

When: Beginning September 8, 2008.

Where: Haystack Reservoir, located about 10 miles south of Madras, Ore.

Why: Heightened health and safety concerns and resource damage.

Additional information:

Video/Audio: Broadcast media will have an opportunity to use, edit and review footage of the impact area shot by Reclamation while on location. Web link for audio:


Reclamation is working with local, county, and state officials to develop a plan to prevent the illegal and destructive activities at Haystack Reservoir. Reclamation plans to restore the area and will explore options for future use so that it can provide a safe and enjoyable recreation experience for all members of the public. An environmental analysis with public comment opportunities will be completed prior to determining future actions and before reopening the site to the public. Public comment opportunities will be announced at a later date.

Live tree cutting, abandoned fires, shooting, and mud bogging in the lake bed have all been frequent complaints about activities at the South Shore site. Several campers have remained at the location well past the 14-day limit, some staying in excess of 30 days, resulting in their exclusive use of the area and a heavy impact on the land. Reclamation will inform the public of a public meeting to review the recreational use at the Haystack Reservoirs South Shore area, once a date has been established. The public is encouraged to contact the Bend Field office for more information and updates at (541) 389-6541 or email Haystack Reservoir, which borders on Crook, Deschutes, and Jefferson counties, is impounded by Haystack Dam which was constructed in 1957. It is owned by Reclamation, and operated by the North Unit Irrigation District which supplies irrigation water to the area.

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Reclamation is the largest wholesale water supplier and the second largest producer of hydroelectric power in the United States, with operations and facilities in the 17 Western States. Its facilities also provide substantial flood control, recreation, and fish and wildlife benefits. Visit our website at and follow us on Twitter @USBR.

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