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Update: Campers Trash National Forest Campground, It’s Now Closed Indefinitely

As campers, we would like to think everyone else respects nature as much as we do. It seems common knowledge that we should pack in, pack out and leave no trace – we’ve all heard it time and time again. For many of us, it is common sense, and we wouldn’t dream of destroying the land we love so much. 

Sadly, people can sometimes abuse our public lands, causing closures.

This disrespect of our land has caused Mann Creek Campground in Idaho to experience a recent closure. 

Where Is Mann Creek Campground?

Mann Creek Campground is located on Bureau of Reclamation land and operated by the Payette National Forest in Idaho. To access the area from nearby Weiser, Idaho, you will take Highway 95 north for 12 miles. Once you read Mann Creek Road north, take it for around 2.5 miles, where you will find Mann Creek Reservoir as well as the campground. 

Mann Creek Campground is used primarily from mid-April through mid-September. There are 13 primitive campsites with picnic tables and fire rings. Drinking water is available at the campground. Campers have access to a vault toilet should they wish to use it. 

Why Is Mann Creek Campground Closing?

Unfortunately, Mann Creek Campground is closing due to vandalism and other damages. The park reports damage to some of the park’s information and recreation signs. These damaged signs are not only unsightly but also a nuisance to those needing information from the signs.

There are signs covered in graffiti, torn down, or even littered with bullet holes. 

Pro Tip: Locals Ruin Camping for Everyone

Has Anyone Been Charged?

At this time, the park system is not pressing charges on anyone for the damages.

Agencies are asking anyone that has information to come forward regarding damage. They are also asking people to come forward and notify authorities if they come across further damage to aid them with documentation and clean-up efforts. 

Will Mann Creek Campground Open In The Future?

The U.S. Forest Service – Payette National Forest has made a statement regarding the reopening:

 “Closure is not an easy nor quick decision to make. This campground will be open again in the near future. We ask that people don’t mix this particular situation with thoughts of public lands becoming permanently unavailable to the public as this is not the case – this campground will open again once the overall situation that led to the closure has been resolved.”

Thankfully, the campground will reopen once the area is in acceptable conditions.

Mann Creek Campground is Officially Open for Reservations for 2023

The campground has reopened, and that’s a big win. Better still, large gaps of non-reserved sites remain in the reservation system for now – and that’s not common.

We recommend reserving your summer sites today!

Here’s the calendar the the 12 sites at Mann Creek Campground.

What Can You Do To Help Prevent The Destruction Of Public Lands?

Keeping public lands open is everyone’s responsibility. We can all help prevent the destruction of public lands by ensuring we are not creating the problem. Destruction isn’t limited to the obvious things such as graffiti and piles of trash. Those things do damage our lands, but it isn’t the only destruction that can occur. 

It is easy to think leaving a few cigarette butts here and there or throwing trash into a firepit isn’t an issue, but it is. Every bit of destruction adds up and negatively affects our public lands. Be sure you are doing your part to take care of these lands. 

In addition, to “leave no trace,” you can help by cleaning up when you see it is needed. It is never fun to clean up someone else’s mess but leaving a campsite cleaner than you found it can do wonders in maintaining an area. If you come across trash on public lands and have the ability to do so, picking it up can help encourage others to do so as well. 

Always report any vandalism found to authorities so they can deal with it swiftly and appropriately. Vandalism that is left unreported can often lead to continued damage. Destruction of property is never acceptable and can come with heavy fines and even criminal charges in some situations.  

Another common form of land destruction comes in the way of campsite development. Be sure you are camping in areas designated for camping. Never alter the land to create a space for you to camp. Removing plant life to create a campsite disrupts the ecology system, which can have lasting effects. 

What’s Next…

While it is good news that this campground has plans to reopen, many public lands are closing permanently. Misuse of these areas can lead to land fatigue and a strain on the rangers trying to maintain the site. Have you experienced misuse of public lands during your travels?

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  1. Cori says:

    Many of these recent campers/RVers since the pandemic, don’t have the respect us old timers do…such a shame.

  2. Bob says:

    I’ve been traveling and camping all my life since my parents did also. Now at 72 I can tell you this problem will never go away. To be blunt, these are trashy people, and as the population grows so do the numbers of these trash@ it like the litter bugs, where we’re asked to pick up after them. Problem is, it’s a continuous job picking up after the garbage of humanity ! analogous to a growing rat problem where you can’t exterminate the rats, but told to just keep cleaning up their mess! These dregs of society will never change.

  3. Collier Mac Cowan says:

    The National Forest Service employ FPO’S and LEO’s for the purpose of “patrolling” areas of the forest. My question is , if it’s a known area for problems, trash, graffiti and property destruction, why haven’t they dispatched “extra” patrols? Even if short on manpower, they designate volunteers as camp hosts to watch these areas. No excuse from the NFS as to why this was allowed to happen. Do the job and allow the public access to these areas.

  4. Scott says:

    I have been all over the united states’camping and I see alot of that it’s the young people and meth heads it’s really sad to see.

  5. Cynthia Preston says:

    What is WRONG with people. When I went camping back on the day with my family we picked up our trash and disposed of it properly. People now days are the deserving generation, thinking it is someone else’s job. They need to be cited for this with a ticket. SHAMEFUL BEHAVIOR! JUST PATHETIC.

  6. Mikey says:

    I have a strong hunch many of these “campers” may be the homeless. Any serious camper such as myself would avoid that mess like the plague! The excessive trash, depicted in the photo, looks exactly like what is seen on our major city streets, dominated by homeless tents and lean-to’s. I worked for the California State Parks system many years ago and witnessed our beaches looking this way before the awareness of what litter does to the environment and wildlife took hold. It required a staff of two guys, two full days to clean a beach after a summer weekend back then. Today, it’s more likely people who have ended up living in tents because of substance abuse, alcoholism, mental illness or a combination of all three.

  7. Jeff Avery says:

    Humans are the filthiest most disgusting species on the earth. Animals are cleaner than humans. I do lots of backpacking and am thoroughly disgusted by the amount of filth I see on trails and on campgrounds. Do us all a favor and stay home. Trash your own home.

  8. David says:

    As a boater, the trashnics drive me crazy. My favorite is the huge pile of trash around a rusty oil drum on an island. Do these morons think that God picks up the trash on Tuesdays? They always have room to bring food, soda, beer, diapers, and charcoal, but they NEVER have room to take it back.
    In answer to your question about what to do about it, ya’ll need to get together and FORCE the offenders to take it with them. Make sure that they know that the group is watching them on the way in. Make sure that they are aware that the group knows where the dock their boat. It may sound brutal but it works for us in Tampa Bay.

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