Local Recreation Site Delays Opening

, Posted: Thu, April 11 2013 at 6:26 PM, Updated: Thu, April 11 2013 at 6:54 PM

Closed for the foreseeable future --
the Bureau of Land Management tells us sequestration is at the heart of budget cuts that are forcing a popular Southern Oregon recreation spot to stay closed.

The BLM recreation spot at Hyatt Lake will not open on time this year, this after thousands of dollars were spent to upgrade the facilities.

A blanket of snow blocks the front gate.
"We're not sure when Hyatt Lake will open. It typically opens mid- April, but it won't make it this year," says Jim Whittington of the Bureau of Land Management. Because of budget cuts, their hands are tied on opening their resort  so behind these gates still lies a snow covered campground and the only real boat ramps on the lake.

"There's new boat ramps over there, but they're the only boat ramps on the lake," says Betty Duke who runs The Camper's Cove on the other side of the lake. She says she's frustrated for the fisherman.
"I know several people who go out there and use the boat ramps and I don't know what they're going to do."

Hyatt Lake is just one of the 35 major campgrounds and trails run by the BLM. It's operating costs average about 170 thousand dollars a year. Last year, the BLM spent 426 thousand dollars, half out of pocket and half from grants, on new ramps, docks, and campground upgrades.
"That's budget cuts for you, they spent all that money on the boat ramps," remarks Betty.

When asked why that money wasn't save for operation costs, Whittington tells us:
"Those were project funds spent last year for the upgrades."
Explaining that sequestration cuts weren't even a concern until February and furthermore, the project funds weren't transferable.
"That's a shame," remarks Duke, "because that thing gets booked solid for the summer."

So while the BLM scratches their heads on how to come up with the money...
"We're sorry, we totally understand the desire."
The only boat ramps and tent camping on the lake remain closed, un-open for business..

The BLM is hoping to at least have access to the boat ramps available by mid-May.

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