(Photo: Thinkstock Photos)
HOT SPRINGS, Ark. (USDA) - The Ouachita and Ozark-St. Francis National Forests are beginning to reopen recreational facilities after employees began returning to work on Thurs, Oct. 17.
"We are very pleased to be back at work and reopen these facilities that people care about," said Christopher Ham, Ouachita National Forest Recreation Program Manager. "We hope everyone will be patient with us as we safely resume normal operations."
Forest employees are working to clean and evaluate the safety of each facility and site, in addition to repairing damage that may have occurred during the shutdown.
"It took us a few days to close all of our facilities, and took a few days to reopen them," said Terry Krasko, Planning and Public Services Officer. "We are pleased to have programs and activities available to the public once again."
The facilities and sites reopening on the Ozark-St. Francis and Ouachita National Forests include popular sites such as Blanchard Springs Caverns located in Fifty-Six, Ark., and Cedar Lake Recreation area in Oklahoma.
"We are looking forward to visitors coming out to enjoy their forest and recreation areas," said Krasko. "It is a wonderful time to explore the forests in Arkansas and Oklahoma."
For a current listing of open sites, please check the respective websites for the Ouachita National Forest at http://www.fs.usda.gov/ouachita
under the Quick Links heading or call (501) 321-5202 and Ozark-St. Francis at http://www.fs.usda.gov/recmain/osfnf/recreation
or (479) 964-7200.