Mount Baker-Snoqualmie National Forest will delay the opening the Gold Basin Campground until a safety evaluation is completed, the U.S. Forest Service announced today.
The campground, which is usually open from mid-May to September, is at risk of a devastating landslide, according to records obtained by The Seattle Times. It sits at the base of a hill that has similarities to the Steelhead Haven slope about 15 miles away near Oso that collapsed in March killing 41 people. Two people are still missing.
Officials are taking “a hard look” at the slide path adjacent to the campground in light of the Oso mudslide, Darrington District Ranger Peter Forbes said in a news release.
Slides at the Gold Basin hill have been documented since the 1940s, and since 1954 there have been proposals to either move or close the campground. But the Forest Service, which owns the campground and the surrounding land, had previously refused to go along with the idea “because this campground is too popular,” a manager with the state’s Recreation and Conservation Office wrote in an internal email last month.
The opening of the campground will be delayed until a safety evaluation is complete, Forbes said.