Much of the land that CFM manages has been held as private working forest for generations. Over that period of time public access has evolved based on ownership, development of infrastructure and public use liability risk.
All management decisions, including closing properties to public access, are the result of a thoughtful process that takes into account the interests of the communities in which the properties are located, but also the risks and challenges associated with working forest ownership and management. Unfortunately these challenges have only grown in recent years with hotter, drier conditions leading to a significant increase in the likelihood of human-caused wildfire, and more population pressure in rural areas resulting in increased damage to infrastructure and illegal dumping of materials on managed lands. These trends have prompted the owners of CFM-managed lands to close high-risk properties to public access.
We understand that closing property to public use is frustrating for those who seek to responsibly recreate. Unfortunately however, it is often the only way to continue to safely and effectively manage these lands for the production of timber and the other values private working forests provide.