Closing of areas
Proposed Rules and Reasoning
§13-104-7.5 Closing of areas.
(a) The board, or its chairperson, may close or restrict the public use of all or any portion of a forest reserve in the event of an emergency or when deemed necessary for:
(1) The protection of the biological, geological, or cultural resources of the area;
(2) Health, safety, or welfare reasons;
(3) The protection of property; or
(4) Management activities,by the posting of appropriate signs indicating the duration, extent, and scope of closure.
(b) The chairperson is authorized to effect a given closure or restriction under subsection (a) for a period of not more than ninety days. The board is authorized to effect a closure or restriction for any period as deemed necessary to accommodate the condition or conditions indicated under subsection (a).
Reasoning for proposed change: The current rules already contain provisions for closing a forest reserve by requiring permits for access or entry in certain situations. The rule change creates a new closing of areas section that defines a more structured procedure for closing a forest reserve. It also allows DLNR to respond quickly in emergency situations where there are immediate threats to public health and safety, such as in the event of a natural disaster (e.g.: hurricane, tropical storm, etc.) or during times of high wildfire threat. Any closure that exceeds 90 days will require approval by the Board of Land and Natural Resources.
§13-104-23 Access permits.]§13-104-23 Access permits.
(4) To control [periods of use] uses of a forest reserve, [especially during periods when fire danger levels are high.] or any portion thereof, which may be under closure or otherwise restricted; and
Reasoning for proposed change: Within the access permits section there is existing language that allows DLNR to close a forest reserve due to potential threats to public health and safety, or for other management or resource concerns. Corresponding changes are being made to the current access permit rules to align it with the newly proposed closing of areas section.
[Strikethrough] – Text proposed for removal. Underline – Text proposed for addition.