Buckeye Reservoir Campground being renovated

The campground at Buckeye Reservoir, a popular fishing spot and jumping-off place for big-game hunters in southwest Colorado, will remain closed for construction through most of the summer.

The reservoir is open to fishing but visitors must park and camp outside the construction area.

The renovation work began last summer and at least part of the new campground is expected to be open by early August, according to Brian Murdock, recreation program manager for the Moab/Monticello District of the Manti-La Sal National Forest.

The end result of the yearlong project will be 53 new single campsites, a group campsite, five day-use units, a host site, new vault toilets, a boat ramp and improved roads.

Murdock said the construction not only will improve recreation for users, it also will address sanitation and safety problems.

The reservoir and campground has long needed the work, he said.

“When I got here five years ago, I started looking back through the records and saw that as far back as 1937 the rangers were saying some thing needed to be done because the place was so heavily used,” he said.

Problems have mounted in recent years as off-highway and all-terrain vehicle became more common, he said.

“We’ve had long-time visitors to the area come in here and complain that OHVs are driving through their campsites,” he said. “We’re not going to make this a fancy fee area but wanted to harden some campsites and designate some roads in order to reduce the conflicts among users.”

Because the reservoir can get crowded with small boats and swimmers, once the construction is finished the Forest Service will restrict boats to 5-horsepower or less motors.

The reservoir will be closed to camping until Aug. 1 due to the construction traffic and to allow contractors to wrap up a timber harvest and fuels reduction project.

Officials asked visitors to avoid camping near any construction and timber harvest work.

“We’ve been telling people there are plenty of places to park and camp if they stay on the county roads,” Murdock said. “The only place you can’t camp is next to the reservoir.”

Murdock said it’s expected the entire area should be open in time for the main hunting seasons.

Buckeye Reservoir is approximately 12 miles north of Paradox and 57 miles southeast of Moab.

More information is available from the Moab/Monticello District Office at 435-259-7155.

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