Diseased trees force closure of campground on Whidbey Island

OLYMPIA — State parks officials have ordered the closure of campgrounds at South Whidbey Island State Park for the 2015 season due to diseased old-growth trees that pose safety concerns.

The decision came after park staff who were preparing for the upcoming season found several large Douglas fir trees in the campground had snapped and fallen across campsites.

A state Department of Natural Resources forest pathologist did tree assessments and found heart rot in the stems of the old-growth trees. Many of the other trees are also likely infected with the rot, which results in falling trees and limbs.

State Parks director Don Hoch said they are sorry for the closure but being under these trees poses a danger and they have to keep visitors safe.

The park remains open for day-use.

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