Services Departments Government

From: Dylan Blaylock, Clackamas County Community Relations Specialist, 503-742-5917

07-30-15

Clackamas County

Media and Interested Parties

Corrected: Water safety, park rules promoted ahead of floating event

Note: An earlier version of this press release incorrectly stated that all river floaters are required to wear personal flotation devices (PFD). They are not. Rather, boaters are required to have a PFD on board, while those on single inner tubes, air mattresses and beach/water toys are not. See www.bit.ly/1DdBUbN for more.

Hot weather and a popular floating event are expected to drive flocks of people to the beautiful rivers of Clackamas County this weekend. County officials are urging river users to observe both water safety protocol and park rules, while advising the public on expected congestion issues.

The Clackamas River event, set for Sunday, is expected to attract thousands of river users. Boaters caught without life jackets face fines of $260, and another $110 for not having whistles, horns or other sound signaling devices.

The Clackamas County Sheriff’s Office will have increased water patrols for the event.

"With the expected hot temperatures and the high number of people on the water, it’s more important than ever to make sure that you’re safe on our waterways, especially with the number of tragedies we’ve already had this summer," said Sheriff Craig Roberts. "I encourage everyone to wear a personal floatation device – most importantly, children. It’s a simple decision that could save your life."

Heavy congestion is expected around both Carver Park (along Highway 224, Springwater Road and Hattan Road) and Barton Park (along Bakers Ferry Road and Barton Park Road).

It is likely that both Barton Park and Carver Park will reach parking capacities. For Barton Park, only members of the public traveling in vehicles that have prior camping or shelter reservations will be allowed entry once these capacities are reached. Commercial shuttles are still allowed in after that time.

Pedestrians on foot will not be allowed into Barton Park at any time.

"Safety issues will force us to turn people away once we’re at capacity," said Clackamas County Parks and Forest Manager Rick Gruen. "Barton Park Road also has no shoulders, which presents a danger to anyone trying to walk into the park. We advise people to arrive early."

Please note that parking outside of both parks is generally prohibited, and cars may be fined and towed.

Fire restrictions are also currently in place at all Clackamas County parks. With a current fire danger level of "high," all campfires are limited to metal ring fires only in designated fire areas, and flames must be limited to 12 inches above a grate. Violators face fines ranging from $55 to $225 for improper fire management (leaving fires unattended, failure to extinguish, building near hazards).

If the level reaches "extreme," all fires will be prohibited in county parks. Campers will be alerted regarding fire levels.

Portable grills will be allowed but are limited to propane or liquid gas. Briquette grills are not allowed at this time.

Alcohol is only allowed with a permit in designated reserved areas of the parks. Alcohol and glass containers are not permitted in any day use areas of the parks. People who refuse inspections of personal items for alcohol will be asked to leave the park.

To learn more about the county park rules, visit www.clackamas.us/parks/.

For more information, members of the media or public may contact Rick Gruen at rgruen@clackamas.us or 503-742-4345.

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