Mortimer Campground

Lenoir, NC

#1 Apr 7, 2012
Anyone hear that the forest service is closing the lower part of mortimer campground because of flooding?
change is good

Greer, SC

#2 Apr 8, 2012
The reason was in Fridays paper

Greer, SC

#3 Apr 9, 2012
Here is a link to an article about the Mortimer Campground. Hope it helps.

Lenoir, NC

#4 Apr 9, 2012
Thanks I wonder if they will build on to that campground or build another one down the road where the horse club used to be. the county I guess run everybody off down there too with a promise to build an area with picnic sheds and docks for fishing and it would be handicapped access but thats not happened . maybe they can get together on this.
Camping Grandpa


#5 May 16, 2012
This is a bureacratic knee jerk reaction to what happened in Arkansas in 2010, where several people died and the families have sued the USFS. The situation in Arkansas was totally different to what is in Mortimer. In Arkansas there was no ranger on hand, there were no sirens, and it was a very remote area with no phone service. in deference, Mortimer shares the same location with the USFS maintenance facility and receives weather service notifications from several sources. There is an onsite siren to alert the community to possible dangers of flooding, as well as other adverse weather conditions. Also, Mortimer has campground hosts who are local, very dedicated, and with a land line as well as radio communications with local rescue squads; and care for the campers as family. I have camped there for years in all kinds of weather, including the front that caused the flooding in Arkansas, and there was never an issue of flooding. The fact that the Forest Service brings up the flooding of the town of Mortimer in 1940 as part of their decision is just pathetic. The town of Mortimer is miles down Wilson Creek from the campground and the cause of that flood was an extremely rare weather front (hurricane) combined with poor clear cutting forestry practices by the local lumber company at that time. Has nothing to do with the present day campground. The other weak argument is that there were several campers stranded and rescued by a recent flood way down Wilson Creek in a REAL flood plain in a private campground that, again, has nothing to do with the Mortimer Campground. There was a plan to build dikes and replace a bridge in the Mortimer campground, but there was not enough usage to justify the expense. This campground has been on the list of facilities to be closed, but the recent rise in usage and revenue increase has been a thorn in their side. By shutting down half the campground they are cutting out at least half the revenue, thus justifying closing it down in the future. USFS cites that approx. 800 people use the campground each year but they fail to tell how long they stay. At $10 a pop if they just stay for one night that is $8000. Most people stay 2 nights or more; I stay for a week at a time at least 2-3 times a year, so their number of 800 is a bit deceitful as far as reflecting usage and revenue is concerned. I cannot say enough good about the hosts, as they love the campground as much as they do the guests. They do the maintenance and janitorial duties as well, and for free, except for a free campsite with water and electricity. Small potatoes compared to what they do for the campground. I only hope that John Crockett, the Forest Service supervisor for that area, and formerly of the Arkansas staff, will get over his paranoia/guilt and reconsider this decision. The evaluation was made by staff members, and did not employ the expertise of a certified hydrologist. Odd how after 40+ years it is now a flash flood hazard. Could this be from and influx of new personel who are unfamiliar with this area? I feel sorry for the locals who use this facility as their only vacation experience as well as those of us who drive hours to use this jewel of a campground. Will I drive 2 hours to gamble on an open site out of 10? Probaby not. Will I miss this experience? Definitely so.

Monroe, NC

#6 May 17, 2012
Good summary, Camping Grandpa. Why don't you start a petition? John Crockett is a pretty open-minded guy to logic when well presented. I'll be your first signer.

Lenoir, NC

#7 May 17, 2012
Grandpa, If you start the petition I will sign and see that you get many signatures to send Mr. Crockett and the other folks at the USFS.

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