Boat ramps now open on Lake Davis as well as Almanor
Just as the county is grappling with when and how to open golf courses and hold music festivals, boat ramps and vacation rentals are also up for discussion.
Last week, Sheriff Todd Johns in concert with Congressman Doug LaMalfa representative Shane Starr, worked with the Lassen National Forest to open the boat ramps at Canyon Dam and Almanor West on April 17. That got the attention of the folks around Lake Davis who wanted their boat ramps opened as well — but those ramps are located on the Plumas National Forest.
Sheriff Johns said that he spoke with Chris Carlton, the forest supervisor for the Plumas, and received the go ahead today, Thursday, April 23, for the Davis boat ramps to open.
Part of the decision to open the ramps, rested on the sheriff’s commitment to put a boat patrol on the lake to oversee whether the appropriate social distancing is occurring.
Johns said that all has gone well at Almanor thus far and he is hopeful that the same is true for Lake Davis. When asked if there were any plans to open Antelope or Frenchman at this time, Johns said that he would “take baby steps” to see how the initial openings go.
Jeanne Graham, co-owner of the J&J’s Grizzly Store at Lake Davis, said she is very pleased with the decision, but cautions everyone to be follow the social distancing rules. “This is a trial to see if we can slowly open to recreation without increasing cases of COVID in our county,” she said. “Please follow all of the social distancing guidelines and regulations.”
Graham thanked Sheriff Todd Johns, Forest Supervisor Carlton and Shane Starr for working to make this happen.
Much of the hesitancy surrounding decisions to open boat ramps or golf courses or hold music festivals, has to do with the likelihood that such attractions or events would draw visitors into Plumas County from out of the area.
Public Health Director Andrew Woodruff told the Plumas County Board of Supervisors on April 21 that decisions regarding reopening will be done based on what is happening regionally, not just in isolation in Plumas. For Woodruff, that means taking into consideration all of the contiguous counties as well as Reno and Washoe County in Nevada.
People who come to Plumas County to recreate need a place to say. As of now all Forest Service campgrounds are closed and motels are designated for essential travelers. But what about second homes and those used as vacation rentals.
Public Health has already addressed second homes and said that anyone who comes into Plumas County to take up residence must self-quarantine for 14 days. “I didn’t know we had 25 HOAs,” Woodruff told the board of supervisors a week ago, referring to the various homeowners associations in the county that had to be contacted. Some of those homes are used as short-term vacation rentals and at least one association has already taken action.
The West Almanor Community Club board of directors, sent a letter to association members asking them to cease offering their homes as short-term vacation rentals. “To ensure compliance with the statewide shelter-in-place orders and to protect the health and safety of owners and residents in the West Almanor Community Club, during this public health emergency, the Association requests that all owners stop all short-term vacation rentals of their residences until such time as the public health emergency ends.”