Seems like the labor shortage is hitting federal parks as well.
The Army Corps of Engineers is opening all its Lake Lanier recreational sites this week, except for Sawnee campground at 3200 Buford Dam Road in Forsyth County, Van Pugh South Campground at 6749 Gaines Ferry Road in South Hall and Duckett Mill Campground at 3659 Duckett Mill Road in northwest Hall.
Those sites are closed “due to a lack of volunteer and contractor tenants to safely operate those locations,” according to the Corps.
No further explanation was available as of Tuesday, March 21.
The Corps does operate a program for people to work at various recreational sites in exchange for free camping privileges at the Volunteer Village campground near Buford Dam.
Sawnee, Van Pugh South and Duckett Mill campgrounds have been closed since Sept. 11, the end of the 2022 season.
Otherwise, day-use and boat ramps are set to open for the spring/summer season on Sunday, March 26, and campgrounds will open Thursday, March 23.
That includes sites that closed Sept. 24 after normally being open year-round, such as Little Hall Day Use and beach, and Thompson Bridge Park and Old Federal Day Use parks.
In all, 17 day-use parks and boat ramps on Lanier were added to seasonal closures last year, with the Corps saying in September that there were “multiple factors considered in these management decisions, to include resources, visitation, proximity to other open areas, operations and maintenance.
Personnel and budget issues would “fall under resources,” Tim Rainey, operations project manager at Lake Lake, at the time.
The Corps has been busy getting recreational sites that are reopening up to par.
“There seemed to be more vandalism this off season than in the past so repair efforts have been significant,” said Steve J. Stanley, spokesman for the Corps’ Mobile District, which oversees Lake Lanier.
Work has included installing a new bathroom at Old Federal Day Use Park and erosion control at Old Federal Campground, he said.
“These actions are above the routine cleaning, repairs and other preparations for the parks’ opening,” Stanley said.