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October’s From The Rangers Desk

Three topics for this month’s article are the seasonal clos­ing of Loggers Lake and Sut­tons Bluff campgrounds (CG), our present fire danger and our searching for a new conces­sioner for Loggers Lake camp­ground.

Loggers Lake Campground will be closing on October 30th, and Suttons Bluff Camp­ground will be closing on No­vember 5th. Now please re­member that you are still able to camp on the National Forest. It is just that these two devel­oped campgrounds will be closed for the winter.

Many of you have heard of the horrific wildland fires out west. Well, the fire conditions here in Missouri are not much better. This long period of no significant rains in our area have dried out what we call our 100 and thousand hour fuels.

These are the larger pieces of woody materials that take 100 to 1,000 hours to dry out or get wet, unlike the one hour and ten hour fuels like dried leaves and small twigs. So to change our present fire condition we will need long significant rains.

I am bringing up this subject to remind everyone that as you come out to visit and enjoy the forest to hunt, hike, camp and ride ATVs to keep in mind that we are dangerously dry. So please be careful with any camp fires or anything else that can start a fire.

Lastly and sadly, our conces­sioners at Loggers Lake, Bill and Sharron Aaron, have told us that they will be retiring. So this winter we will be sending out a request for bids to be­come the new concessioners for Loggers Lake.

You may be wondering what is involved in being a conces­sioner. Think of being a con­cessioner as your “business opportunity” to manage the day-to-day management of a campground. In your agree­ment with the Forest, you pro­pose, to us what you are going to do to operate the camp­ground. For example:

general maintenance such as cleaning of bathrooms, trash pickup and disposal and the mowing of grass.

what services you will offer the public/customers, such as, selling of fire wood, sales of ice, and rentals of canoes, sales of fishing equipment, ground

and what hours you will be available at the campground and what percent of the rev­enues you will pay the Forest.

I would also suggest that you contact the Aarons at Loggers Lake and ask them about their experience as a Campground Concessioner.

I would also suggest con­tacting Steve, at Sutton Bluff Campground, and ask him about his experiences as the concessioner at Sutton Bluff Campground. If you think this may be the business opportu­nity you have been looking for, give us a call.

For more information about the Mark Twain National For­est or the Salem Ranger Dis­trict in particular, you can con­tact us at 573-729-6656 or look us up on the internet at

Get out and enjoy your Na­tional Forest!

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