Emerald Creek Garnet Area to remain closed for all of 2020

| August 4, 2020 1:00 AM

The Emerald Creek Garnet Area, administered by the St. Joe Ranger District of the Idaho Panhandle National Forests, will remain closed for the remainder of the 2020 season.

This popular site historically receives large groups of visitors (over 5,000 in a single season from Memorial Day to Labor Day), resulting in eager crowds looking for the state gem, especially in the digging and sluicing areas, which would not meet social distancing guidelines for the public or Forest Service staff at the site. In the interest of safety and welfare for the recreating public and staff, the site will remain closed.

“Protecting the health and safety of our employees, volunteers, partners and the public is the primary concern when making any decisions,” said St. Joe District Ranger Matt Davis. “It is unfortunate we have to close the site we have prepared for our recreationists; however, we are committed and fully prepared for next year’s operations.”

The Forest Service reminds visitors that sluicing and digging for garnets is not allowed in the Emerald Creek area when the Emerald Creek Garnet Area is closed.

For additional information on rock hounding and permit requirements on the Idaho Panhandle National Forests, please go online to https://www.fs.usda.gov/ipnf/ .