Alcohol ban announced for Ponderosa State Park; officials cite public health, safety concerns

Posted at 10:01 AM, Jun 27, 2016
and last updated 2016-06-27 15:40:02-04

With the Fourth of July weekend approaching, the Idaho Department of Parks and Recreation says rules will be in effect banning alcohol for the North Beach area of Ponderosa State Park in McCall.

Alcohol will not be permitted on North Beach July 1st through the 5th.

There will also be changes to parking and road use in the area, officials said.

“The decision to ban alcohol on the popular McCall beach was made in collaboration with the community of McCall, law enforcement and land managers to address public health and safety concerns, said Richard Taplin, Ponderosa State Park Manager. “We have a responsibility to ensure the health and safety of visitors to Ponderosa State Park. During the Fourth of July Holiday, crowds at the North Beach Unit of Ponderosa State Park have exceeded the reasonable capacity and have become unmanageable, with numerous instances of underage drinking, resulting in threats to the health and safety of park visitors and recreationalists on Payette Lake.”

There will be extra rangers on the grounds this year assisting with parking, education and enforcement, officials stated.

he year-round enforced capacity of North Beach remains at 500 people for the eastside beach and 250 people for the west side boat ramp. Those using the day-use areas at North Beach are reminded to “Pack it in, pack it out.”

New year-round road usage regulations are also in effect for Eastside Road and Warren Wagon Road within the North Beach unit.

Parking will only be permitted in designated parking areas. Violators can be cited and towed (at the owner of the vehicles expense) if they park on or along the roadways, officials warned.

The Eastside Beach parking lot at North Beach has been remodeled and increased in size to help accommodate the increasing use of the eastside beach.