Rangers will step up patrols at Purdon Crossing on the South Yuba River State Park this summer to enforce a ban on overnight parking and camping on state park property.
Park rangers will begin posting signs of the 10 p.m. to 6 a.m. park closure in coming weeks, said Jeremy McReynolds, supervising ranger for the state park.
Though the overnight parking rule is nothing new, it has been ignored at Purdon more so than any other area of the state park system in the county.
"It has been an anomaly," Reynolds said.
The announcement comes after residents who live on Purdon Road complained of illegal fires, people defecating on rocks in the river and cars parked in front of emergency vehicle access roads.
"It's definitely become a problem," McReynolds said. In an effort to keep the river cleaner, a chemical toilet will be installed May 1.
Each summer, hundreds of people camp legally at a primitive Bureau of Land Management campground adjacent to the park.
State park rangers issued about 20 citations for illegal camping on state park property near Purdon last year, Reynolds said.
Officials from state parks, the county, California Highway Patrol, Bureau of Land Management and the South Yuba River Citizens League have been meeting for a year to come up with a remedy to concerns voiced by people who live on Purdon Road, said county supervisor Nate Beason.
"We need to protect the river as much as we can," McReynolds said.
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