Recreation Access

Woods

SPI’s private forest lands are generally open to individual members of the public for recreational use such as hiking, bicycling, fishing, hunting, or cross-country skiing as long as they are properly licensed by the State where necessary. We do not allow target shooting, trail building, off-road vehicle use, overnight camping or any fires on our property. In addition, we do not allow the taking of forest products, wildflowers, mushrooms, or other vegetative matter, non-game species, water or soil, or rock samples except by express written permission from SPI.

Our policy is:

SPI's ownership is private property. Recreational use is available to individual members of the public, provided the property is treated with respect. We reserve the right to refuse access to anyone. Access is subject to California Penal Code Section 602 and California Civil Code Sections 846, 1008, and 1009. Please be advised that if you enter SPI's property you do so at your own risk, and SPI shall not be liable to you for any injury to person or property, in accordance with California Civil Code Section 846, or Washington RCW 51 and 4.24.210.

Any activities conducted as a group must receive express written permission from SPI prior to entering upon the property. Commercial use is strictly prohibited without a permit.

Access Methods

Many of SPI’s roads also provide access to federal lands. Roads shared with federal landowners that are designated for public use are open for recreational purposes, but federal road policies may also preclude access to protect forest resources in specific areas. In Washington, all access for motorized vehicles is prohibited on our roads unless authorized by SPI.

In some instances, SPI installs gates to limit access where we have the sole ownership of the road or operate under cooperative agreements with State and Federal agencies. Access behind locked gates is limited to non-motorized methods such as walking, bicycling, cross-country skiing, or horseback. In all areas, in an effort to protect meadows and sensitive plants and reduce erosion, vehicular use (including mountain bikes) is limited to existing roads, and no access is permitted near active logging operations.

Please do not block gates which may be needed for emergency vehicle access for fire and medical reasons.

Why we limit access:

  • To protect public safety, especially in active harvest areas.
  • To help prevent erosion of roads.
  • As a fire prevention measure.
  • To deter illegal woodcutting.
  • To prevent damage to young regenerated forest stands.
  • To deter illegal garbage dumping.
  • To prevent Christmas tree theft.
  • To protect sensitive research project areas and equipment. Monitoring equipment has been placed in areas where research is under way. Please do not disturb it.

Positive results achieved from limiting vehicle access include:

  • Less erosion. We are required by law to maintain roads and protect watersheds and fisheries from erosion.
  • Less commercial timber loss, allowing us to help meet the demand for wood products.
  • Fewer fires caused by humans. During most years, California is very prone to wildfires. People start more than half of all wildland fires.
  • Better hunting possibilities. We often hear thanks and praise from most hunters who are pleased at how limited vehicle access has improved the hunting.

Area Closures

Aside from the closure of all active logging areas, any area may be posted as closed to public access for any number of reasons including but not limited to fire danger, potential road damage, wildlife protection, proximity to residential areas, facility protection or current leases or permits to others.

Make sure you obey posted signs!

California Civil Code § 846. Permission to enter for recreational purposes

An owner of any estate or any other interest in real property, whether possessory or non-possessory, owes no duty of care to keep the premises safe for entry or use by others for any recreational purpose or to give any warning of hazardous conditions, uses of, structures, or activities on such premises to persons entering for such purpose, except as provided in this section.

A "recreational purpose," as used in this section, includes such activities as fishing, hunting, camping, water sports, hiking, spelunking, sport parachuting, riding, including animal riding, snowmobiling, and all other types of vehicular riding, rock collecting, sightseeing, picnicking, nature study, nature contacting, recreational gardening, gleaning, hang gliding, winter sports, and viewing or enjoying historical, archaeological, scenic, natural, or scientific sites.

An owner of any estate or any other interest in real property, whether possessory or non-possessory, who gives permission to another for entry or use for the above purpose upon the premises does not thereby (a) extend any assurance that the premises are safe for such purpose, or (b) constitute the person to whom permission has been granted the legal status of an invitee or licensee to whom a duty of care is owed, or (c) assume responsibility for or incur liability for any injury to person or property caused by any act of such person to whom permission has been granted except as provided in this section…..[Exceptions omitted. See the code for the full code section]

Nothing in this section creates a duty of care or ground of liability for injury to person or property.

Washington State - RCWA 4.24.210

Liability of owners or others in possession of land and water areas for injuries to recreation users--Known dangerous artificial latent conditions--Other limitations

(1) Except as otherwise provided in subsection (3) or (4) of this section, any public or private landowners, hydroelectric project owners, or others in lawful possession and control of any lands whether designated resource, rural, or urban, or water areas or channels and lands adjacent to such areas or channels, who allow members of the public to use them for the purposes of outdoor recreation, which term includes, but is not limited to, the cutting, gathering, and removing of firewood by private persons for their personal use without purchasing the firewood from the landowner, hunting, fishing, camping, picnicking, swimming, hiking, bicycling, skateboarding or other non-motorized wheel-based activities, hang gliding, paragliding, rock climbing, the riding of horses or other animals, clam digging, pleasure driving of off-road vehicles, snowmobiles, and other vehicles, boating, kayaking, canoeing, rafting, nature study, winter or water sports, viewing or enjoying historical, archaeological, scenic, or scientific sites, without charging a fee of any kind therefore, shall not be liable for unintentional injuries to such users. [Exceptions and other details omitted. See the code for the full code section]