The U.S. Forest Service is closing the Big Bend visitors Center at Donner Summit. Last winter’s heavy snows damaged the roof and due to the extent of damage and no money in the budget to make the extensive needed repairs, the center will not be rebuilt. The 1966 visitor’s center was built on the site of a ranger station that began operation in 1909. Ann Westling, public affairs officer with Tahoe National Forest says a fire station is planned for the site.
“Our fire stations were built back in the 1930s by the CCC crews and they’re too small and actually ineffective for a fire station. So we applied a couple of years ago for new funding for a new fire station and that funding was approved and we will get started on that either late fall or early winter.”
Westling says some 450 visitors stop by each weekend. The visitor’s center is set to permanently close September 5, after Labor Day weekend.