Forest Service closes Christie Campground temporarily; negotiations underway with two prospective concessionaires

As the summer camping season is about to begin, the U.S. Forest Service is taking action to serve campers in response to changes made to the Lassen College Foundation’s operation as concessionaire at the Eagle Lake Marina and campgrounds.

According to a recent action by the Lassen College Foundation Board abandoned the special use permit to operate the marina and campgrounds, an operation that generated hundreds of thousands of dollars of revenue to support LCC scholarships so every Lassen County high school graduate who enrolled at LCC could attend free of charge.

Brian Newman, a natural resource specialist for recreation, said he’s working to ensure all camping guests at Eagle Lake are being taken care of.

“We just had a meeting with all the camp hosts,” Newman said, “and it looks like for the first week only, Christie Campground will be closed. I’ve been working on a contingency plan for a couple of weeks now just in case things went upside down.”

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Newman said he could not provide any specific details, but he did acknowledge the U.S. Forest Service is negotiating with two potential concessionaires to take over the operation.

According to a statement from the office of the LCC President/Superintendent Trevor Albertson released earlier this week, “The decision to relinquish the permit was the result of several facts, including the absence of contemporaneous records maintained by Lassen Cougar Enterprises, Inc., the absence in LCE of internal controls, the sudden resignations during the audit process of the two full-time employees who previously ran operations at Eagle Lake and concerns about the relatively small percentage of revenue flowing from Eagle Lake operations to the Foundation, which since 2009 has averaged only approximately 15 percent of all revenue generated; the remainder of the revenue was eaten-up by overhead costs, expenses and retention of some of those dollars in accounts at the for-profit Lassen Cougar Enterprises, which at last check totaled nearly $200,000 in one account alone.”