Cedar Creek Falls Partially Reopens

Cliffs surrounding the falls are now closed to jumping and diving

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    The east access to Cedar Creek Falls reopened today after nearly nine months of closure following the death of a teenager last summer.

    The victim, 16-year-old Joseph Meram, was hiking with his family on July 6, 2011 when he slipped and fell down a steep cliff, landing in the water below.

    Popular Hiker Spot Shut Down

    [DGO] Popular Hiker Spot Shut Down
    Cedar Creek Falls is closed while officials focus on educating the public after Joseph Meram, a 16-year-old from El Cajon, died Wednesday falling down a cliff. (Published Thursday, July 7, 2011)

    The Forest Service said it closed all falls access three days after the incident in order to provide time to design and implement a management plan that addresses issues of overcrowding, damaging impacts to natural resources and public safety.

    Water levels were higher because of last year’s unusually high snowfall, making the falls more dangerous.

    "We're opening access to the falls from the east side as many hikers are very interested in regaining access to the area," Joan Friedlander, district ranger for the Palomar Ranger District, said in a statement.

    Cliffs surrounding the falls are now closed to jumping and diving, but swimming is allowed. All alcohol use and possession is strictly prohibited in the area.  

    The Forest Service said it hopes to make a decision on re-opening full access this summer.

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