Popular cliff diving spot closed for safety

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SUMMIT COUNTY, Colo. -- A popular cliff diving spot at Green Mountain Reservoir in Summit County is closed after growing safety concerns.

U.S. Forest Service Rangers decided to close the rocks located near the dam last week after a 27-year-old man drowned.

He reportedly jumped from the cliff and struck rocks beneath the water, knocking him unconscious.

“After the recent fatality at the site, it called attention to the potential hazard,” ranger Bill Jackson said.

Jackson said the decision is also due, in part, to an influx of visitors this summer, and social media might be partly to blame.

“The widespread promotion of this location for cliff jumping on the internet and social media has really exploded, especially this summer,” Jackson said. “Just the amount of traffic and videos and YouTube posts about, come to the rock, jump off the rock.”

While he is excited about more people coming to enjoy Green Mountain Reservoir, he said it presents challenges too.

“We have seen more use at Green Mountain Reservoir, which is great, but with that sometimes can come more incidents and more opportunities for accidents,” he said.

The crowds are putting a strain on the roads, parking areas and first responders. The Summit County Sheriff’s Office and Dillon Fire Rescue have reported an increase in 911 calls to the reservoir this year.

“We met and agreed the rock should be closed to the public,” Jackson said.

The closure is only temporary at this point. It might or might not reopen. The U.S. Forest Service and sheriff’s office will work to determine how to manage the area going forward.

In the meantime, anyone caught climbing, jumping or diving from the rocks will face $100 fine and could be arrested.

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