Historic California Posts, Camps, Stations and Airfields
Navy Camp, Lake Pillsbury
Edited US Army Corps of Engineers Sacramento District (1985)
The site is located in the Mendocino National Forest, Lake Pillsbury, CA and is currently under the control of the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) Forest Services. Developments on the site include a 25-foot-tall wooden water tower with two 500-gallon metal water tanks and concrete foundations, one of which supported a generator building. There are two 300-gallon aluminum diesel tanks.lying in the shrubbery on the site.

Personnel from USDA Forest Service advise that the land on which the proposed restoration facilities stand has always been USDA Forest Service land since it was set aside by President Theodore Roosevelt for national forest use in 1907. They further advise that the Navy Department (after 1947, Department of the Navy) was granted a memorandum of understanding by USDA Forest Service sometime during or immediately after World War II to use the site and other sites within the Mendocino National Forest for training purposes. Neither USDA Forest Service, the Sacramento District Real Estate Division, nor the Navy Real Estate Division at San Bruno could find a copy of or verify the use of the memorandum of understanding, or of any other documentation on the real estate interests involved.

USDA Forest Service advise that the facilities in question were constructed in the mid-1950's as part of a survival training camp. The consfruction time is substantiated by a 17 May 1955 date left in the concrete foundation of the water tank by one of the tank's construction personnel. The USDA Forest Service advise that the Navy used the site for only 3 or 4 years before abandoning the facilities. As indicated in the previous paragraph, no documentation could be located to substantiate Navy involvement. Therefore, it could not be determined whether the property was under any other control than by the Navy during the period of Department of Defense (DoD) interest.

As stated in paragraph 2, the site has been in continuous fee ownership of USDA Forest Service since 1907, with USDA Forest Services advising that DoD interest in the site was via a memorandum of understanding (special use permit). Since copies of the document could not be located, it cannot be determined what, if any, site restoration conditions were contained therein, or when and under what circumstances the memorandum was terminated, if indeed it ever was.

USDA Forest Service personnel also advise us that they may have used thefacilities for a short time after abandonment by the Navy. This would seem to be the case, based on site evidence of a USDA Forest Service installed buried gas tank adjacent to the generator house foundation, and a general storage of USDA Forest Service road construction materials (culverts) throughout the site. The use of the facilities by USDA Forest Service, if it occurred, would have been for their convenience.
This camp should not be confused with the Army Air Forces/US Air Force recreational camp also located at Lake Pillsbury.
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Updated 8 February 2016