The seasonal closure from Jan. 1 through March 31 is designed to protect roadbeds and watersheds from damage, and to protect water quality, according to a Forest Service news release. To maintain flexibility, the timing of the dirt road closure is based on current conditions each year, which may cause the closure to go into effect early or to be extended. Because of heavy rains in November, this year’s seasonal closure began Dec. 1.
“Melting snow will continue to create moist conditions in some areas, so it’s important to use good judgment before driving on dirt roads,” Laurence Crabtree, forest supervisor, said in a written statement. “Visitors will still be responsible for any resource damage they cause.”
The seasonal closure applies to routes identified on motor vehicle use maps that are available for free at all Eldorado National Forest offices and on the forest website.
The seasonal closure does not apply to the Rock Creek Recreational Trails Area near Georgetown, which has it own wet-weather closure procedures.
Aside from the seasonal closures, a series of heavy storms during the winter led to other closures due to damage, including mud, rocks and debris as well as roadbed failure in some locations. Storm damage is still being assessed and, in some cases, the extent of damage won’t be known until the snow melts, the news release said. Crews are working to prevent further damage at sites that have not yet failed, and engineers are developing cost estimates for repairs.
Roads that will be closed until storm damage is repaired:
▪ Georgetown District: 11 Pines Road, Black Smith Flat Road and Pigeon Roost Road.
▪ Pacific District: Jaybird Springs Road, Granite Springs Road and Weber Mill Road.
▪ Placerville District: Forebay Road; Slab Creek Road, Plum Creek Road, Alder Creek Road and the Bridal Veil picnic area.
▪ Amador District: Salt Springs Road, Panther Creek Road and Ellis Road.
A complete list of current conditions is available on the Eldorado National Forest website. Updates also are posted on Twitter at www.twitter.com/eldoradonf.
To see the original article in the Sacramento Bee, CLICK HERE.