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March 28, 2012
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Recent storms extend dirt road and trail closure two weeks

The seasonal closure of dirt roads and trails to motor vehicles in the Eldorado National Forest has been extended for two weeks due to the recent storms and the weather forecast of intermittent storms over the next few weeks, announced Forest Supervisor Kathy Hardy. These routes will remain closed until they have dried out sufficiently and no major storms are forecasted.

"The frequent storms over the last few weeks have soaked the roads and the forest," said Hardy. "With more storms predicted, the dirt roads and trails will not be able to dry adequately to handle vehicle traffic without damage. I will re-evaluate the conditions of these routes and the weather forecasts over the next two weeks."

Hardy said that the minimum annual seasonal closure of native surfaced roads, also known as dirt roads, is January 1 through March 31 which contains the historically wettest months of the year. The seasonal closure, however, can be put in place sooner or extended longer if weather and road conditions warrant. This is the third year that the closure has been extended due to wet weather and muddy road conditions.

The purpose of the seasonal closure is to protect water quality, prevent erosion, and reduce damage to roads and trails.

The seasonal closure does not affect routes in the Rock Creek Area of the National Forest near Georgetown, which are managed under different closure criteria.

Forest visitors should contact the Ranger Station closest to where they want to visit for the latest road and trail information. Routes that will be open to motorized travel are identified on free-of-charge motorized vehicle travel maps, available at all Eldorado National Forest offices.

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The Record Courier Updated Mar 28, 2012 03:43PM Published Mar 28, 2012 03:41PM Copyright 2012 The Record Courier. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.