U.S. FOREST SERVICE NEWS RELEASE
Okanogan-Wenatchee National Forest
215 Melody Lane
Wenatchee, WA 98801
For immediate release: Wednesday, April 18, 2012
Contacts: Naches R.D. Visitor Services Specialist Doug Jenkins, (509) 653-1468
Naches R.D. NEPA Coordinator Michelle King, (509) 653-1420
NACHES RANGER DISTRICT SPRING
MOTORIZED TRAIL RESTRICTIONS
NACHES—Naches Ranger District is in the process of surveying trail conditions to determine if restrictions are necessary on motorized trails.
“We decided last month to go with trail evaluations to determine the necessity of restricting traffic on motorized trails this spring,” said Naches District Ranger Irene Davidson. “This will allow the Naches Ranger District to be flexible when implementing restrictions on designated trails, depending upon current trail and weather conditions.”
Any restrictions will apply to Naches Ranger District trails with any type of motorized designation excluding wilderness areas.
The effort is intended to minimize trail and resource damage on motorized trails; maintain a quality motorized trail system; educate the public about trail misuse, erosion and maintenance requirements; and maintain positive relationships with volunteer and recreational user groups.
“If a motorized trail is designated closed, it is closed to all users—motorized or not,” said Davidson.
Condition reports from trail coordinators, hydrologists, trail crew members, user groups, law enforcement officers and national forest visitors will be used to determine if trail restrictions are needed to prevent natural resource damage.
“Once we have completed our surveys we will ask for an Emergency Closure of trails beginning May 1st through June 1st. This doesn’t mean if trails dry out before June 1st they can’t be open,” said Davidson.
Annual trail condition reports will determine if seasonal restrictions are necessary, appropriate implementation dates and the trails that will be included.
“Volunteer groups are an invaluable asset and every year they donate their time, energy and money to maintain recreational opportunities on the district,” Davidson said. “Any necessary trail restrictions will continue to allow permitted volunteer groups to perform trail maintenance even if restrictions are in place.”
Communication with trail users will increase spring trail restriction effectiveness, according to Davidson. She said Forest Service managers recognize trail users often travel long distances and plan outings far in advance.
News releases, radio announcements, internet sites, and signs on Forest Service roads and trails will be used to notify the public when trail restrictions are implemented or rescinded.
Naches Ranger District staff will also work with local law enforcement officials on anticipated busy weekends to ensure compliance of restrictions.
The mission of the USDA Forest Service is to sustain the health, diversity, and productivity of the Nation’s forests and grasslands to meet the needs of present and future generations. The Agency manages 193 million acres of public land, provides assistance to State and private landowners, and maintains the largest forestry research organization in the world.
NACHES, Wash. ? All motorized trails in the Naches Ranger District of the Okanogan-Wenatchee National Forest will be closed until June 15 because of heavy snow and wet conditions, District Ranger Irene Davidson said announced this morning.
Depending on weather and drying conditions, trails in different areas of the district could open sooner or may have to remain closed longer.
The decision applies to all district trails with any type of motorized designation. If the trail is closed, it is closed to all users.
Davidson said the primary objectives of the closure are to minimize trail and resource damage and to reduce annual maintenance needs stemming from use during the wet season.
Officially sponsored volunteer groups will be allowed to perform trail maintenance during the closure to better assure trails will be ready when trail usage is allowed.
-- David Lester
? This report has been updated to clarify what type of trail will be closed
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