The Eldorado National Forest has put out the following press release closing its OHV trails on December 1st, tomorrow. For us that means the Richardson Lake Trail but it applies to most all OHV trails on the ENF.
This is unfortunate as the Richardson Lake Trail is covered with snow and not susceptible to damaging the soils under the snow. Maybe in future years we can ask to have the Richardson Lake Trail remain open as an over the snow route for ‘wheeled’ OHV use.
Trails within the Lake Tahoe Basin Management Unit (LTBMU) are also closed for the season but the Tahoe National Forest (TNF) has not posted any early closing yet. The trails on the TNF are scheduled to close January 1st.
Eldorado National Forest dirt road seasonal closure goes into effect December 1
PLACERVILLE, CA – Based on recent precipitation, the annual seasonal closure of native surface roads, also known as dirt roads, will go into effect on Thursday, December 1, 2016. Rainfall, soil moisture, road and trail conditions, and weather forecasts are factors that trigger a seasonal closure earlier than January 1. The roads will remain closed until at least April 1.
“My goal is to keep these roads open to the public as long as possible as winter approaches,” said Forest Supervisor Laurence Crabtree. “However, due to the recent storms, the soils are getting saturated to the point where they can’t hold any more water. Under these conditions, these roads could be badly damaged.”
The seasonal closure is designed to protect roadbeds and watersheds from damage and to protect water quality. A minimum three month closure period from January 1 through March 30 was designated for the core part of the winter in the Eldorado National Forest Travel Management Plan. To maintain flexibility, the timing of the dirt road closure is determined based on current conditions each year which may cause the closure to go into effect early or be extended.
Roads subject to seasonal closure are identified on a map that is free-of-charge and available at all Eldorado National Forest offices and on the web at: www.fs.usda.gov/eldorado. The seasonal closure does not affect routes in the Rock Creek Area of the Eldorado National Forest near Georgetown, which has its own route closure process.