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Cle Elum R.D. to Implement Seasonal Trail Closure for Motorized Use

Discussion in 'Trail Reports' started by james1300, Apr 2, 2013.

  1. james1300

    james1300 Track School Dazed


    Okanogan-Wenatchee National Forest

    215 Melody Lane

    Wenatchee, WA 98801

    For immediate release: April 2, 2013 4:00PM

    Contacts: Tim Foss – Trails and Wilderness Manager – 509 852 1069

    Nancy Jones – Public Information Officer – 509 852 1011

    Cle Elum R.D. to Implement Seasonal Trail Closure for Motorized Use

    Cle Elum — Okanogan-Wenatchee N.F. officials have closed all trails to motorized use on the Cle Elum Ranger District through June 15 to protect natural resources during periods of heavy use, spring precipitation and run-off from snow melt. This closure does not apply to non-motorized use.

    Trails will be evaluated on a case by case, day to day basis. “Once a trail has dried out and maintenance is completed, it could be opened prior to June 15th” said Tim Foss, Trails and Wilderness Manager for the Cle Elum Ranger District. “Trails that are opened before June 15 will be marked at the trailhead with Trail Open signs. It is hoped that some trails in the Liberty and Taneum areas will be opened to the public prior to Memorial Day weekend” Foss went on to say.

    National Forest Lands are extremely fragile during the spring melt and run off. Trails, as well as roads and the surrounding lands are particularly vulnerable to damage from motorized vehicles. Both on and off-road vehicles driving on wet trails or moist surfaces cause ruts, erosion and potholes. The Forest Service and volunteer groups struggle to repair damage to trails and lands every year. One way to mitigate this damage is implementation of this closure.

    Most motorized user groups support seasonal closures; many of these clubs have requested seasonal closures because they help maintain these trails. They would rather give up a couple of weekends on the trails each year to protect resources, while helping to ensure that their sport will continue to be welcome on National Forest Lands. “They don’t want to see the trails torn up, and potentially closed permanently to motorized use” Foss pointed out.

    Volunteer work is critical to keeping trails open and maintained and is carried out by individuals as well as clubs who have adopted trails. Volunteers work under the supervision of Forest Service trail managers and maintain trails by improving drainage from wet areas, cutting out trees which have blown down across trails, and reinforcing areas that have slumped. Crews will focus their efforts on the trails in the Liberty area and if conditions permit in the lower Taneum trail system as well in the coming weeks.

    Trails within the Table Mountain Fire area will be evaluated when conditions permit; at that time the decision as to whether to open these trails to public use will be made, again on a case by case basis. Many trails within the fire areas suffered damage as a direct result of the fire, from erosion in the months following the fire or have hazards associated with the fire that must be addressed.

    Maps of the closures will be posted at all motorized trailheads. As trails open, these maps will be updated to reflect those trails that are open to motorized use.

    For additional trail information please contact the Cle Elum Ranger Station at 509- 852-1100. Current information can also be found on the Okanogan Wenatchee National Forest Web site at