By Ann Bond
Special to The SUN
In an effort to improve the management of forest resources and provide greater clarity for forest users planning winter activities, the Pagosa Ranger District is adjusting the manner in which forest roads are closed to wheeled motor vehicles for the winter.
In the past, roads on the district were closed primarily based on weather and road conditions, as determined through monitoring by Forest Service personnel and input from the public. However, this method has proven to be extremely time-consuming and has often resulted in confusion. Consequently, the Pagosa Ranger District is implementing an adjusted protocol in which most roads will be closed (gated) on an annual fixed date, unless resource and safety considerations warrant earlier closure. Weather and road conditions may still necessitate some roads be closed to wheeled motor vehicles prior to their prescribed closure date; however, roads will not remain open beyond the below dates. Below is a list of Pagosa Ranger District roads and their associated closure dates.
Blue Creek No. 012/Big Branch No. 664, Dec. 1.
Snowball No. 646, Dec. 1.
Echo Canyon No. 029, Dec. 1.
Turkey Springs No. 629 lower/middle gate, Dec. 1.
Eight Mile Mesa No. 651, Dec. 1.
Kenney Flats No. 006, Dec. 1.
Valle Seco Upper No. 653 to private property, Dec. 1.
Burns Canyon No. 649 (above second gate), Dec. 1.