Bookmark and Share

Pagosa Ranger District embarks on management plan implementation

This spring and summer season will bring with it some changes to the roads and trails in the Pagosa Ranger District’s portion of San Juan National Forest.

The East Side Road Management project and the Turkey Springs Trail Management Plan have had their respective environmental analyses completed. The East Side Road Management project will begin to be implemented this summer, and Turkey Springs Trail Management Plan may also be put into action, though, according to recreation supervisor at Pagosa Ranger District Paul Blackman, it is not certain how much of the plan will be implemented. Most definitely not the entire plan, since Blackman says the plan may take up to seven years for completion.

The East Side Road Management consists of the following:

• Decommissioning 24 miles of system roads currently closed to motor vehicles.

• Closing to all motor vehicles six miles of system roads currently open to motor vehicles.

• Closing to full-sized motor vehicles seven miles of system roads currently open to motor vehicles and designating motorized trails open to vehicles less than 50 inches in width on the closed roads.

• Closing to all motor vehicles and decommissioning five miles of system roads currently open to motor vehicles.

• Closing to full-sized motor vehicles and decommissioning three miles of system roads currently open to motor vehicles and designating motorized trails open to vehicles less than 50 inches in width on the closed roads.

• Opening to all motor vehicles and designating as system roads one mile of roads currently not on the system.

• Removing four miles of roads currently closed to motor vehicle use from the system.

• Constructing and adding 0.3 miles of road to the system that will be closed to all motor vehicles.

• Closing to all motor vehicles five miles of trails currently open to motor vehicles less than 50 inches in width.

• Converting six miles of trail currently open to motor vehicles less than 50 inches in width to a motorcycle trail.

The biggest changes that will be noticed by Forest Service road users will be the closure to full-sized vehicles of Willow Draw (722) and Snowball Connector Road (646). These roads will become ATV trails.

The Turkey Springs Trail Management Plan includes a host of changes regarding motorized and non-motorized routes, as well as new trails.

According to the approved environmental assessment, the purpose and need for the project is, “to address recreation opportunities and existing problems relating to the network of system and non-system trails in the Turkey Springs, Middle Mountain, Horse Mountain and Devil Mountain areas.”

The project will consist of upgrading fragmented trail systems, addressing safety concerns, reducing unwanted impacts to the forest, new construction of trails and trail segments, and changes to the current road and trail network.

Blackman hopes that the district will get to implement some of these changes during the summer months.

For more information on either project, go to www.fs.usda.gov/goto/sanjuan/projects.

lindsey@pagosasun.com

blog comments powered by Disqus
TERMS OF USE