Spring is a beautiful time of year to get outdoors and visit the Humboldt-Toiyabe National Forest.
Recreation staff from all six ranger districts and the Spring Mountains National Recreation Area, have been checking the status of roads and trails. Unfortunately, due to the heavy snowpack across the Forest many of the roads and trails are still inaccessible due to ice, mud or snow, and will not be useable for a while unless it is for winter recreation activities.
“We are closely monitoring snowpack levels on Forest roads and trails and their conditions as the snow thaws,” said Forest Supervisor Bill Dunkelberger. “Forest roads and trails are not constructed to be all-weather roads, so they can be easily damaged when wet, especially during years of above average snowpack as the Forest has experienced this year.”
When snow begins to thaw, roads and trails become muddy and highly susceptible to surface damage. Walking, horseback riding, biking, or driving on soft and unstable road or trail surfaces can cause long-term damage, while also increasing the risk of getting stuck or slipping.
“If the road cannot support your truck, car or off-highway vehicle, then it likely will not support a tow vehicle to get you unstuck,” Dunkelberger stressed.
Causing damage to roads and other Forest resources can be a violation of federal regulations, which could carry a fine up to $5,000 and/or six months in jail.
“Proper and responsible use of Forest roads and trails are important to ensure they remain in good shape for other visitors,” he added.
“If you are planning to visit an area, give the nearest Forest office or visitor center a call to find out if the roads and trails are accessible yet. If they are not, ask for recommendation where you might be able to safely enjoy an afternoon on National Forest System lands,” Dunkelberger said.
Contact information for Humboldt-Toiyabe National Forest offices and visitor centers is located at: www.fs.usda.gov/detail/htnf/about-forest/offices. The Forest also posts road and trail conditions, as they are reported, at /bit.ly/Road_TrailConditions.
The public can report any road and/or trail damage to Troy Jorgenson at email@example.com.