Blackfoot Valley Dispatch - The Blackfoot Valley's News Source Since 1980

By Informational Release
Helena Lewis and Clark National Forests 

HLCNF encourages people to avoid Snow-packed roads & trails

 

April 18, 2018

Roger Dey

HELENA-As weather conditions continue to fluctuate, forest managers want to remind people to be careful while driving out and hiking in the forest.

"Due to the accumulated snow, even as late as last week, many roads and trails across the forest remain snowpacked and several roads are still impassable," Public Affairs Officer Kathy Bushnell said. "There have been a few instances where people have tried to drive through a snowdrifted segment of a road but they get stuck and then need to call law enforcement for help out. So, we're asking people that when they come to a road that's snowdrifted closed, or is snowpacked, that they turn around and find a different place on the forest to visit for now."

Normally, early spring brings very wet and muddy road and trail conditions and at times the forest temporarily closes roads due to spring break-up in an effort to protect the resources along the roadways. The roads that are snowpacked and/or drifted closed are not necessarily under a "closure order" but forest managers strongly encourage people to find a different route for now.

Currently, the forest has a few temporarily closed roads; however, once the conditions dry-out, these roads will be reopened. One specific route where numerous people have gotten their vehicle(s) stuck is on the North Fork Teton Road, located on the Rocky Mountain Ranger District. Local law enforcement along with forest managers urge folks to wait until the road is no longer snow-covered before driving it.

"To help make sure you maximize your time on the forest, I'd suggest that you call your local Forest Service office before heading out," Bushnell said. "Many of our forest managers will have the most updated information on the conditions, and will be happy to share that with people."

Members of the public can get a free Motor Vehicle Use Map (MVUM) that shows the most updated travel restrictions and routes within a geographic area. All of these maps are free, and are available online and at your local Forest Service office. Generally, May 15 is the date upon which many motorized routes open for the summer/fall season; the MVUMs will have the dates and restrictions for each mapped route.

All of the current temporarily closed roads are listed, with maps, on the forest website at http://www.fs.usda.gov/hlcnf/ and on our Facebook page: http://www.facebook.com/HLCNF.

 

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