PLACERVILLE — Dirt roads in the Eldorado National Forest will remain closed until weather and soil conditions improve, announced Forest Supervisor Ramiro Villalvazo. The current closure is extended beyond April 1 to May 1. There is a possibility that the roads will open sooner or the closure might be extended again. Last year the dirt roads reopened in May.
“I will re-evaluate the soil conditions and weather forecasts every two weeks to determine if the routes are dry enough to reopen,” said Villalvazo. “I don’t want families and other visitors to have false expectations that the routes will be open in mid-April only to be disappointed. I’d rather forecast a longer closure and then find out that I can open the routes sooner. We’ll have to wait and see what’s in store for us in the weeks ahead.”
Forest visitors are encouraged to contact the nearest Ranger Station or to visit the Eldorado National Forest website (www.fs.fed.us/r5/eldorado) for the latest information on the seasonal dirt road closure. Also available on the website are the sampling and evaluation methods used to determine when the closure might be lifted.
For the past two years, the seasonal closure has been extended beyond the target minimum closure months of January through March due to wet weather and muddy road conditions.
“We’ll be taking a close look at the condition of the lower elevation clay-based soils to help determine when to lift the seasonal closure,” said Villalvazo. “When I remove the seasonal closure, it will be for all the dirt roads that are identified as open on the motor vehicle use map.”
A free motor vehicle use map is available at all Eldorado National Forest offices.
Villalvazo acknowledged that it is frustrating to visitors when some roads dry out before others and nevertheless have to remain closed.
The seasonal closure does not affect routes in the Rock Creek Area of the Eldorado National Forest near Georgetown, which are managed under different closure criteria.