Wet spring equals closed trails

May 4, 2012 by  

YAKIMA, Wash. — People who want to use the Naches Ranger District’s motorized trails — even non-motorized users, whether mountain bikers, horseback riders or even hikers — will need to wait until June 15 to do so. Or earlier, should a stretch of dry weather conditions, in the words of district officials, “warrant an earlier opening.”

The likelihood of this May 1-June 15 closure of motorized trails shouldn’t come as a surprise to anyone, as the subject has been in the wind for months and has been the focus of much discussion among user groups at Trails and Wilderness Interest Group (TWIG) meetings and on motorized-use online forums.

District Ranger Irene Davidson said the decision came “after considerable effort to communicate our intentions to the public,” and that the closure is intended to minimize damage to trails and reduce the demand for maintenance.

Since a significant amount of the district’s motorized trail system is still under snow or wet from the recent rainy stretch, the closure — at least for the time being — shouldn’t raise much of a ruckus among even the most vociferous of trail users.

The district is honoring one very important request of many of the area’s conscientious user-group clubs, that “officially sponsored” volunteer groups be allowed to perform trail maintenance during the closed period. Those groups received the same exemption during last year’s similar spring closure.

“Our volunteers are very conscientious,” Davidson said. “They all refrained from working on trails in wet conditions last year.”

- Scott Sandsberry

Filed under Blogs, Out There, Outdoors

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