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Heads Up – Stanislaus National Forest Suffers Extensive Storm Damage, Some Roads Closed Until 2018

SONORA, California – Roads on Stanislaus National Forest suffered extensive damage from winter storms and many will remain closed until at least 2018, including four popular roads. Forest officials warn all the damage has yet to be assessed. Cottonwood Road (1N04) on Groveland and Mi-Wok districts, Beardsley Day Use Road (4N29) and Hell’s Half Acre (5N95) on Summit District and Spicer Road (7N01) on Calaveras District sustained extensive damage.

“The record winter storms caused landslides and road failures on many Forest roads,” said Scott Tangenberg, Stanislaus National Forest’s Acting Forest Supervisor. “Much of the Forest is still covered in deep snow and our staff hasn’t been able to inspect roads covered with as much as 14 feet of snow.” Tangenberg signed Forest Closure Order STF-16-2017-03, which identifies which roads are closed. The closures are in effect from April 25, 2017 to Dec. 31, 2018.

A closure order is the official document that outlines those conditions on the Forest that mean roads and recreation sites cannot safely be traveled due to damage.

“The Forest was severely damaged by the storms and snow events and these roads are among some of the hardest hit. We simply cannot verify that these roads are safe to travel,” Tangenberg said. “We expect to learn of additional failures, slumping or slides on these and other roads. We ask our visitors to respect the closures – these roads are just not safe.”

“We recognize how important these roads are to our local communities’ economic health, but Mother Nature decided to end our five-year drought with more water than the Forest could sustain,” Tangenberg said. “We are working with the Federal Highways Administration to help fund repairs for the numerous failures.”

Road failures will impact some popular camping and day use areas, Tangenberg said. “Many of these roads are the primary access to areas like the State Game Reserve and popular camping areas. We just aren’t certain there is any reliable road access to these areas, but until we are, some camping areas and other recreation sites are closed.”

A list of known road and recreation site closures is posted on the Stanislaus National Forest home page at https://www.fs.usda.gov/goto/stanislaus/stormdamage. Visitors will find a map of closed roads and recreation sites, photos and closure orders. The maps and closure lists will be updated regularly, with the date clearly noted. “These documents will be snapshots of what we know about Forest conditions. We know they will change as we are able to access and inspect roads and recreation sites,” Tangenberg said.

As you plan your next visit to Stanislaus National Forest, please contact your local Ranger District office or visit our web page for current information on roads and conditions. Stanislaus NF Supervisor’s Office:  209-532-3671 Calaveras Ranger District:  209-795-1381 Groveland Ranger District 209-962-7825 Mi-Wok Ranger District at 209-586-3234 Summit Ranger District at 209-965-3434.  USDA is an equal opportunity provider and employer.

Calaveras Ranger District Closures include:

Spicer Road
McKays Road
Boards Crossing Road
Slick Rock Road
Candy Rock Road