Stanislaus National Forest

At least 20 forest roads closed until 2018

By Guy McCarthy, The Union Democrat, @GuyMcCarthy

Storms during one of the wettest winters on record have contributed to extensive erosion and other damage. For a list of known road closures and recreation site closures visit www.fs.usda.gov/goto/stanislaus/stormdamage online.

At least 20 Stanislaus National Forest roads are so badly damaged by winter storms they will remain closed until spring or summer 2018, or longer, Forest Service staff in Sonora said Friday.

A forest order signed this week orders 20 roads closed until Dec. 31. In reality, that means workers will not try to re-open these roads until spring or summer 2018 at the very earliest.

Among the most popular roads now ordered closed is a section of Cottonwood Road, 1N04, between Thompson Meadow Road, 2N13, and Forest Road 1N76Y.

Cottonwood Road provides access to the Clavey River and the reservoir known as Cherry Lake, in the Tuolumne River watershed.

That means that right now it’s impossible to reach Cherry Lake from the town of Tuolumne and the rest of the Highway 108 corridor. The only way to get to Cherry Lake is from Highway 120, said Diana Fredlund of Stanislaus National Forest public affairs.

Also ordered closed until Dec. 31 are a section of Beardsley Day Use Road, 4N29, from Forest Road No. 5N02 to its termination at Beardsley Lake Day Use Area, and a section of Hell’s Half Acre Road, 5N95, from 5N02 to the junction with Forest Road 5N29, all within the Stanislaus River watershed.

That means access to Beardsley Day Use Area and Hell’s Half Acre is not possible from the Highway 108 corridor, according to Stanislaus National Forest staff.

Another popular road that remains impassable and is ordered closed until Dec. 31 is Spicer Road, 7N01, which normally provides access to Spicer Reservoir in the Stanislaus River watershed from Highway 4 in Calaveras County.

Since Oct. 1, watersheds that comprise the Stanislaus National Forest have received 192 percent of average as of April 28, about 1 inch less than the wettest water year on record, 1982-83, according to the state Department of Water Resources.

The Forest Service has so far provided no estimate for how much it may cost to repair all roads damaged during the 2016-17 winter season.

Contact Guy McCarthy at gmccarthy@uniondemocrat.com or (209) 588-4585. Follow him on Twitter @GuyMcCarthy.

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The Union Democrat
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