For more information on road closure in the Stanislaus National Forest visit the agency’s Storm Damage 2017 web page at https://www.fs.usda.gov/detail/stanislaus/landmanagement/?cid=FSEPRD539085 online.

Three roads in Calaveras Ranger District are now open, allowing access to campgrounds in the New Spicer Meadow Reservoir area, Stanislaus National Forest staff said Wednesday.

But many other forest roads in Calaveras County and Tuolumne County remain closed for 2017 due to extensive winter damage.

Spicer, Slick Rock and McKays roads all sustained damage this past winter, Diana Fredlund with Stanislaus National Forest public affairs said. Road damage remains and significant repair work remains. Motorists need to drive carefully and watch for road damage.

“All three roads are safe for public access, but please use caution and drive slowly,” said Casey Jardine, acting Calaveras District Ranger. “We have identified the damaged road segments and have marked them with signs, barricades and reflectors so drivers are aware. We have worked hard to prepare the road and are relieved they are in good enough shape to get visitors to many of our campgrounds in time for the Independence Day holiday.”

Having Spicer, Slick Rock and McKays roads open allowed the Forest Service to open campgrounds named Spicer, Spicer Group Camp, Union East, Union West, Rocky Point, Sandy Flat and Stanislaus River.

New Spicer Meadow Reservoir is owned by Calaveras County Water District.

Forest roads that remain closed include Forest Road No. 5N95, Hell's Half Acre Road, from its intersection with Forest Road No. 5N02, north to its intersection with National Forest System Road No. 5N29, and National Forest System Road No. 4N29, Beardsley Day Use Road, from its intersection with Forest Road No. 5N02 then continuing northeast to its termination at Beardsley Lake Day Use Area.

The Beardsley Day Use Road closure means Beardsley Lake Day Use Area and Beardsley Boat Ramp cannot be reached by full-size motor vehicles from that route, according to the Forest Service.

At least a dozen other roads in the Stanislaus National Forest remain closed, according to the Forest Service.

“We’re glad we have been able to reopen some roads to the public, but we still have significant work to do before we can say the forest roads are repaired,” said Jim Junette, acting deputy supervisor for Stanislaus National Forest.

Jardine said snow has melted on lower elevation roads. Highway 4 remains closed at the reservoir called Lake Alpine while Caltrans and contract crews continue working to open Ebbetts Pass.

“There’s no snow left at any of the Spicer-area campgrounds, but of the Lake Alpine campgrounds, only Silver Tip and West Shore are open,” Jardine said. “The other three, Pine Marten, Silver Valley and Lodgepole, will open as soon as the melting snow permits.”

At Don Pedro Reservoir, workers for Turlock Irrigation District have rebuilt a section of Bonds Flat Road they removed in February, when the dam operator decided to use a controlled spillway for the first time in 20 years to draw the reservoir down and avoid use of an emergency spillway.

Calvin Curtin, a spokesman with Turlock Irrigation District, said the road between Blue Oaks Recreation Area and Don Pedro Recreation Agency headquarters temporarily reopened to all traffic at 4 p.m. Wednesday.

The district plans to close the road again at 8 a.m. Sunday through midnight that day for traffic control before, during and after the “Fireworks on the Water” show scheduled at 9:30 p.m. July 2.

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

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