A longer trail season

Published 12:00 am Saturday, September 25, 2021

Change proposed for WNF forest plan for off road train users

Wayne National Forest is considering an amendment to their forest plan that would lift a policy of closing trails to riders from early winter until spring.

Under the current forest plan, which was adopted in 2006, designated trails are closed to equestrian, mountain bike and off-highway vehicle (OHV) use from Dec. 16 – April 14, which limits users to specific seasonal use, even if those dates fall in the middle of a weekend or weather and trail conditions would allow use prior to or after the dates without damaging resources or trail integrity.

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Businesses associated with trail users have complained that the dates sometimes happen in the middle of the weekend and that other national forests don’t have seasonal closures like that.

The proposed amendment would allow responsible WNF officials to determine the appropriate closure for each trail type annually with some expected closures each year, and quickly adjusting seasonal closure dates as needed without predetermined closures tied to the forest plan.

The new proposed closures are that generally, the trails would close on the first Monday in January and open on the first Friday in April. That could change depending on the trail and weather conditions.

Information about this project can be found on the USFS website at www.fs.usda.gov/projects/wayne/landmanagement/projects.

To comment on the proposal, go to the WNF’s projects website www.fs.usda.gov/projects/wayne/landmanagement/projects and select the project name. Then select the “Comment on Project” link in the “Get Connected” group at the right-hand side of the project webpage.