DELTA, Colo. — We ask visitors to please assist us in protecting natural resources. During this time of year, please stay off wet roads and respect road closures, which will decrease long-term and costly damages to the roadway.
- The Grand Mesa, Uncompahgre and Gunnison (GMUG) National Forests are experiencing the transition from winter to spring. Snow is melting and the temperatures are comfortable for exploring Forest Service roads.
- the snow melts, its runoff naturally chooses the path of least resistance, which is typically the ditch line on either side of Forest Service roads. When there is still snow in the ditches, the water tends to flow down the road instead. Forest Service roads are designed to handle the additional moisture during this time, although the water saturating into the roadway causes soft roadbeds.
- When vehicles drive on soft roadbeds, they cause rutting. The ruts allow water to flow freely down the roadway causing both seen and unseen damage to the road.
- Protecting the road until it is dry enough to prevent damage is a primary reason for gate closures during April and May. During these closures we monitor the roadway regularly to ensure the gates are closed for the minimum amount of time needed.
- Ongoing damage to roads can lead to a variety of negative outcomes including erosion, wildlife habitat damage and a loss of access due to travel becoming too hazardous or rehabilitation closures.
- For information on current conditions and road closures visit the GMUG National Forests’ website at: https://www.fs.usda.gov/main/gmug/home or call your local Forest Service office.
For information on National Forest System lands call the Grand Mesa, Uncompahgre, and Gunnison National Forests at 970-874-6600, visit the GMUG Forest website (www.fs.usda.gov/gmug), Facebook (https://www.facebook.com/GMUG.NF) or Twitter (https://twitter.com/GMUG_NF)