“Gravel roads can easily become rutted and damaged as a result of traffic on soft spots due to the moisture this spring,” said Scott Jacobson, Black Hills National Forest Public Affairs Officer. “When rutting is observed on a road, use of that road should be discontinued until it dries out or is repaired.”
Forest personnel are assessing road and trail conditions across the Forest. “Please remember whether driving, hiking, biking, horseback riding, 4-wheeling or other, these activities can have long term impacts to roads, trails and the landscape.” said Jacobson.
Please note that seasonal roads and trails remain closed until May 15, 2015.
“If a trail is open, if it is wet and muddy, please wait and let it dry out,” said Ben Schumacher, Recreation Trails, Black Hills National Forest. “Using muddy trails leads to trail erosion.”
Damaging forest roads and lands is against the law. The legal and financial consequences can be steep, and damages done to the land can take years to repair. Violators on all federal lands can face fines of up to $5,000 and six months in jail, in addition to paying restitution costs.
Motorized trail system users are reminded to pick up the 2015 Motorized Vehicle Use Map (MVUM) and purchase a motorized trail permit at a local Forest Service office or online.
MVUMs are also available for download directly to your Smart Phone. The MVUMs are compatible with iOS mobile devices (iPhone, iPad, iPod Touch) and Android (4.0.3 or newer) mobile devices. Instructions for downloading the MVUMs for Smart Phones can be found on the Black Hills National Forest webpage at: http://www.fs.usda.gov/detail/blackhills/maps-pubs/?cid=STELPRDB5203036.
The Black Hills National Forest encourages all Forest users to follow Tread Lightly principles. Travel Responsibly. Respect the Rights of Others. Educate yourself. Avoid Sensitive Areas. Do Your Part. Visit the Tread Lightly website at http://treadlightly.org/ for more information.
For more information on the Black Hills National Forest, call (605) 673-9200 or visit http://www.fs.usda.gov/blackhills.