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Wed, Sept. 23

Dry weather leads to reopened forest roads on Tusayan district

As of late last week, all of the roads on the Tusayan Ranger District of the Kaibab National Forest had been re-opened.

Warmer, drier weather has led to safer driving conditions and decreased likelihood of resource damage.

"We want to thank everyone for helping us protect forest resources while conditions were really wet and muddy," said Williams District Ranger Martie Schramm. "While conditions are much better now, we still urge forest motorists to use common sense and avoid traveling where soils are still saturated."

Schramm said that she advises motorists to stay on forest roads and avoid traveling cross-country due to continued safety hazards and the potential for resource damage.

"We do not like to limit the public's access to the National Forest, so we felt it was appropriate to lift the wet weather travel restrictions now that things have dried out some," Schramm said. "However, that doesn't necessarily mean that it is advisable to travel everywhere on the forest. People need to evaluate conditions on the ground and make good choices."

On the Tusayan Ranger District, all roads reopened last week except for a small section of Forest Road 310 along the Coconino Rim. Large, muddy spots prevented forest managers from reopening the section until Monday, according to Tusayan District Ranger Rick Stahn.

This was the first year the Kaibab National Forest implemented its official wet weather travel policy.

The policy was developed in 2005 in collaboration with the Coconino National Forest and the Arizona Game and Fish Department.

Its goal is to provide reasonable motor vehicle access during times of extremely wet and muddy conditions while also protecting forest roads and resources and providing for public safety.

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