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Seasonal Snow May Delay Opening Of Stanislaus National forest Access

Written by Charlie Pankey

Some seasonal roads on Stanislaus National Forest may remain closed past April 15

SONORA, Calif. – Stanislaus National Forest will open seasonal roads beginning April 15, but some forest roads will remain closed until forest crews can inspect them to ensure they were not damaged during this year’s winter storms.

Jason Kuiken, Stanislaus National Forest supervisor, said workers haven’t been able to inspect all the forest roads yet because many are still covered with snow. A series of heavy storms during the 2018-2019 winter led to significant snow levels on all ranger districts.

“We received a significant amount of snow this winter and much of it still hasn’t melted. Our reports tell of as much as 20 feet of snow on some of our high-country roads,” Kuiken said. “It will take time for all of them to reopen.”

Carson Iceberg Wilderness – Wolf Creek

A list of roads and when each will open can be found at

Of additional concern to forest managers is the impact of the Donnell Fire on the risk from mud, rocks and debris slides. “We are reviewing an analysis showing levels of risk from the Donnell Fire,” Kuiken said. “We are studying the analysis to ensure locations within the fire’s footprint are safe to access. As soon as we discuss the report’s findings with our county and local partners we will let visitors know which areas will be reopened and when.”

Traveling on wet or snowy roads can damage them, which is why the forest closes them during winter. “Because many roads are not maintained for travel in wet or snowy conditions, our employees follow the same direction that the public does: if the road is closed, only an emergency would allow access,” Kuiken said. “Our crews are beginning their inspections and we may find some damage that will require repairs before a road is passable.”

Visitors are encouraged to contact local Ranger District offices for current information on roads and conditions before traveling on the forest.

Stanislaus NF Supervisor’s Office: (209) 532-3671

Calaveras Ranger District: (209) 795-1381

Groveland Ranger District: (209) 962-7825

Summit Ranger District: (209) 965-3434

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Charlie Pankey

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