Local News

Winter Road Closures Begin December 1st on Some National Forest Roads in Okanogan County

Nov 26, 2013

In December of each year, there are many forest roads on the Methow Valley and Tonasket Ranger Districts that get closed for the winter to wheeled vehicles.  Several of the closed roads are part of the Districts’ snowmobile trail system and others help provide protection for deer winter range and lynx habitat.

Food resources can be scarce for deer in the winter, and their energy reserves are low.  The closures limit the disturbance of deer during this critical period.

Likewise, disturbance during the winter has been identified as a risk factor for lynx and the closures help limit disturbance. 

The Okanogan National Forest Travel Plan map shows seasonal road closures.  It is free and available at Forest Service offices in Okanogan, Tonasket and Winthrop.  The map is also available online under the maps tab on the forest website at www.fs.usda.gov/goto/okawen.

“Regardless of the time of year, it’s always a good idea to check the Travel Plan Map before heading out to the woods,” said Jen Croft, acting District Ranger.  “March, June, October, November and December are all months for changes in whether certain roads are open or closed.”

Temporary exceptions to the Travel Plan may be authorized and information about those exceptions is available at Forest Service offices in Okanogan, Tonasket and Winthrop.  

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