Park service opening some Boone Forest roads, others still flooded

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MOREHEAD, Ky. (WTVQ)Just in time for outdoor enthusiasts to enjoy what they love most during the long Labor Day weekend and through the fall, the U.S. Forest Service is opening several roads on the Cumberland Ranger District of the Daniel Boone National Forest to licensed motor vehicle use starting September 5, 2020.

Gates on the following roads will stay open until January 18, 2021.

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Morehead/Cave Run Lake Area: Stanton/Red River Gorge Area:
·         FSR 961 Ramey Creek Road

·         FSR 973 Buffalo Branch/Click Cemetery Road (main gate open, spur roads closed)

·         FSR 977 Big Perry Road

·         FSR 1058 Peter Branch Road

·         FSR 1225 Pioneer Road

·         FSSR 141 Elk Lick/Burnt House Road

FSR 165 Hatton Ridge Road

 

Over the last few years, heavy rains have caused widespread damage to national forest roads.

Rains recently flooded the newly repaired 3.5 mile Paragon Road between Highway 519 and Jones Ridge Road. As soon as flood waters recede, Paragon Road will reopen to all licensed vehicles.

Several roads that are normally open for hunting season will not be open in 2020 due to damage. The U.S. Forest Service has secured funding and will soon begin to make repairs to these system roads.

Roads that will not open in 2020 include FSR 909 Shooting Range Road, FSR 1074 Murder Branch, FSR 1093 Scott Creek, and FSR 16 Lockegee Road from the junction with Highway 801 to 2 miles north of that closure point.

“Providing additional motorized access to the national forest during hunting seasons helps distribute hunters over the landscape, ensures an effective harvest, and improves safety in the woods,” said Jonathan Kazmierski, U.S. Forest Service District Ranger.

The U.S Forest Service asks all National Forest users to respect the land and each other so that the roads can be opened to public motor vehicle use in the future. To keep national forest lands accessible, hunters are asked to:

  • Carry out their garbage so that litter won’t affect the outdoor experience of visitors.
  • Keep vehicles on established roads and pullouts.
  • Travel prepared for remote conditions and emergencies, share your travel plans and location with someone, and consider the suitability of your vehicle for the road conditions.

Roads may be closed earlier than planned if damage occurs from inclement weather or if vandalism or illicit use of the road system occurs. Actions that may lead to road closures and citations include:

  • Removing vegetation, cutting down trees, and vandalizing infrastructure or forest resources.
  • Blocking gates to any road or spur road on the National Forest with vehicles or camps.
  • Operating ATV’s, including side by sides, on national forest system roads and trails other than those specifically marked for ATV use. Verify that an area is open to ATVs at https://go.usa.gov/xG4Ep

The U.S. Forest Service works with many valuable partners to enhance habitat and improve access to public land hunting. For detailed information on hunting seasons and regulations, visit the Kentucky Department of Fish and Wildlife Resources website at https://fw.ky.gov

For questions about hunting on the Cumberland Ranger District, call (606) 776-5456 (Monday – Friday).

Helpful maps of the Cumberland Ranger District, such as Habitat Map and Motorized Vehicle Use Maps, are available at www.fs.usda.gov/main/dbnf/maps-pubs

More information can also be found on the Daniel Boone National Forest website at https://www.fs.usda.gov/dbnf/ Facebook page at www.facebook.com/danielboonenf/ or on Twitter at www.twitter.com/DanielBooneNF