USFS suddenly shuts public roads prior to elk hunt

dirtclod Az.

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Headed on a 4 day outing this summer and roads were closed due to fire danger.
No fires,just the danger of fire.My brother and his family from Virginia had to spend their
vacation sweltering in Phx. 🔥
 

Quackillr

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One of the areas I grew up hunting there was about a 4-5 year period where the forest service would close all gates and roads for “extreme fire danger” mysteriously close to hunting season every year. Turned out the regional person in charge was a anti hunting and married to a militant anti hunting environmentalist. The hunting was great those years, we were the only ones in there.
 

Big Fin

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Not good. Having hunted those areas, these roads are critical to get to some of the places. I suspect some of this is from the experience about five years back when a big winter storm came and tons of ill-prepared hunters were stuck. I suspect I could chain up and get to most of those areas, pending how many trees might fall across the roads.

Seems a better response might have been an email to every tagholder in those areas, "We are advising you of a significant winter storm forecast for the area of your elk tag. Be advised, the USFS does not, and will not be able to, provide rescue services to those who are not prepared. Be advised that you should be prepared for terrible conditions and being stranded for significant periods of time."

The new travel management plans already have created some strained relationships with locals. This will surely do nothing to help that situation.
 
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JLS

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One of the best parts of freedom is the ability to make bad choices and then having to deal with the consequences. Not allowing people to do things to protect them in their own best interests is a step towards tyranny.
Yes, but then local law enforcement and first responders are tasked with cleaning up the mess, incurring both risk and expenses.
 

MTGomer

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Bet the complainers would be the first ones to expect help if they got in there and crap hit the fan. mtmuley
This would be like closing the E fork road at highway 93 because it is supposed to snow and blow, which according to the forecast is going to happen tonight.
 

Keeptrying

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Ha ha. There ought to be a law. For everything to protect everyone at all times. Right, fellas.
 

Addicting

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Yes, but then local law enforcement and first responders are tasked with cleaning up the mess, incurring both risk and expenses.
Or it could be a way for the departments to articulate why they need a new rescue snowmobile or two!!
 

mtmuley

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This would be like closing the E fork road at highway 93 because it is supposed to snow and blow, which according to the forecast is going to happen tonight.
Yep. And guys that got stuck would bitch and ask for help.
This would be like closing the E fork road at highway 93 because it is supposed to snow and blow, which according to the forecast is going to happen tonight.
Understood Gomer. Guess I just base my responce on the people I run into here in Montana that are in no way prepared to deal with weather. Sometimes I guess the public has to be protected from themselves. mtmuley
 

rwc101

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Unless I'm misunderstanding the situation, the forest is still open for people to make bad decisions. They're just not letting people use the infrastructure to further that means. There's many days I can't get out of (or back in to) Laramie because public roads I pay for are closed.
 

MTGomer

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Yes, but then local law enforcement and first responders are tasked with cleaning up the mess, incurring both risk and expenses.
Curious what makes this different than every other FS road in every other state that is either open, closed or closed on Dec 1, regardless of snow levels?
 

MTGomer

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Unless I'm misunderstanding the situation, the forest is still open for people to make bad decisions. They're just not letting people use the infrastructure to further that means. There's many days I can't get out of (or back in to) Laramie because public roads I pay for are closed.
You have never been told you cannot go to Laramie for 4 days, prior to any sort of weather even occurring. Ever.
 

rwc101

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I’ve been witness to a significant weather event that coinciding an elk season. Many folks did not heed the weather warnings and ended up getting trapped in the mountains. The strain on public resources was huge.

I think one should be careful in levying criticism of this decision.
I listened on the VHF as people ignored small craft warnings many times growing up in eastern N.C. including more than once where people lost their lives.
 

MTGomer

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I find these comments interesting, coming from two people that live in states that currently have hundreds, if not thousands of miles of forest service roads currently legally open, that have never once been closed due to a weather forecast, that get much more serious weather, that currently are not even physically able to be traveled due to snow.

I’m trying to see your perspectives but logical consistency is not letting me do so.
 

Southern Elk

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I agree with Gomer and Randy. If you have that tag, you should be allowed to make the decision about whether or not you drive to your hunting spot.

I live in the foothills of the Gravelly mountains, one of the most heavily roaded mountain chains in the state of MT. The roads never close due to snow during elk season. They are closed Dec 1. Every year people make bad decisions and get stranded, but that goes with the territory.

I have a neighbor who stuck his truck way up top last year. He had to walk out. A mutual friend drove a chained up skid steer in and dug him out.

I heard about another guy who got stuck up there and they drove snowmobiles over the top of his truck all winter. He got it out the next summer.

It’s risky business, but people generally know their limits. If not, one mistake is usually all it takes.
 
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