Reply To: Gorgonio

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Actually, following the Lake, Valley and Apple Fires the SBNF reopened—relatively quickly—all unaffected SG Wilderness trails and campsites, once a specific series of public safety protocols had been met/ completed.

I’ve recently spoken to the SBNF’s Public Affairs Officer.  While true that those peaks/trails/topography severely burned by the El Dorado Fire will likely not reopen for an extended period of recovery-rebuild time, the process is underway for an anticipated reopening of trails not affected (South Fork, Aspen, Fish Creek initially, Lower Momeyer/Falls Creek, Vivian thereafter) as soon as possible—e.g, within weeks not months.  The wheels (or paper-work) are currently in motion…

Reference has been made to BAER possibly still having to conduct surveys.  These are evidently already concluded, resulting in publication of Report FS-2500-8 (2/20), dated 10.27.20.  It can be sourced here and is important reading to understanding the ongoing winter/spring storm-related rock, debris and mudflow concerns in the burn zones (including Jenks Lake Rd. and Barton Flats vicinities):

Other process and field work remains to be completed for reopenings to happen: SGWA permits will require new terminology with destination and restricted travel routes clearly spelled out; new trail-closure signage must get placed once higher elevation snow/ice has melted off; eventual restaffing of covid rules-affected parking lot and facilities at Big Falls/ Vivian must take place.

In light of the extended closures of the west and northwest zones along with (likely) SB Peak Divide Trail, the FS is already projecting heavy usage of reopening zones.  SGWA will likely need all the volunteer assistance it can round up this year to keep these increasingly popular destinations in order this summer.  I’m in.  Anyone else?

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