Thursday, July 18, 2019

ENJOY WITH CAUTION - Mendocino Reopens Some Key OHV Routes

Post 2015 Route Complex Wildfire Hazard Sign on Trail
Mad River Ranger District - Six Rivers National Forest

QWR commends the Mendocino National Forest for its decision on July 12, 2019 to reopen a number of important designated roads and trails on the Forest including many popular OHV routes that loop out from, and back to, the main camping area at Fouts Springs near Stonyford, CA.

Post 2018 Ranch Fire Hazard Sign at Forest Entrance
Mendocino National Forest

Although the Forest and volunteers have already done a lot of post wildfire recovery work,  the Forest Supervisor, Ann Carlson, correctly points out in the reopening news release that , “There is still a vast amount of restoration work to do, but we are very pleased to be able to reopen much of the Ranch Fire closure area for summer visitors. We hope that visitors pay close attention to warning signs when entering the area and maintain awareness of their surroundings.”


Having spent a couple of weeks helping with those recovery efforts at Stonyford, QWR wants to join with Supervisor Carlson in advising OHV enthusiasts who visit the burn area to be aware that hazards may persist in the fire area for several years.  Some of the most common hazards out on the trail include downed trees across trails, washouts, burned out stumps or their root systems that are in or near the designated route.

July 12, 2019 Reopening Map on Mendocino NF

The Forest has a good list with illustration of those potential hazards cited in the link below:

An additional “hazard” that was not mentioned in the list is there may be a lot of burned carsonite route markers that help visitors understand where they are.  Getting disoriented could be an issue for riders who are unfamiliar to the area or only ride there during a permitted enduro or dual-sport ride.  Be sure and get a map and don’t venture on routes that you are not familiar with.

QWR/s Post Wildfire Strike Team Trail Clearing Project
Grindstone Ranger District - Mendocino National Forest

Riders should also remember to avoid riding on non-restored or restored “cross-country” dozer lines that were cut in to attack and manage the 450,000 acre Ranch Fire.  These are not legal OHV routes.

Also, respect private property in the area.  There are many inholders on the Forest and the wildfire severely impacted their property as well.  

Dirt-Bike Trail Crews are an Important Post Wildfire Recovery Partner

QWR encourages OHVers of all vehicle types to get out and enjoy/celebrate the reopening of key recreation assets on the Forest.  Also consider volunteering for wildfire recovery efforts or support organizations that are engaged in those projects.

If you would like to find out more about volunteer work opportunities on the Forest or how support ongoing recovery efforts, please contact QWR/Don Amador at –

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