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Old 12-18-2007, 02:42 PM   #1
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Tellico is closed!!! Somewhat!!

Well it looks like Lower 2, Trail 7, part of 8 and trail 9 are closed for 1 year. And all of Tellico is going to be closed Jan 1 to March 31. Here we go losing more trails.

Here are all the details if you like.

For Immediate Release

Winter Closure for Upper Tellico OHV Area Announced

The U.S. Forest Service announced today a winter closure for the Upper Tellico Off Highway Vehicle (OHV) area on the Nantahala National Forest near Murphy, NC. “It is our goal to maintain a viable Upper Tellico OHV system while reducing sediment, meeting water quality standards and improving brook trout fisheries,” said Forest Supervisor Marisue Hilliard. “The purpose of this January 1 to March 31 closure is to protect water quality in the Upper Tellico River and allow the Forest Service to make repairs to the trail system.”

“Our specialists have identified the winter period as a time when trails are most at risk of damage primarily to the freeze-thaw cycle,” Hilliard added. “The winter closure will also allow for trail repairs and maintenance.”

The Upper Tellico seasonal closure is similar to winter closures already in place at the Wayehutta, Brown Mountain and Badin Lake OHV areas on the National Forests in North Carolina

The Forest Service also announced a temporary, not to exceed one year, closure on 4.4 miles of the 38 mile Upper Tellico OHV system. This includes Trails 7 and 9 and sections of Trails 2 and 8 where field inspections showed sediment to be reaching the Upper Tellico River and several trail bridges were found to be unsafe for continued OHV use.

In addition to starting work on needed trail repairs, the Forest Service will be working this winter with stakeholders on long range planning for the Upper Tellico OHV area. Funding for the needed repairs will come from a combination of trail user fees, Forest Service appropriations and the volunteer efforts of local OHV organizations.

Forest Supervisor Hilliard noted that “this seasonal closure does not include Trail # 1 and the upper section of Trail # 2 which are also Forest system roads used to access private land.”

For more information, visit the National Forests in North Carolina website http://www.cs.unca.edu/nfsnc or call the Tusquitee Ranger District in Murphy, NC at 828-837-5152.

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Old 12-18-2007, 04:10 PM   #2
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Honestly it still sounds like they want to work with you all on the continued multi-use of the area. They could've easily closed the entire area with an EA and then you'd be screwed for good. Short seasonal closures are a good way to allow the eco systems to grow new roots. Especially in area's like Tellico where it's a lot of dirt riding and where erosion is advancing because of our use. I also like the fact that the other closures are not to exceed one year. One way to get them opened sooner would be for all of the users to make sure and volunteer some time with the Forest Service to get their projects done quicker and more efficiently. If you all can help them save some money they will be more willing to work with you in the future.

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Old 12-18-2007, 05:17 PM   #3
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Old 12-18-2007, 06:58 PM   #4
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Wow that sucks. I can say from living in the area my whole life that this isn't a good sign. It always starts out that the government wants to help but they don't follow through (budget issues and saving the Snail Darter are more important than my right to use land that I pay taxes to maintain). Take for example all of the other roads in the Tellico hunting area, When I was a kid all of the old logging and access roads were open to drive on. Now they're all but a VERY few closed. It seems like this is becoming the norm in the Middle and East Tennessee regions. Fight for your public lands because moms in soccer vans and families with 60 ft RV's don't care if a non-paved road is closed or not. All they care about is if the area has electricity and bathrooms. Guess where the money in the budget for keeping up the roads ends up going? Seen the new bathrooms at Tellico lately??
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