Forest Service to formalize seasonal closure of Farmington Canyon Road

Wednesday , March 01, 2017 - 5:55 PM1 comment

LEIA LARSEN, Standard-Examiner Staff

The Salt Lake Ranger District is gathering public comment on a proposal to officially close Farmington Canyon Road each year from Nov. 1 to June 15.

The seasonal closure would be consistent with all roads in the ranger district that are maintained by the U.S. Forest Service. Farmington Canyon was previously maintained by the Federal Aviation Administration to access their radar towers station. After a rockslide blocked the road, FAA officials began accessing the station by helicopter. 

“They realized it was cheaper to fly a helicopter than to maintain the road,” said Salt Lake District Ranger Bekee Hotze. 

Maintenance has since fallen back to the U.S. Forest Service. The agency used to close the road on an “emergency” basis when snow accumulation prohibited safe motor travel. The Salt Lake Ranger District is proposing an update to its Motor Vehicle Use Map and Travel Management Plan “to align public use of the road to times of year when the road is cleared and maintained,” according to a scoping letter proposal.

“What we’re doing is making it consistent with all other roads in the area,” Hotze said. “We don’t have enough staff to open roads on an individual basis.”

The proposal will not impact other winter recreational uses of the road, including skiing, pedestrian access and other non-motorized activities.

Written comments must be delivered to the ranger district by Monday, March 20.  Comments may be emailed to comments-intermtn-wasatch-cache-saltlake@fs.fed.us. They can also be mailed or hand-delivered to Salt Lake Ranger, 6944 South 3000 East, Salt Lake City, Utah 84121 or faxed to 801-733-2684. 

For more information about the proposal, contact the Forest Service at 801-999-2103.

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