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Payette National Forest trails damaged by rain, snow

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Posted at 11:00 AM, Apr 04, 2017
and last updated 2017-04-04 13:00:45-04

One-hundred thirty slides along the South Fork of the Salmon River have closed trails and damaged roads in the Payette National Forest, officials said.

Forest Service personnel continue to monitor the situation and make plans for repairs.

“At mile marker 12 along the South Fork of the Salmon Road, the road surfaced has fractured and slumped, and continues to settle. Forest Service personnel continue to monitor the slump and keep the travel way clear of debris. Caution is advised while traveling along the entire roadway,” said Payette National Forest Public Affairs Officer Brian Harris.

The Tea Pot and Krassel Knob trails have also been impacted. “In the first mile of the Tea Pot trail (#382), sections of the trail tread have been lost and only foot traffic is recommended for use. The Krassel Knob trail (#089) is not accessible due to a slide blocking access across the suspension bridge, and a debris flow that has scoured away several hundred feet of the trail,” Harris said.

Damage to the road and trails is attributed to low elevation snow accompanied with warm weather and high rainfall creating “rain on snow” events, in February and March.  The result of “rain on snow” event is highly saturated soils that produces many shallow landslides and debris flows. 

The majority of the landslides are small at less than fifty square feet, Harris stated.

It is expected that more impacts to trails from this year’s “rain on snow” events will be found across the Forest as Forest Service crews gain access following the snow melt. 

Visitors are advised to “Know Before You Go” by calling the Ranger District Offices to find out the latest information pertaining to accessing the forest.