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Huntington Canyon recreation use still limited

Huntington Canyon recreation sites will be available on a limited basis this summer. Forest Supervisor Allen Rowley recently amended the Seeley Fire Order in anticipation of the upcoming summer recreation season. "The threat of continued flooding during the monsoon season poses a public safety risk." said Ferron/Price District Ranger Darren Olsen. "The Forest Service is responding to that risk."

"After evaluating the impacts of two seasons of flooding, we determined that day-use within the Forks of Huntington Campground and overnight camping below Forks of Huntington could be reopened," added Olsen. Under the 2014 closure order all overnight camping will continue to be closed from Forks of Huntington Campground to Electric Lake. Therefore, campgrounds at Big Rock, Old Folks Flat, Bridges, Chute, and South Hughes will remain closed to all use. The Left Fork of Huntington Campground will be open to walk-in day-use only.

A few day-use parking areas will also be available within the Seeley burn area to provide trail access to the Left Fork of Huntington, Mill Canyon, and Castle Valley Ridge System trails. These parking areas will be located at Stuart Guard Station, outside the gate at Forks of Huntington Campground, at the mouth of Pete McElprang and Engineer Canyons, and at the Nuck Woodward Trailhead. These will be signed for day-use only

Other closures that will remain in place as the summer recreation season begins include: The Nuck Woodward Road (Forest Road 0110) will continue to be closed to all motorized use between the trailhead 1 mile east of Utah Highway 31 to the trailhead at the head of the canyon adjacent to Castle Valley Ridge. Foot, horse, and bicycle traffic on the road will be permitted.

The following trails will be closed while tread repairs are made, down trees are removed, and drainage is reestablished: Huntington Pipeline Trail #958, Old Folks Flat to Stuart Guard Station Trail # 395, Second Water Canyon Trail #407, and Corner Canyon Trail #400. The following trails have sustained extensive damage and will not be useable by the public for the foreseeable future: Bob Wright Trail #378, Pole Canyon Trail #073, and Castle Valley Ridge Trail #068 (the last 0.25 mile east of Nuck Woodward Road).

In addition, the Left Fork of Huntington National Recreation Trail #131 will remain open to foot travel only until further stabilization work can be completed to facilitate horse passage. "As trail repair work continues during the 2014 season, we expect some of these trails to reopen to public use," commented recreation specialist Bill Broadbear.

"Trail users need to exercise extra caution when using trails passing through the burn area. Burned trees have the potential of coming down, especially during wind events. In addition, monsoon rains could once again trigger debris flows onto Highway 31, making it impossible for trail users to return home at the end of the day," he added. Copies of the Seeley Fire Order will be posted within Huntington Canyon and are available for public review at forest offices in Ferron, Price and Ephraim.

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