Seven gates within Olympic National Forest will be closed and locked for the winter beginning on October 1, 2013. The closures will last through April 30, 2014, and will occur on the 2451 road in the North Fork Skokomish watershed, the 2354, 2353, and 2361 roads in the South Fork Skokomish and on the 2294 (two gates) and 2270 roads in the Wynoochee watershed.
These closures are part of a Memorandum of Understanding between the Olympic National Forest and the Washington Department of Fish & Wildlife. They are designed to: 1) increase wildlife utilization of habitat; 2) reduce the siltation of lakes and streams; 3) provide diverse recreational hunting opportunities; 4) reduce harassment levels on deer and elk; and 5) increase the survival rate of buck deer and bull elk. Maps of Wynoochee area Wildlife Gate Closures & Skokomish Wildlife Gate Closures HERE.
The closures extend only to the use of motorized vehicles; accessing the road systems behind the gates via hiking or mountain biking is still permissible. For questions, please contact Betsy Howell, Wildlife Biologist, at Olympic National Forest, 360-956-2292. The mission of the USDA Forest Service is to sustain the health, diversity, and productivity of the Nation’s forests and grasslands to meet the needs of present and future generations. The Agency manages 193 million acres of public land, provides assistance to State and private landowners, and maintains the largest forestry research organization in the world. For general information on the Olympic National Forest, visit HERE.
September 18, 2013/ONF Press Release