Buford-New Castle Road closed north of Silt | PostIndependent.com

Buford-New Castle Road closed north of Silt

The Forest Service has closed the Buford-New Castle Road starting 15 miles north of Silt until further notice, due to multiple road closure violations.

“When the road will be open is anyone’s guess,” said Larry Sandoval, assistant district ranger for the Rifle Ranger District. “You don’t have to go far before you hit bad conditions.”

Users who violate the closure can be fined up to $5,000, said a Forest Service press release.

The closure begins just north of the snowmobile parking lot on County Road 244.

Sandoval said the Forest Service closed the road for several reasons, including potential damage to the road, and impacts to the environment and wildlife.

“Vehicles can easily damage wet roads, causing sediment to run off into streams and wetlands, which may also damage fish habitats,” Sandoval said.

Disturbances on the Buford-New Castle Road in the spring have caused problems with elk calving. Users are also at risk for getting stranded when they try to maneuver over snow banks.

Sandoval said other roads are open for people who want to enjoy the Rifle Ranger District. “There’s a lot of open ground on the entire end of the south of the district,” Sandoval said, “including Divide Creek and Four Mile.”

Meadow Lake Road north of New Castle is also closed. “During a typical winter, you can’t get to Meadow Lake until the middle of June or July,” Sandoval said, “but we’re hoping to open the gate before the end of June.”

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