Monday, November 29, 2010

New Mendocino NF Wet-Weather OHV Policy - Sign Up for Alerts!

"Just Riding in the Rain" (yes, I am soaked)

The Recreation HQ wants to give riders who visit the Mendocino National Forest an update on the agency’s new and evolving rainfall-based wet-weather closures. As some of you know, the agency has historically used the “2 inches or more of rainfall in a 24-hour period with roads/routes remaining closed until there has been 48 hours of NO measurable precipitation” as the foundation for its wet-weather closure policy.

Several months ago this policy had apparently expired which left the agency with no clearly defined wet-weather policy. The freak/heavy 1st rainfall of the season occurred on Oct. 23/24 and the agency had to implement some sort of closure that had not been fully vetted. This resulted in what HQ felt was a protracted and needlessly long closure that did not make a lot of sense based on any number of factors. HQ got a lot of calls from riders who were frustrated with this new wet-weather policy.

The General, on behalf of BRC, made an appointment with FS staff to review this issue during the days before the WFO Enduro. Part of that effort was to review the order of events to see if there were any problems or issues that could be addressed and also to find solutions.

Upon review of the events and after a number of conversations with FS staff, BRC issued the letter below that highlighted several tenets that should be considered in development of the final wet-weather closure policy.

BRC Nov. 15 Letter with Key Tenets on Wet-Weather Closures

HQ believes that the agency should have an effective science-based wet-weather closure policy that both makes sense to the riders AND protects the watershed.

Finally, the agency must have an effective public outreach program so that riders can be informed about closures and other emergencies that could impact their outdoor plans.

HQ encourages riders to contact Tamara Schmidt to get signed up on the unit’s alert system.

Tamara Schmidt
Public Affairs Officer
Mendocino National Forest
825 N. Humboldt Ave.
Willows, CA 95988
Phone Number: 530-934-1137

Thanks for your service!


  1. HQ is open until Congress goes home. Watch for update on Mendo adopting the old 2" rain rule and dumping the new "it's closed all the time" wet weather policy.