District Ranger meets with Ryan Park residents

Cedar Pass – Forest Service Road 261 to Kennaday Peak is on the list of roads to be decommissioned.


Sarah Hutchins

U.S. Forest Service District Ranger Melanie Fullman explains to the audience what roads will be significantly changed in the Ryan Park region.

With the proposed action developing to the comment period, the public is seeking answers to the reasoning behind the changes in road use in the West Side Snowy Range Travel Management Notice of Proposed Action (NPA).

A meeting was held on Sunday at the Ryan Park Fire Department, to address the road use changes proposed in the Ryan Park region. Twenty-six people were in attendance.

Melanie Fullman, District Ranger and responsible official of the project, wanted to make it known to the public that she wished she didn't have to decommission roads, but it is necessary. According to Fullman, engineers have told her that in terms of maintaining the roads currently to the minimum standards, it would cost $680,000 per year – the district is allotted $250,000-$300,000 annually for road maintenance.

"So to do what is a lot less than what is required, and to do, what the engineers say would be the absolute minimum, would be two to three times what we actually have," said Fullman.

Putting up a "ride at your own risk" sign wouldn't solve the problem either. According to Fullman, "It doesn't absolve us of having to make sure that at some periodic level there are no lethal hazards; and in addition, that there are no conditions on that ground that are going to pose an imminent failure to the road."

Questions were brought up about the decommissioning of Forest Service Road 261, which is the Cedar Pass Creek Road that leads up to Kennaday Peak.

Don Beach, of Ryan Park asked about the closure. Fullman explained that she put the Forest Service Road 261 in the proposal as decommissioned because she "wanted to see what the public reaction and demand for that road is."

The current repairs that need to be made to the road would cost around $500,000 and will last around 10-30 years, according to Fullman.

"Are you really going to spend half a million dollars on one road that you are not sure of the results?," said Fullman.

According to Fullman, no public meeting will be held for the West Snowy Range Travel Management NPA. She prefers to talk to small groups and individuals, as she finds it more productive. "I just don't find those big meetings, which tend to get out of control to be very useful, ... I'm trying to make the most of my time," said Fullman.

If interested in a hard copy of the NPA with full-sized colored maps, they are available locally at the Brush Creek/Hayden Ranger Station in Saratoga, Saratoga Branch Library, Encampment Town Hall, and the Rendezvous Lodge.

According to the NPA, written comments should be sent to the Medicine Bow-Routt National Forests, Brush Creek /Hayden Ranger District: Melanie Fullman, 2121 Highway 130, PO Box 249, Saratoga, Wyo. 82331, or fax: 307-326-5250

Electronic comments should be submitted to comments-rm-medicine-bow-routt-brush-creek-hayden@fs.fed.us.


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