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Partial Reopening of Hayman Fire Burn Area


by Editor

May 11, 2003

Camp4 - Climbing News Archive

Hayman has reopened to partial use, including hiking and climbing. Not all roads to all of the areas are open, there are parking restrictions, and camping areas/overnight stays are still restricted. Sheeps Nose is accessible, but it's a 3-mile hike to Turkey Rocks still.  Get the full story, burn area maps, and restrictions here at the Forest Service's website.

Date: May 2, 2003

Partial Reopening of Hayman Fire Burn Area

MORRISON... The U.S. Forest Service has re-opened the Hayman Fire burn area for limited public use. While the entire 137,000-acre area is now open for public access, only select roads and/or trails are expected to be cleared for motorized vehicle access in the immediate future. Also, while there are no restrictions on hiking throughout the burn area, only a limited number of system hiking trails have been “cleared” for use; i.e. hazard trees posing the most imminent danger have been removed. As additional roads, trails and facilities are cleared for use, access to them will be phased in over the next weeks and months when work has been completed and signing installed.

Protection of the fragile environment and public safety are key considerations in opening burned areas for recreational uses. While we are opening access to the area, we are asking citizens to exercise extreme caution, both from an environmental standpoint as well as personal safety. In addition to other hazards, flash-flooding will be a concern in low-lying areas through the coming rainy season.

Signs have been placed throughout the burn area to identify those roads, trails and facilities that are open and for which types of uses:

· Generally, roads/trails are not cleared for use unless specifically marked open;

· Parking is only allowed in specifically designated parking areas. While outside the burn area some limited off-road parking is permitted, NO off-road parking is allowed within the burn area;

· Established campgrounds and picnic areas will be closed unless indicated as open – currently most facilities in the burn area are closed to use;.

· While dispersed (open) camping is not prohibited, except where indicated by a sign, camping in the intensively burned areas is discouraged. Camping is not permitted at Forest Service trailheads. In general, dispersed car camping will be restricted by the limited legal parking available throughout the burn area;

· Though not encouraged, there are no restrictions against hiking or other non-motorized forms of travel throughout the general burn area. Caution should be exercised.

Rehabilitation and restoration work continues. For the four months immediately following the Hayman Fire, the USDA- Forest Service spent in excess of $17 million on Burned Area Emergency Rehabilitation treatment within the burn area. Additional emergency work will continue as needed. Subsequently, a Hayman Restoration Team was established and is now operating out of Colorado Springs to address the longer-term rehabilitation needs of the Hayman Fire area. The team has a budget of $4 million for restoration work in 2003.

Why is the USDA-Forest Service opening the Hayman Fire burn area now?

It’s the right thing to do! Once the more immediate environmental and public safety concerns within the burn area have been addressed, the public’s right to enjoy its national forest comes into play. The public should be able to experience, first-hand, the historical and educational nature of the fire’s impacts, as well as to experience the surreal beauty that exists even in the most severely burned areas of the forest.

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