UPDATE: Road closures in Utah’s backcountry may affect hunting season

Hunters are going to be a little hampered this fall by the temporary closure of a couple of often-used roads in Northern Utah’s backcountry. Cache County Executive Lynn Lemon says replacement of a couple of bridges is being done with federal stimulus money and the Forest Service has said the temporary road closures are for public safety.”These areas, these roads that are going to be closed, which is Temple Fork and Franklin Basin, are areas that people use often and people have been using them for a long period of time,” Lemon explains. ” We have this one time opportunity and we really want to get the work done.”Lemon said the timing is unfortunate, but the work needs to get done soon. “We need to have the funding spent by the end of the year and we tried to get the bridge component parts earlier so we could actually do the roads earlier but we were unable to get the bridge component parts.”The replacement of the Temple Fork bridges is expected to take a minimum of four weeks but could possibly be longer depending on weather conditions. Lemon says County Councilmember Cory Yeates said it best when he called it “a one-time inconvenience for a long-term benefit.”Uinta-Wasatch-Cache National Forest Spokeswoman Kathy Jo Pollack says the replacement of the upper bridge on the Franklin Basin Road starts today and it’s expected be finished by October 16th.The upper bridge is one and a half miles south of the Idaho border.The lower bridge is less than a half-mile from the junction with U.S. Highway 89 and the replacement of the bridge is scheduled tentatively for mid-October after the upper bridge construction is completed. Meanwhile, the replacement of the Temple Fork bridges is expected to take a minimum of a week but cold be longer depending on weather conditions. Forest Supervisor Brian Ferebee says closing these roads will impact hunters who use both the Franklin Base and Temple Fork roads. He says the temporary closures will allow for public safety while the critical road improvements are made.

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to see the affected areas in Franklin Basin.

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to see the affected area on the Temple Fork road.

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to read the official press release from the Uinta-Wasatch-Cache National Forest Logan Ranger District about the closures and alternative routes to consider.

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