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Logging operation to close parts of National Forest to public at month’s end

ELKINS, W.Va. –– Two areas of the Monongahela National Forest will be closed to the public around the end of March to allow for helicopter logging operations. The West Fork Timber Sale is set to begin March 28th and will include an area north of Bartow in Pocahontas County.

West Fork Closure Area

Helicopters will be used to ferry logs from the remote site to landings within the National Forest. Those areas will be off limits to the public during the logging operations.

The Span Oak closure is bounded by Span Oak Run and Elklick Run north of Bartow. Forest Road 224 (Span Oak Road), typically open to Class Q hunters, is within this area and will be closed to all use during this project. Heavy log truck traffic is expected on County Route 250/4 (John’s Run Road) during times of active logging operations. Use caution when driving in this area.

The Forest Road 475 closure includes closing the entirety of Forest Road 475 and is bounded by U.S. Route 250 and a line 200 feet west of the Shaver’s Fork River west of Durbin.

Span Oak Closure Area

Although it will close that area of the forest, the boundary adjustment will allow for fishing to continue in and along the West Fork. But users of the Allegheny Trail who are hiking the “high-water route” must bypass the closed area by using State Route 250/1 and U.S. 250.

The U.S. Forest Service offered no anticipated timeline for the operations to be complete.

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