The Prescott National Forest (Prescott NF) asks our visitors to help prevent damage to roads and trails. Recent snow events are advantageous for vegetation health, fuel moisture, and wildlife habitat. It is also allowing the much-needed recharge of soil moisture. However, these super saturated soils are extremely sensitive at this time and vulnerable to irreversible damage associated with rutting and puddling. Please consider the damage you could cause to roads and trails when planning your visits after heavy precipitation and avoid use. This advice applies to all user groups motorized and non-motorized for roads and trails. Examples of load bearing activities that will cause soil damage include vehicular use, hiking, horseback riding, and off highway vehicular use.
Please be considerate of the environment and other users by planning accordingly. When viewing the map (link below) look for areas on the forest that show a ‘slight’ wet weather risk versus ‘severe ‘wet weather risk. Remember, all users have the ability to cause damage to road and trail surfaces and corridors; the impact varies from user to user.
Visit the Prescott NF website at https://www.fs.usda.gov/Internet/FSE_DOCUMENTS/fseprd881367.pdf to view map of areas more vulnerable to damage when wet. But remember, all soils are susceptible to damage when saturated. Use common sense and courtesy when you venture out to potentially wet roads and trails. Turn around if you think you will cause damage.
Damage to forest resources through wet weather use could result in a Class B Misdemeanor with a possible penalty of up to $5,000 and/or 6 months imprisonment.