Popular Entrance to GW National Forest Closes

By: Anna-Lysa Gayle Email
By: Anna-Lysa Gayle Email

PAGE COUNTY -- The closure of a popular entrance to a national forest is causing some outrage among people who live nearby. Anyone trying to enter from Catherine Furnace Rd. will not be able to go beyond the sign that says 'Road Closed'.

A spokesman with the U.S. Forest Service says it's all because of public safety concerns.

"I think it's asinine and in a word it sucks," said Sterling Nair Jr., who was visiting the forest with his son.

"They need to be building roads not closing them," said Ted Booker, who lives near the road closure.

As a teenager Booker traveled from Arlington to go hunting in the forest.

"Tourism is a great part, the hunters are a great part. They pay a lot of money and fees and stuff to go hunting in the national forest," said Booker, who is worried the road closure will hurt tourism nearby.

In order to drive through the forest, visitors now have to travel to the south end, which could take up to 20 extra minutes.

Booker is worried the road closure will eliminate an escape route during wildfires, which is a popular danger in the area.

"If they were on this end and a wildfire started behind them, they would move forward and come out this end and if they were on this end they were on this end and it started in front, they could go out the other," said Booker.

According to the U.S. Forest Service, an inspection will be completed on the road in mid-August.

We'll be following this story closely. Check back here for the results of that inspection once they are announced.

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