Forest service officials warn of damage caused by public using muddy trails

CUSTER, S.D. Black Hills National Forest Service officials say there is still serious concern for damage to motorized and non-motorized trails due to extensive rain.

Mark Van Every, Black Hills National Forest supervisor, has amended a closure order that covers portions of the non-motorized and motorized trail system and portions of the Forest Road System in the Black Hills National Forest. (Map)

Officials say the public should comply with signs and barriers. Failure to can result in up to a $5,000 fine for individuals, and $10,000 for organizations. It can also lead to damage to the trails that may take years to repair. Not only riding, but also hiking can damage the trails and delicate vegetation.

It’s also easy for vehicles to become stranded due to mud, debris and washed out areas. The closures will remain in effect for certain roads and trails until conditions allow for safe travel without causing resource damage.

Officials say several hundreds of miles of trails and roads still remain open for public enjoyment.

The Remote Automatic Weather (RAWS) station at Nemo, S.D., recorded over 6 inches of rain so far this July, which is approximately twice the amount of precipitation from last year. The average for the previous 5 years is 2.87 inches.

For more information on the Black Hills National Forest call (605) 673-9200 or visit

Categories: Local News, South Dakota News