Thursday, February 18, 2021

DCNR Warns Of Hazardous Conditions On State Forest Roads

On February 18, Department of Conservation and Natural Resources Secretary Cindy Adams Dunn warned sustained cold temperatures and a string of snowstorms have left many state forest roads impassable and she urged motorists to stay off them until conditions improve.

“Current conditions are a snowmobiler’s delight but they can become a motorist’s nightmare when they are not prepared for ice or deep snow,” Dunn said. “In almost all of our 20 state forest districts we are seeing numerous reports of disabled and abandoned vehicles. Often, staff must mobilize to locate and retrieve occupants who wander away from inoperable cars and trucks.”

The secretary pointed to Forbes State Forest in southwestern Pennsylvania where more than two dozen vehicles recently were abandoned on several roads after bogging down in deep snow. 

Foresters report seeing more stranded vehicles this year than in winters spanning the past two decades.

“Many can be attributed to operators relying on GPS directions, or not being accustomed to driving in severe winter conditions,” said Dunn. “We are posting some roads as ‘impassable’ but we have more than 3,000 miles of roads in our forest system. Often threading through rugged, remote terrain, some are a challenge to navigate even under ideal conditions. These are not areas where you want to become stranded and so we urge common sense when deciding whether to venture out in these winter conditions.”

Also, the secretary noted DCNR is not responsible for vehicle towing and recovery, and cell phones often are useless in remote areas.

Dunn offered the following safety tips for winter driving on state forest roads:

-- Operate only 4-wheel (or all wheel) drive vehicles with elevated ground clearance but do not overestimate the vehicle’s capabilities;

-- Drive slowly in winter conditions, especially on steeper descent;

-- Leave travel plan details with family/friends and plan for contingencies;

-- Keep state forest map, matches, flashlight, cell phone, food, water, tire chains and sleeping bag in vehicle during winter travel;

-- A stuck vehicle can quickly turn into a more serious safety/survival situation;

-- Avoid state forest roads when advised;

-- Be prepared to call towing/removal service if you become stuck and need assistance; and

-- Call ahead to state forest district offices to learn about road conditions or closures.

  For more information on state parks and forests and recreation in Pennsylvania, visit DCNR’s website, Click Here to sign up for the Resource newsletter, Visit the Good Natured DCNR Blog,  Click Here for upcoming events, Click Here to hook up with DCNR on other social media-- Facebook, Twitter, YouTube and Flickr.


Marcus Schneck: Disabled, Abandoned Vehicles Reported On State Forest Roads Across PA

Related Articles:

-- DCNR Blog: DCNR Grants Support, Water, Wildlife And People In PA's Chesapeake Bay Watershed 

-- DCNR Blog: Economic Impact: Buchanan Forest District HQ Brings Surrounding Woodlands To Life

-- DCNR Good Natured Pennsylvanians: Mickayla Poland, Artist, Business Owner In PA Wilds 

-- Dry Hollow Hunting Club, ClearWater Conservancy Partner To Add Over 1,200 Acres To Rothrock State Forest In Centre, Huntingdon Counties 

-- DCNR: Names Lee Dillon New Manager Of Tobyhanna State Park Complex

-- February 17 DCNR Resource Newsletter

-- Circuit Trails Coalition Calls On Philadelphia To Make Funding For Spring Garden Street  Greenway Project A Priority

-- South Mountain Partnership Announces 2021 Mini-Grant Recipients 

[Posted: February 18, 2021]  PA Environment Digest

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