Monongahela National Forest officials are preparing for the winter weather by implementing safety measures in the Dolly Sods area.
Gates on Forest Roads 19 and 75, leading to Dolly Sods, will be closed beginning January 1, 2019, and won’t be reopened until mid-April. For the last three years, officials have prepared for the harsh weather conditions by closing the roads to motor vehicles in an effort to protect visitors and emergency crews.
“When people get up in there, they were getting stuck and then needing help from emergency responders. Once you get stuck up there, it’s hard to get turned around. So, not only were they putting themselves in danger, they were putting emergency responders in danger too,” said Monongahela National Forest Public Affairs Officer Kelly Bridges.
Officials said the recreation area will still be open to visitors and the Forest Service will be working with local landowners and residents affected by the road closures to ensure accessibility.