Timber project underway near Hungry Horse Reservoir
By Moosetrack Megan

Posted: December 14, 2020

Kalispell, MT December 14, 2020 – The Flathead National Forest is conducting work on the Royal Tiger timber sale near the Hungry Horse Reservoir.

Beginning today, recreation access will temporarily change as a result of the sale. The Forest has issued a temporary motorized closure order for East Side Reservoir Road #38 and Emery Creek Road #546. The Forest anticipates that the roads will be closed to vehicle traffic through early spring to protect public and crew safety during cutting and hauling operations on and near the plowed roads. The Forest asks the public to avoid parking in front of closed gates.

Over snow vehicles will be able to use the East Side Reservoir Road to milepost 37.5 and Emery Creek Road on Saturdays and Sundays while the closure is in effect. The East Side Reservoir Road is closed beyond milepost 37.5 to all motorized use annually from December 1 to May 14 to protect winter wildlife habitat.

Winter recreation parking on Road #38 will be available at the Desert Mountain parking area just outside Martin City or at the junction with Abbot Bay Road, Forest Road #5301, approximately five miles south of Martin City.

Snowmobilers who plan on using East Side Reservoir Road on the weekends should use caution on the plowed road by staying to the right side and riding single file at a moderate speed. Timber sale operators will not haul on weekends but may be plowing or conducting other work. The road will be open to snowmobilers each weekend from 5:00 pm on Friday – 12:01 am Monday.

People who choose to use Desert Mountain trails as an alternate route should be aware that hauling will also occur on that road as well, and the Flathead Snowmobile Association will be grooming a route adjacent to the roadway for snowmobile use.

The Flathead National Forest offers several other popular snowmobile areas with groomed and ungroomed trails forest wide, many that are maintained by partners. Snowmobile access information maps and groomed trail maps are available at on the Forest’s website. The maps outline snowmobile routes and areas by ranger district and groomed trails accessing state and national forest lands in the Flathead Valley area.

The Royal Tiger Sale is part of the Hungry Lion Project that the Forest issued a decision on in 2018.  Multiple timber sales resulted from this forest management project, and the Forest expects that intermittent road closures may be needed in the future depending on harvest schedules and road conditions.

People can read the closure order, view the associated map, and monitor access changes by checking the Alerts & Notices section of Flathead National Forest’s website, or by following the forest on Facebook or Twitter.

For more information about East Side Reservoir Road access, contact the Hungry Horse/Glacier View Ranger District at 406.387.3800.