Workman Creek Recreation Area will be closed due to construction activities

Young, Ariz. (Aug. 29, 2011) – Tonto National Forest officials announced today that the Workman Creek Recreation Area will be closed, from the Elks Youth Camp east beyond the Workman Creek falls and north towards Reynolds Creek, for hazardous waste removal at Workman Creek Uranium Mine Sites, located on the Pleasant Valley Ranger District, Young, Ariz. 

Construction is scheduled to begin on September 6 and continue through December.  Heavy equipment will be operating throughout Workman Creek on both sides of the canyon, side roads, and in the Cascade and Creekside day-use areas.  The purpose of the closure is to ensure public and contractor safety.  Wildlife restrictions and winter weather conditions determined the construction dates.

An Engineering Evaluation/Cost Analysis (EE/CA) was previously prepared to present a detailed analysis of reclamation alternatives that were used for agency decision-making. The analysis conclusion was that there are site environmental concerns related to arsenic, uranium, and radium-226.  The clean-up will involve excavating the hot spot areas in the day-use sites and on-site disposal; rerouting the All-terrain Vehicle (ATV) traffic to eliminate access to the most highly affected road segments; and closing the adits (mine openings) with waste rock or bat gates. 

Copies of the project fact sheet are available at the Tonto National Forest Supervisor’s office (2324 E. McDowell Road, Phoenix, AZ) and the Pleasant Valley Ranger District office (Young, AZ). 

Please contact Dave Frew (928-462-4330) or Anne Fischer (602-225-5389) to schedule a time to view the EE/CA documents. The EE/CA and the project fact sheet are also available on www.fs.usda.gov/Tonto under Land/Resources Management/Projects.

Closure Order 12-11-011

Closure Area Map