Forest officials restrict hours at Catwalk area

SILVER CITY, N.M. (AP) – Forest officials have decided to limit visiting hours at the Catwalk National Recreation Area in southwestern New Mexico during the summer monsoon season.

The reason is afternoon thunderstorms and heavy rain could contribute to flooding along NM Highway 174. Officials say there’s also a risk of not being able to alert visitors in a timely manner if flooding is forecast for the area.

Starting Wednesday, the area will be open from 8 a.m. until 1 p.m. daily. The limited hours are expected to stay in place through the end of the monsoon season.

Glenwood District Ranger Debbie Cress says the restrictions are aimed at ensuring public safety. She says flooding and high water flows are still likely from the burn scar left behind by the 2012 Whitewater-Baldy Fire.

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