More than 150 roads in need of repair around SC’s Francis Marion National Forest

The drive to meet Mark and Ronnie Morris is bumpy. Potholes pepper the roads through the Francis Marion National Forest where the brothers have lived their entire lives. They say the conditions are worse than they’ve ever seen them. “If you don’t have four-wheel drive you can’t make it,” Mark Morris explained.

Ronnie described the roads like something from a war movie. “It looks like planes dropped bombs in here,” he said.

The pair want to know how the money from their hunting licenses is being used since the roads are in such a sad state. Severe flooding in 2015 coupled with Hurricane Matthew in 2016, led to widespread erosion and damage impacting 157 National Forest System roads. Many are closed.

The founder of Facebook group Carolina Wildlife Sydicate, David Strickland, says the roads have been closed far too long. “Tax dollars and hunting licensing dollars are not making it to the resource on the ground,” Strickland said.

“The Francis Marion and Sumter National Forest has been aware of our road system needs and has been taking steps to address this need,” according to Francis Marion National Forest Acting District Ranger Warren Tucker. The agency recently awarded two contracts to fix the biggest problems.

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