For the week of November 25 thru December 1, 1998  

Canyon closures protect wintering wildlife

Snowmobiles, ATV use stresses herds


Some rangeland in central Idaho will be closed this winter to snowmobiles and other motorized traffic to protect wintering herds of elk and deer.

The closures will affect a few canyons in the Wood River Valley, following a plan the Bureau of Land Management has used since 1982.

Starting Dec. 1, the BLM will close Martin Canyon, the south slopes of the East Fork canyon, the West Bellevue Allotment, the Big/Little Beaver Area of Critical Environment Concern, the Queens Crown area, and portions of the Picabo Hills.

In addition, the BLM is asking people to avoid the south-facing slopes of Greenhorn Gulch where an experimental nutritional supplement project is proceeding in cooperation with the Idaho Fish and Game and the Wood River Elk Trust.


"We’re asking people who use snowmobiles or other motorized vehicles to avoid these historical winter ranges so the animals can survive." Bill Baker, Bureau of Land Management


 

These areas are important winter ranges for elk and deer moving down from higher elevations to find their food.

The BLM has seasonally closed these areas.

"Winter is stressful for the animals, and harassing them can seriously deplete their energy reserves to the extent that they may not survive the winter," said Bill Baker, manager of BLM’s Shoshone Resource Area. "We’re asking people who use snowmobiles or other motorized vehicles to avoid these historical winter ranges so the animals can survive."

 

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