Winter wildlife closures extended for Roaring Fork, Eagle valleys | PostIndependent.com

Winter wildlife closures extended for Roaring Fork, Eagle valleys

At the request of Colorado Parks and Wildlife (CPW), the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) has extended winter closures for motorized and mechanized vehicles on specific lands in the Eagle and Roaring Fork valleys.

The extension will run through April 30 on specific BLM lands that include Hardscrabble/Spring Creek in Eagle County, in addition to the Crown, Light Hill and Williams Hill in the Roaring Fork Valley.

The annual winter closures for motorized and mechanized vehicles such as bicycles typically begins on Dec. 1 and runs through April 15. However, because of this year’s heavy snowpack, that lift date was pushed back by BLM officials at CPW’s request.

“In cooperation with CPW, I have decided to extend the closure by two weeks. This should provide the additional needed protection for wildlife while limiting impacts to recreation. We appreciate your patience,” BLM Colorado River Valley Field Manager Larry Sandoval said in a news release.

According to the release from the BLM’s Colorado River Valley Field Office, snowpack in the area was 145 percent of average and subsequently gates into the specified BLM land areas will not open before May 1.

“As the snow melts from these lower elevation areas, the vegetation is greening up and providing key forage for winter-weakened deer and elk,” CPW Acting Area Manager Matt Yamashita said in the news release.

“The higher elevation transitional areas the deer and elk could migrate to are still inaccessible because of several feet of snow and significant crusting.”

mabennett@postindependent.com


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