Winter Range closures in effect on BTNF
Travel restrictions Dec. 1–May 1
December 18, 2005
The Bridger-Teton National Forest (BTNF) is advising forest users that winter range wildlife closures are in effect throughout the forest. Special travel restrictions are in effect from December 1 through May 1st of each year. Backcountry users and snowmobilers can obtain maps showing restricted areas from Forest Service district offices in Pinedale and Big Piney. These maps should be referred to if planning an outdoor trip on the Bridger-Teton National Forest.
Critical winter range areas have been designated as essential to the survival of wildlife. Human disturbance in closed winter range areas cause animals to flee to new locations. This causes deer, elk and moose to use energy they cannot spare and displaces them to areas less suitable for grazing and/or browsing. The disturbance can prevent them from gathering the energy they need to survive through the remaining months of winter and
lead to a weakened condition. This can have a direct effect on the animals’ ability to defend itself, making it more susceptible to predation and disease, and can lead to future reproduction problems in individual animals.
Winter Trail Etiquette:
SKIERS: Skiers are asked to slow down before bends and corners, for their own safety as well as the safety of others. Forest trails are for leisure and recreation purposes and not intended for race training.
SNOWSHOEING: When walking or snowshoeing on the groomed trails, users should avoid walking in the groomed tracks for the skiers.
DOGS IN THE BACKCOUNTRY AND ON GROOMED TRAILS: The Bridger-Teton continues to remind dog owners to carry a mutt-mitt and to clean up after their dogs when utilizing the groomed trails. In addition, because so many of the groomed trails are adjacent to winter range, if a dog owner has any doubt as to the amount of voice control they have over their dog, the forest asks that you please carry a leash.
SNOWMOBILES: Snowmobilers are reminded that groomed trails are shared by other snowmobilers and by skiers and sled dog teams. Keep machines under control at all times and travel at safe speeds. Slow down for corners and blind turns in the trail where your view is obscured for what may be coming from the opposite direction.
VEHICLES: Winter trails are not intended for use by trucks and cars. Please do not drive your vehicle over snow-covered trails. Tire tracks destroy trail grooming for over-snow users. An incident has already been reported last week of someone trying to drive up the Continental Divide Snowmobile Trail towards Kendall from the Green River Lakes snowmobile parking lot.
Bridger-Teton National Forest