BLM Pinedale Field Office conducts patrols of winter wildlife closure areas
Motorized vehicles prohibited in winter closure areas; Non-motorized access still allowed
by Bureau of Land Management
January 19, 2011
The Bureau of Land Management (BLM) Pinedale Field Office (PFO) is conducting two-person patrols of over 500,000 acres of BLM-administered winter closure areas through Apr. 30. The patrols have operated since 2009 and help educate the public, assist the BLM ranger with enforcement of the closed areas, and demonstrate that the PFO is serious about big game winter range protections.
The annual winter closures have been in effect since 2008 and help protect elk, moose, pronghorn, and mule deer from disruptive human activities which, during the difficult winter months, can increase the mortality rate for these animals.
Rusty Kaiser, PFO wildlife biologist, comments that, "most of the public seems to support these closures; however, we’re often asked ‘How are you going to enforce them?’" He goes on to explain that the patrols work as a team with law enforcement to deter violators and also distribute maps, answer questions, and encourage the public to report violations to the BLM. In addition, the Wyoming Game and Fish Department and Sublette County Sheriff also keep an eye out for closure violations.
The Ryegrass, Bench Corral, Deer Hills, Calpet and Miller Mountain closures include all BLM-administered lands north of Fontenelle Creek, east of the U.S. Forest Service Boundary, west of Highway 189, and south of Horse Creek. The Mesa winter range closure includes all BLM-administered lands east of County Road 110 (East Green River Road), north of County Road 136
(Paradise Valley Road), west of the New Fork River, and south of State Highway 191.
Signs are posted at key locations going into the closed areas restricting all types of motorized travel. Non-motorized means of travel are still allowed. Highways, county, and oil and gas roads are not affected unless posted otherwise. A map of the closed areas can be found at
As a reminder, elk winter feedground areas are also closed through Apr. 30 to all motorized and non-motorized use and human presence. These include the Franz, Finnegan, Bench Corral, Fall Creek, Scab Creek, North Piney, and Black Butte feedgrounds.
For more information, please contact Rusty Kaiser at 307-367-5317 or visit the BLM Pinedale Field Office at 1625 West Pine Street, Pinedale, Wyoming.