Pinedale BLM closes land to protect big game wildlife
by Bureau of Land Management
December 5, 2011
The Bureau of Land Management (BLM) Pinedale Field Office (PFO) is notifying the public that BLM-administered big game winter ranges will be closed to all motorized vehicle travel (e.g., snowmobiles, all-terrain vehicles, pickups, and sport utility vehicles) from Jan. 1 through Apr. 30.
Use of these areas by non-motorized means (i.e., walking, horseback, cross-country skiing, mountain biking) is still allowed. Highways, county, and oil and gas roads are not affected unless posted otherwise. Motorized vehicle use on public land the remainder of the year is limited to existing roads and two-track trails.
This annual closure has been in effect since 2008 and is necessary to 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. Signs will be posted at key locations going into the closed areas.
The following BLM-administered lands are included in this closure:
• The Ryegrass, Bench Corral, Deer Hills, Calpet and Miller Mountain winter ranges including 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 including 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.
Exceptions to this closure include:
• Wyoming Game & Fish Department (WGFD), the Department of Agriculture Animal Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS), Sublette County Sheriff’s Office, and the BLM when performing official duties;
• Operators of existing oil and gas facilities performing maintenance and pumping, as approved in their permits;
• Livestock operators conducting permitted activities;
• Utility companies conducting emergency maintenance after notifying the PFO; and
• Other users who have been granted an exception by submitting a written application to the PFO for review and approval.
As a reminder, elk winter feedground areas are closed from Nov. 15 to Apr. 30 each winter to all motorized use and human presence. These include the Franz, Finnegan, Bench Corral, Fall Creek, Scab Creek, North Piney, and Black Butte feedgrounds.
A map of the closed areas can be found at http://www.blm.gov/wy/st/en/field_offices/Pinedale/recreation/closures.html
For more information, please contact Rusty Kaiser at 307-367-5317 or visit the BLM Pinedale Field Office at 1625 W. Pine St., Pinedale, Wyoming.