The BLM Shoshone Field Office has begun to enforce its annual seasonal motorized use closures around Wood River Valley beginning Jan. 1. This is to protect wintering elk herds.
These closures were put in place in 1982 to protect animals that need to work harder during winter to provide food and shelter. Jesse Rawson, Shoshone field Office wildlife biologist, stated in a press release. Wildlife are more likely to lose vital energy if they are subject to stress. It is important to reduce stress caused by humans on wildlife.
The closures will end on April 30,
The BLM Shoshone Field Office may authorize additional land closures if it determines that non-motorized human usage, such as dog-walking or snowshoeing, is negatively impacting wintering elks, sagegrouse, raptors, and other species. The BLM states that certain conditions are required to justify such closures. These include extended subzero temperatures, several inches or more of crusted and/or unusually deep snow.
The BLM advised that motorized and non-motorized recreationalists should consider the potential impacts on deer and elk in this area this winter and adjust their actions accordingly to minimize disturbance.
The following areas in the Wood River Valley are closed to motorized use through April 30, including snowmobiles:
- All BLM land north and east of East Fork, Greenhorn, including Timber Gulch, Greenhorn Gulch west and Gimlet, Peters Gulch East of Gimlet, and the hills between Boundary Campground trailhead and Lake Creek trailhead
- South parts of Ohio Gulch.
- Croy Creek south-east of Townsend Gulch
- Quigley Canyon to Muldoon Canyon
- Bell Mountain and Sawmill Canyon to Picabo
- Big and Little Beaver Drainages in Camas County
- Camp Creek and Poison Creek
- Martin/Big Dry Canyon east Bellevue
- Elk Mountain in the Little Wood Drainage
Open-groomed snowmobile trails and ungroomed motorized corridors are regularly inspected by BLM officers. They include Quigley, Cove Creek, Muldoon and Sharps, Croy Creek and Camp Creek, Rock, and West Glendale. Ungroomed corridors are Ohio Gulch (Indian Creek), Slaughterhouse, Bell Mountain to Picabo.
For a seasonal closure map or to request a Shoshone Field office address, anyone can stop by at the Shoshone Office at 400 W. F St. Shoshone. You can also find a more detailed map online https://on.doi.gov/3H69Mtz.