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U.S. DEPARTMENT OF THE INTERIOR
BUREAU OF LAND MANAGEMENT NEWS RELEASE
 
Release Date: 01/17/14
Contacts: Shannon Borders, 970-240-5399    

Local Trail Closures Remain in Effect to Protect Wildlife and Natural Resources (01-17-14)


DURANGO, Colo. – As the days begin to get longer and the Durango area is experiencing ‘spring-like’ weather conditions, outdoor enthusiasts are tempted to access trails on Perins, Twin Buttes, Animas City Mtn, Grandview and Skyline, among others. While getting out is great for mental and physical health, many trails users don’t realize that these areas are critical winter habitat for wildlife.  As a result, the Bureau of Land Management, City of Durango, and Colorado Parks and Wildlife cooperatively institute winter trail closures to ensure wildlife in the area are protected. 
 
Annually, the closures protect wintering elk and mule deer within the Animas Valley. This premier habitat is increasingly receiving human pressure due to urban expansion surrounding Durango. 
 
“It is essential for the survival of these herds to have areas where they can winter without disturbance,” said Nathaniel West, BLM Tres Rios Field Office Supervisory Wildlife Biologist. “Winter is a critical time for deer and elk, nutritional forage is at a minimum and many individuals rely on fat reserves to make it through the winter.” 
 
Increased disturbance causes deer and elk to expend energy they would normally spend foraging.  This leads to decreased body condition, and if a big winter storm hits, some deer and elk may not survive. 
 
Animas City Mountain and Grandview Ridge are some of the last islands of winter concentration areas where deer and elk can winter without disturbance. Closing these areas in the winter is critical for the continued management of the deer and elk in the area. 
 
“We encourage the public to contact the San Juan Public Lands Center to learn about winter recreation areas where people can go to enjoy hiking and biking, without increasing pressure on wildlife,” said Connie Clementson, BLM Tres Rios Field Manager. “Our staff lives, works and plays in the area, so they are experts in helping you find the best place to enjoy the outdoors.”
 
For more information about the trail closures in the Durango area, go tohttp://www.blm.gov/co/st/en/BLM_Information/newsroom/2013/closures_at_grandview.html or call the San Juan Public Lands Center at 970-247-4874. Violating the closures can result in a citation with a fine of $275.


The BLM manages more than 245 million acres of public land, the most of any Federal agency. This land, known as the National System of Public Lands, is primarily located in 12 Western states, including Alaska. The BLM also administers 700 million acres of sub-surface mineral estate throughout the nation. The BLM's mission is to manage and conserve the public lands for the use and enjoyment of present and future generations under our mandate of multiple-use and sustained yield. In Fiscal Year 2013, the BLM generated $4.7 billion in receipts from public lands.
--BLM--

  15 Burnett Court      Durango, CO 81301  

Last updated: 01-17-2014