U.S. DEPARTMENT OF THE INTERIOR
BUREAU OF LAND MANAGEMENT NEWS RELEASE
Twin Falls BLM
|Release Date: 12/12/11|
Motorized Vehicle Use prohibited in burned area north of King Hill
SHOSHONE, ID – The Bureau of Land Management (BLM) Shoshone and Four Rivers Field Offices have closed 39,876 acres of public land to motorized vehicle travel due to the Blair Fire that burned in August of 2011. The burned area is located about one mile north of King Hill, Idaho. The motorized vehicle closure is necessary to protect fire rehabilitation efforts as well as crucial winter habitat for mule deer and key sage-grouse habitat.
BLM will allow road access into the burn area from now until December 31, 2011 on the existing BLM, Walker Reservoir and Lower Hog Creek roads. The closure only applies to motorized vehicles; all other forms of non-motorized travel are allowed. This access is to accommodate general recreational use that occurs in the area. In the future, the BLM, Walker Reservoir and Lower Hog Creek road access will be allowed during the following dates:
• June 1 – December 31, 2012
• June 1 – September 5, 2013 when the motorized closure lifts
Significant loss of crucial deer winter range habitat occurred in the Blair Fire. The closure will help to slow the spread of noxious weeds; allow seeded shrub, forb and grass species to become established; and allow existing plants time to recover from the effects of the fire. The closure will also help ensure the long-term viability of habitat for wildlife populations in the area. The temporary closure timeframe is in place to allow the vegetation and critical habitat for mule deer and sage-grouse a chance to recover.
Additionally, the closure is necessary because habitat for slickspot peppergrass, a species listed as threatened under the Endangered Species Act, is at risk from further damage by motorized vehicles. The closure will allow burned areas to re-establish a vegetative cover which protects the soil from erosion and provides for moisture retention and helps to ensure the long-term viability of potential slickspot peppergrass plants and their associated habitat in this area.
Temporary closure signs have been posted at key entry points to the burned area. The BLM requests visitors to comply with the closure so that burned areas can recover and be re-opened in the future.
Anyone violating the closure may be tried before a United States Magistrate and fined up to $100,000, imprisoned for up to 12 months, or both. Violators may also be subjected to additional fines.
Exempt from this closure are contractors hired by the BLM to work in the area; search and rescue personnel; Federal, State or local law enforcement officials; other employees in the performance of their official duties; and persons with written authorization from the BLM.
The closure maps are available for viewing at the BLM Shoshone and Four Rivers (Boise) field offices, the BLM Idaho website; and the Idaho Department of Fish and Game (IDFG) in Jerome.
For more information, please contact Joe Russell at 208-732-7200.
View the closure map: Maps are also available at BLM Shoshone and Four Rivers (Boise) field offices, the BLM Idaho website; and the IDFG in Jerome.
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. In Fiscal Year (FY) 2011, recreational and other activities on BLM-managed land contributed more than $130 billion to the U.S. economy and supported more than 600,000 American jobs. The Bureau is also one of a handful of agencies that collects more revenue than it spends. In FY 2012, nearly $5.7 billion will be generated on lands managed by the BLM, which operates on a $1.1 billion budget. The BLM's multiple-use mission is to sustain the health and productivity of the public lands for the use and enjoyment of present and future generations. The Bureau accomplishes this by managing such activities as outdoor recreation, livestock grazing, mineral development, and energy production, and by conserving natural, historical, cultural, and other resources on public lands.
|Last updated: 01-30-2012|
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