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Twin Falls District Office
Release Date: 01/10/13
Contacts: Heather Tiel-Nelson , 208-736-2352  

BLM Implements Seasonal Closure in the South Hills

TWIN FALLS, ID – Each year since 2000, BLM implements a seasonal road closure from January 16 to March 15, 2013 in the South Hills. This closure is designed to prevent resource damage and to protect crucial mule deer winter range and sage-grouse habitat. There are signs notifying the public of the closure, and gates have been installed to prevent trespass.

The following roads and any two-tracks or trails tied to these roads will be closed to motorized travel from January 16 to March 15, 2013: Dry Creek, Cherry Spring, Indian Springs (closure begins 1.5 miles south of Foothills Road) and North Cottonwood Creek.

The seasonal closure applies to all motorized vehicles except those specifically authorized to access the area. Such authorization is provided for search and rescue, emergency medical services and law enforcement personnel, as well as administratively approved actions such as livestock grazing activity, access to private lands and resource monitoring or research studies. The area is open to the public for non-motorized use.
"The importance of the South Hills as crucial mule deer winter range cannot be overstated," said Jeremy Bisson, BLM wildlife biologist. "Any excessive disturbance is perceived as a threat by the deer, causing them to deplete their fat reserves and move away from their crucial foraging areas. Increased motorized use of public lands that is evident throughout the south hills could seriously jeopardize the survival and productivity of these animals."

The Magic Valley Regional Office of the Idaho Department of Fish & Game (IDFG) supports the need to protect wildlife in the area. The habitat is important to maintain mule deer herds over-wintering in the area and is also popular for hunting and wildlife viewing during other periods of the year. For additional information, please contact Dennis Thompson, BLM Burley Field Office recreation planner, at (208) 677-6600.

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 sustain the health, diversity, and productivity of America’s public lands for the use and enjoyment of present and future generations. In Fiscal Year 2015, the BLM generated $4.1 billion in receipts from activities occurring on public lands.

Last updated: 10-31-2013