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January 23, 2006
Contact: Steve Belinda (307) 367-5323
Rey Adame (307) 352-0399

Pinedale BLM to Implement Mesa Seasonal Vehicle Closure

The Bureau of Land Management (BLM) in Pinedale has closed all BLM-administered public lands on the Mesa south of Pinedale to motorized vehicle use through April 30, 2006. The closure is effective for all motorized travel activities unless authorized by the Pinedale BLM field manager. Examples of motorized vehicles include snowmobiles, all-terrain vehicles, pickups, and sport utility vehicles. The closure is necessary to protect wintering big-game and provide secure winter habitats.

Highways and county roads are not affected. Personnel of the Wyoming Game and Fish Department, law enforcement agencies, BLM personnel, and previously approved wildlife researchers are exempt from this order when performing official duties. Operators of existing oil and gas facilities may perform maintenance and pumping, as approved. Travel also is authorized to the various winter well-drilling locations from the south access only. Use of these areas by non-motorized means is still allowed. Violations of the closure will be referred to the appropriate agency.

This seasonal closure is to reduce impacts to wintering wildlife and has been coordinated with the Wyoming Game and Fish Department. Impacts to wintering wildlife are compounded by significant human activity, such as day and night wildlife observation, still and video photography, snowmobiling, and antler gathering. Increased disturbance caused by motor vehicles could add to the stress on wintering big-game and result in a greater chance of animals not surviving the winter. Recent development of the Pinedale Anticline gas field has reduced the amount of winter habitat available for use and can compound the impacts from motorized vehicle use.

Proper winter range etiquette is encouraged if you access winter range by non-motorized means. For more information or for maps of the area, visit the BLM Pinedale Field Office at 432 East Mill Street, Pinedale, WY 82941; or call their office at (307) 367-5300.

-BLM-