BLM extends winter season access in the White Mountains National Recreation Area and the Steese National Conservation Area
The lingering snowpack allows for continued use of snowmobiles
FAIRBANKS, Alaska — Until further notice, the Bureau of Land Management Eastern Interior Field Office is extending the winter season travel limitations in two popular areas. The lingering snowpack supports an extended snowmobile riding season in the White Mountains National Recreation Area and the Steese National Conservation Area.
The BLM’s winter trail maintenance has ended for the season. Backcountry visitors should use caution and expect highly variable and rapidly changing snow and ice conditions this time of year. In the heat of the day, travel can quickly become difficult and creeks may open up leaving visitors stranded on the wrong side of the creek.
Throughout the White Mountains and Steese travel management areas, winter season travel limitations allow for the use of snowmobiles up to 1,000 pounds curb weight and 50 inches wide. The winter and summer season travel limitations are outlined in the new Travel and Transportation Management Plans for the areas.
Other travel limitations take effect during the summer season to help protect sensitive resources such as riparian areas, wetlands, and lichen-rich caribou habitat. As spring breakup progresses and we transition to summer limitations, BLM will evaluate the need to temporarily limit motorized use on high-use trails to minimize rutting and erosion as the trails dry out.
The White Mountains and Steese travel management areas are always open to all forms of non-motorized use, including hiking, equestrian, and bicycling use.
The BLM will re-evaluate snowpack conditions weekly and announce the opening of the summer season travel limitations with a BLM Alaska news release.
Bureau Of Land Management, Fairbanks District Office, 222 University Avenue, Fairbanks, AK 99709
The BLM manages more than 245 million acres of public land located primarily in 12 western states, including Alaska, on behalf of the American people. The BLM also administers 700 million acres of sub-surface mineral estate throughout the nation. Our mission is to sustain the health, diversity, and productivity of America’s public lands for the use and enjoyment of present and future generations.