Challis Field Office enacting wintertime motor vehicle closures
CHALLIS, Idaho—The Bureau of Land Management (BLM) Challis Field Office is implementing several seasonal motor vehicle closures, which will be in effect from Dec. 16 through the end of April. These closures are in place through spring to protect wintering wildlife, important elk calving areas and bighorn sheep lambing grounds.
Each year the Challis Field Office reminds the public that the Field Office’s Travel Management Plan stipulates a variety of seasonal closures throughout the year. The ones that go into effect Dec. 16 include:
- Second Spring Basin, Carlson Hills and Fuller Gulch- for the protection of wildlife values
- Willow Creek- Elk winter range
- Donkey Hills ACEC- elk winter range and crucial calving area
- Birch Creek ACEC- crucial winter range and lambing habitat for bighorn sheep
"These annual closures are necessary to protect elk, mule deer and bighorn sheep from disruptive human activities during the difficult winter months,” said Matt Marsh, Challis Field Manager. “These closures occur during the most stressful time of year when animals' energy reserves are low, and allow wildlife to conserve energy and survive the winter. When animals flee due to disturbances caused by people, they use calories that are needed to survive the rest of winter.”
These seasonal closures apply to motorized vehicles—including snowmobiles, ATVs/UTVs, pickups, motorcycles—in the closed areas, but do not apply to other recreation uses like hiking and cross-country skiing. Under the Challis Field Office’s Travel Management Plan, motorized vehicle use the remainder of the year is always limited to designated routes in the areas mentioned above. The public can obtain a free travel map from the office to view specific seasonal closures.
The BLM appreciates the public’s help in respecting wintering wildlife.
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.