Closure in the South Hills goes into effect Jan. 16
Motorized travel restrictions to protect mule deer and sage-grouse
TWIN FALLS, Idaho – The Bureau of Land Management Burley Field Office will implement an annual seasonal motorized travel closure in the South Hills area, south of Twin Falls, Jan. 16 to March 15, 2024. The closure is intended to prevent resource damage and protect crucial mule deer winter range and sage-grouse habitat. The area remains open to the public for non-motorized use.
Signs are posted in the area to notify the public of the temporary closure to the following roads, as well as any two-tracks or trails tied to these roads:
- Dry Creek
- Dry Gulch
- Cherry Spring
- Indian Springs (closure begins 1.5 miles south of Foothills Road)
- North Cottonwood Creek
“Increased human disturbance from motorized vehicles and off-trail recreation forces mule deer to move to lower quality habitat and expend energy they are trying to conserve,” said BLM Burley wildlife biologist Lindsey Schmitt. “This, in turn, limits foraging ability and reduces fat reserves essential for survival and reproduction. To sustain healthy populations of mule deer in the South Hills and surrounding areas it is crucial to minimize disturbance during these next few months.”
Idaho Department of Fish and Game, Magic Valley Region, supports the need to protect wildlife while the animals are on historic winter range. “Big game winter range habitat is critically important to sustain wildlife populations, like mule deer herds that over-winter in the South Hills,” said Magic Valley regional supervisor Craig White.
The seasonal closure applies to all motorized vehicles (including E-bikes), except those specifically authorized to access the area. Motorized travel authorization is provided for search and rescue operations, emergency medical services and law enforcement personnel, and administratively approved actions such as livestock grazing, access to private lands and resource monitoring or research studies.
For more information regarding this road closure, or nearby areas available for motorized travel throughout the winter, please contact Heidi Barker, BLM Burley Field Office recreation planner, at (208) 677-6600.
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.