South Hills area temporarily closed to motorized vehicles on Jan. 16
TWIN FALLS, Idaho – The Bureau of Land Management Burley Field Office will implement an annual seasonal motorized travel closure in the South Hills area Monday, Jan. 16 to Wednesday, March 15, 2023, to prevent resource damage and protect crucial mule deer winter range and Greater sage-grouse habitat. The area is still 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 need to conserve,” said Eric Killoy, BLM wildlife biologist. “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.”
The Magic Valley Regional Office of the Idaho Department of Fish and Game supports the need to protect wildlife in the area each year. “The habitat is important to maintain mule deer herds over-wintering in the South Hills, and the area is popular for hunting and wildlife viewing during other periods of the year,” said Craig White, Magic Valley regional supervisor.
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 annual seasonal road closure, or nearby areas available for motorized travel throughout the winter, please contact Dennis Thompson, BLM Burley Outdoor 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.