Temporary Emergency Closure of public lands within the Challis Bridge Day-Use Site
CHALLIS, Idaho — Challis Bridge Day-Use Site within the Challis Field Office is temporarily closing to protect public health and safety. The current conditions at Challis Bridge pose hazardous conditions to public health and safety if visitors attempt to drive or walk through the site.
Beginning in late December 2021, the Challis region experienced prolonged freezing temperatures. This has resulted in a buildup of ice in the Salmon River. The ice buildup shifted water flow patterns and the site is now flooded and covered in a thin, unstable layer of ice. This closure affects approximately 11.5 acres of BLM-managed public land. The Challis Bridge Day-Use Site is a developed recreation site containing two bathrooms, road and parking area, picnic tables, and interpretive signs, and is located adjacent to the Salmon River.
“The site will re-open when our staff determines conditions are safe and water levels have returned to normal,” said Challis Field Manager Matt Marsh.
This is a periodic wintertime situation. The BLM most recently instituted a similar closure in 2017. While not an annual concern, this a periodic problem that the BLM responds to accordingly.
The current closure may also include the timeframe for construction work that may be required to fix the road and parking area from any damages it may have received. Temporary signs with maps and barricades will be implemented at the entrance to prevent visitors from accessing the site. Recreation and Law Enforcement staff will regularly monitor the site to ensure public safety and the emergency closure order are being met and to track water levels and damages to resources and recreation assets.
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.