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Sunday, November 27, 2016

BLM to Implement Annual Seasonal Closures in the Wood River Valley Dec. 1

TWIN FALLS, ID – The Bureau of Land Management (BLM) Shoshone Field Office will implement seasonal motorized use closures in the Wood River Valley beginning Dec. 1, 2016 and ending April 30, 2017 to protect deer and elk.  Additionally, two gates have been installed at Lees and Colorado Gulches and one gate was replaced at Townsend Gulch to encourage compliance with the closures.  
According to Shoshone Field Office Outdoor Recreation Planner John Kurtz, “Nearly every winter season causes elk and deer to work harder for their food and shelter.  These seasonal closures help to protect animals that find refuge within these areas.  It is important to help minimize human-related stress on wildlife.”  The seasonal closures are for BLM-managed land only.   
When recreating this winter, BLM encourages the public to carefully gauge their actions to minimize impacts to deer and elk that could be in the area.  “Motorized and non-motorized recreationists disturb wildlife and cause them to waste vital energy that is needed for survival,” said Kurtz.  “When deer or elk are encountered during an outing, it is important to respect the animals and view them from a distance so that noise or close proximity will not cause additional stress."   
            The following areas in the Wood River Valley are closed annually to motorized use, including snowmobiles, from Dec. 1 through April 30:
·         Martin/ Big Dry Canyon
·         Croy Creek to south of Townsend Gulch
·         Big and Little Beaver Drainages
·         South slopes above East Fork
·         Elk Mountain area
·         Portions of Picabo Hills
BLM patrols these areas to monitor and enforce closures. A map detailing the closures within the Wood River Valley is attached and hard copies are also available through the Shoshone Field Office at 400 West F Street in Shoshone.  For additional information, please contact Outdoor Recreation Planner John Kurtz at (208) 732-7296.

The BLM manages more than 245 million acres of public land, the most of any Federal agency. This land, known as the National System of Public Lands, is primarily located in 12 Western states, including Alaska. The BLM also administers 700 million acres of sub-surface mineral estate throughout the nation. The BLM's mission is to manage and conserve the public lands for the use and enjoyment of present and future generations under our mandate of multiple-use and sustained yield. In Fiscal Year 2015, the BLM generated $4.1 billion in receipts from activities occurring on public lands.