Big game winter range closures in place near Steamboat | SteamboatToday.com

Big game winter range closures in place near Steamboat

Staff report

STEAMBOAT SPRINGS — Seasonal closures for big game winter range began Dec. 1 in some locations near Steamboat Springs on the Routt National Forest.

Both mandatory and voluntary closures are in place annually from Dec. 1 to April 15, 2018, at trailheads and in areas where conflicts between wildlife and people have historically occurred.

Approximately, 12,000 acres on National Forest have a seasonal closure of winter range for deer and elk in place. This includes trails such as Mad Creek, Red Dirt, Hot Springs and Spring Creek trails.

A full list of closure areas is below. If respected, these closure areas provide pockets of habitat where deer and elk find security and food during the harsh winter months without being disturbed by human activities.

The current closure areas include:

Mandatory

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  • Spring Creek Trail 1160
  • Mad Creek Trail 1100 (Swamp Park Trail)
  • Red Dirt Trail 1171
  • Hot Springs Trail 1169
  • Foothills south of Steamboat Ski Area to U.S. Highway 40

Voluntary

  • Greenville Mine area (Roads 440 and 471)
  • Coulton Creek area (Trail 1188 and Road 429)
  • Lower Bear Trail 1206
  • Sarvis Creek Trail 1105
  • Silver Creek Trail 1106
  • Areas adjacent to the Radium and Indian Run State Wildlife Areas (Roads 212 and 214)
  • Area north of Toponas off Forest Road 285

Closure signage is posted at affected trailheads. Since some of the closure area borders Steamboat Ski Area, the District has worked closely with the resort to publicize the public access changes. The ski area has included the big game winter range closure areas in their ski area trail maps, and new mandatory closure signs are posted along the ski area operating boundary between South Peak Lift and Broadway ski trail.

In place of the closure areas, recreationists are asked to use the following winter recreation areas on the Forest:  Buffalo Pass, Rabbit Ears Pass, Gore Pass, Lynx Pass, Bear River Corridor (entrance to the Flat Tops) and Dunckley Pass.

Other areas include the South Fork Trail (Trail 1100.5A) south of the Elk River with parking at the Hinman parking area (a non-motorized area) and Forest Road 430/Scott Run (Trail 1177).  Another alternate area is located west of Routt County Road 129 at the Hahns Peak Lake Area on Forest Roads 486 and 488.

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