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Some public lands will be closed for the winter to protect wildlife – Durango Herald

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Closures starting December 1 will help mules and deer during the colder months

Some public lands will close December 1 to protect deer and mule deer populations that come down from high altitudes for the winter. (Jerry McBride/ Durango Herald file)

Beginning December 1, some lands managed by the Bureau of Land Management, Colorado Parks and Wildlife and the city of Durango will close to protect mule deer and elk that come down from high altitudes for the winter.

“Public collaboration helps ensure that these critical areas remain suitable for wildlife under increased stress during the winter months,” said Connie Clementson, field manager for the BLM Tres Rios Office.

Agencies coordinate to identify key wildlife areas for conservation while keeping other areas open for winter recreation.

These field trails are closed to the public from 1 December to 15 April each year and can be extended until 30 April if conditions allow:

Grandview Ridge

  • Big Canyon and Sale Barn trails (access is east of US Highway 160).
  • Portions of Sidewinder and Cowboy trails on BLM grounds accessed from the South Rim Trail, Carbon Junction Trail, or Crite’s Connect.
  • Grandview BLM trails (access from Three Springs).

Animas City Mountain

  • The BLM descends above the lower loops (about 1.5 miles up the 32nd Street road).

Twin Buttes Area

  • All top paths as marked.

Bodo State Wildlife Area

  • Exception: Smelter Mountain Trail is open from 10:00 to 14:00; dogs are prohibited. Small game hunting is permitted in the area south of La Plata County Road 210.

Perins Peak, east of County Road 208 and west of Hogsback, will be closed until July 31. Perins Peak is pedestrian-only for the remainder of the year, and the northernmost roads in Animas City will also be closed until 31 July. Protect the nesting peregrine falcons.

These areas will remain open for hiking, biking, snowshoeing and skiing:

Horse Gulch, Telegraph, Crites and Skyline areas

  • Meadow, Stacy’s, Mike’s, Telegraph, Crite’s and Sugar routes.
  • From the entire Raider Ridge Trail to Medicine.
  • Down and Out and Snake Charmer trails.
  • On Highway 3, the Carbon Junction road to the Telegraph via Crite’s Connection is open.

Lower Twin Buttes trails

  • US Highway 160 westbound entrance; upper loops are closed.

The entire Dalla Mountain Park

  • Enter at Junction Creek Road.

Overend Mountain Park

  • Access to Leyden Street and Hidden Valley Circle.

Trails around Fort Lewis College and along the Rim

  • Lions Den, Chapman Flow and Jump Line.
  • The Rim, Squawker, Talker, Skyline and Shocker trail (accessible from the Powerline Trail).

Colorado Road

  • Access at Junction Creek.

A 1.5-mile loop trail at the bottom of Animas City Mountain

  • Access from Birket Drive and 32nd Street trailheads or Dalla Mountain Park.

CPW data on deer and moose movements throughout the year indicate that areas closed to human activities are necessary to protect critical foraging habitat and enable animals to conserve energy for winter survival.

The BLM reminds those reincarnating this winter to remember to observe wildlife from afar and keep dogs under control at all times.

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