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Stinking Springs, Egin areas to close for winter

Outdoors

The following is a news release from the Idaho Falls District of the Bureau of Land Management.

IDAHO FALLS, Idaho – In collaboration with the Idaho Department of Fish and Game (IDFG), the Bureau of Land Management Upper Snake Field Office will temporarily close the Stinking Springs area near the South Fork of the Snake River to all motorized vehicles and human entry in order to support wildlife survival rates. The annual closure will begin Dec. 15, 2020, and will remain in effect through sunrise May 1, 2021, depending on weather conditions.

In past years, the temporary closure started Dec. 1. However, in coordination with IDFG, using years of mule deer location data, the agencies agreed moving the closure date back to Dec. 15 would not impact the species.

“Increasing human activity in the Stinking Springs area creates additional stress on the fragile mule deer that winter there, requiring them to use up their supply of stored winter fat more quickly,” said Jeremy Casterson, BLM Upper Snake Field Manager. “We appreciate the public’s help every year in avoiding this area to help protect these sensitive animals.”

For similar reasons, the annual Egin-Hamer Area Closure will also be in effect a couple of weeks later. This Egin closure temporarily places nearly 500 square miles of BLM land off-limits to human entry for the protection of wintering deer, elk and moose. Restrictions begin on Jan. 1 and last until sunrise on April 1 south of the Egin-Hamer Road and until sunrise on May 1 north of it.

The seasonal closures apply to other BLM lands in the vicinity of Stinking Springs, and the U.S. Forest Service also closes National Forest lands in the area during winter. It is advisable to check with agency offices before planning travel in these areas. For more information, contact the Upper Snake Field Office at (208) 524-7500.

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