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Thread: Lawsuit Forces Seasonal Road/Trail Closures in Pike-San Isabel National Forest

  1. #1
    Caught the Bug
    Join Date
    Feb 2016

    Lawsuit Forces Seasonal Road/Trail Closures in Pike-San Isabel National Forest

    I ran across this and thought it important enough to share!

    Seems several groups filed a lawsuit resulting in the seasonal closure of numerous roads/trails in the Pike-San Isabel National Forest here in Colorado. The lawsuit focuses on research showing that deer and elk are especially sensitive to vehicular traffic intrusions during mating and birthing seasons; that food sources are limited; the animals require extra nourishment due to the cold; and lastly their instinctual behavior to run from loud noises and from people consumes needed calories. So, traveling on foot, horseback and non-motorized bicycle is allowed, but motorized vehicles are not... that is unless it is, “a motor vehicle that is designed for use over snow and runs on a track or tracks and/or a ski or skis, while in use over snow”... I guess that deer and elk don't run from people, people on bicycles or horses, or even more surprising, people on snowmobiles! Who knew?!

    Road Closures:

    In Park County, roads in the Morrison-based South Platte district, including Forest Service Roads 126, 809, 810 and their spurs near the top of Kenosha Pass, and FSRs 101 and 105 in the Slaughterhouse Gulch area, will be closed Jan. 1 - May 15.

    In South Park, seasonal closures on the west side of the district include roads northeast of Jefferson Lake Recreation Area near the Kenosha Pass summit, which are closed Jan. 15 - May 15.

    Closed Jan. 1 - June 15, are Beaver Creek, Crooked Creek, all forest roads and trails in the Horseshoe/Fourmile area including Breakneck and Browns passes and all forest roads east of Buffalo Peaks Wilderness.

    On the east side, FSRs 140, 844 and 845 southeast of Jefferson close Jan. 1 - June 15, as do FSRs 204 and 212 near Spruce Grove campground and FSRs 142 (and spurs) and 143 north of Tarryall Reservoir.

    FSR 237 in the Packer Gulch area closes March 1 - June 15, and, in the southern end of the county, roads south of Dicks Creek and north of Black Mountain are closed Jan. 1 - June 1.

    In the Colorado Springs-based Pikes Peak district, FSR 376-A in Teller County, is closed Dec. 1 - March 31.

    The complete article:

  2. #2
    Addict GraniteCrystal's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2015
    Denver, CO
    Huh. In all honesty, I rarely drive offroad in the winter time anyway so I don't think it's that much of an impact. I'm also a hunter and care deeply that my state maintain a healthy deer and elk population.

    That said, these closures lasting Jan-June seem excessive and misplaced. Mating season is in the Fall (Sept, Oct) not the Spring and staying closed the mid June seems crazy. They should open up in April I'd say.

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  3. #3
    Nothing but a Thing Linebacker's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2012
    Evergreen, CO
    The closure dates do seem more than a little out of sync with mating and birthing seasons for deer and elk. Mule deer birthing season tends to be in full swing around Evergreen in June. There's way more to worry about from coyotes, bears, the occasional bobcat, mountain lions and domestic dogs during those seasons. There could be other reasons for these "closures."
    Mom and newborn getting acquainted on next door neighbor's property June 2015.
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  4. #4
    Knows a Thing or Two Goldeneagle1LC's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2015
    Plant City, Fl
    Sounds like some groups just wanted their own little private play areas.

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