TWIN FALLS — The Bureau of Land Management Burley Field Office has implemented the annual seasonal motorized travel closure in the South Hills area to prevent resource damage and protect crucial mule deer winter range and sage-grouse habitat. The closure, which has gone into effect each winter since 2000, will be in place until March 15. The area is still open to the public for non-motorized use.
Signs are posted in the area to notify the public of the closure to the following roads, as well as any two-tracks or trails tied to these roads:
- Dry Creek
- Cherry Spring
- Indian Springs — closure begins 1½ miles south of Foothills Road.
- North Cottonwood Creek
The closure applies to all motorized vehicles except those specifically authorized to access the area. Motorized travel authorization is provided for search and rescue operations, emergency medical services, law enforcement personnel, and administratively approved actions such as livestock grazing, access to private lands and resource monitoring or research studies.
“Increased human disturbance from motorized vehicles and off-trail recreation forces mule deer to move to lower-quality habitat and expend energy they are trying to conserve,” Eric Killoy, BLM wildlife biologist, said in a statement. “This, in turn, limits foraging ability and reduces fat reserves essential for survival and reproduction. To sustain healthy populations of mule deer in the South Hills and surrounding areas, it is crucial to minimize disturbance during these next few months.”