The Bureau of Land Management's Uncompahgre Field Office and the Gunnison Gorge National Conservation Area are implementing annual seasonal road closures to protect wildlife habitat.
"We appreciate the public's cooperation in helping us protect wildlife and public lands," said BLM Colorado Uncompahgre field manager Greg Larson.
The closures are intended to protect sensitive Gunnison sage-grouse habitat, reduce stress and disturbance to wintering deer and elk herds and prevent damage to soils from excessive erosion.
Roads that will be closed to motorized and mechanized use include portions of Black Ridge and Fruitland Mesas east of the Gunnison Gorge Wilderness, west of the Black Canyon Road, south of the Smith Fork drainage and north of Black Canyon of the Gunnison National Park. Under the annual closures, C-77 (Green Mountain), Black Ridge and Red Canyon Road will be closed to motorized and mechanical uses from Dec. 1 through May 15.
Additional closures to protect wintering big game habitat include routes within the Dry Creek Travel Management Area west of Montrose, the Ridgway Travel Management Area north of Ridgway, the Burn Canyon Travel Management Area west of Norwood, the Billy Creek Area, the Sims Mesa Area, the Fairview and the Lone Cabin Road near Crawford. These areas will reopen from March 31 to April 30.
While gates will be locked on some roads, other areas will be closed through signing. All of the areas continue to be open to non-motorized recreation such as hiking and horseback riding with the exception of the Ridgway Area.
An overview map and list of the areas affected by the closures are available online at https://www.blm.gov/programs/recreation/recreation-activities/colorado/closures and at the Uncompahgre Field Office in Montrose, 2505 S. Townsend Avenue. Detailed maps are also available at the field office and can be sent via email upon request.
For more information, contact the Uncompahgre Field Office, 970-240-5300.
At their March 5 meeting Commissioners Doug Atchley, Mark Roeber and Don Suppes made two appointments to the county planning commission. Steve Shea was reappointed for a three-year term.