The Bureau of Land Management Uncompahgre Field Office and the Gunnison Gorge National Conservation Area are implementing seasonal road closures beginning Dec. 1 to protect wildlife habitat.
"The seasonal road closures are necessary to help protect sensitive Gunnison sage grouse habitat and reduce stress and disturbance to wintering big game herds," said Sam Dearstyne, BLM Acting Uncompahgre Field Manager.
Roads that are closed to motorized and mechanized use near Montrose, Colorado include portions of Black Ridge and Fruitland Mesa 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. The Black Ridge, C-77 (Green Mountain) and Red Canyon Roads are closed from Dec. 1 through May 15 to motorized and mechanical uses.
Additional seasonal road 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, Burn Canyon Travel Management Area west of Norwood, Billy Creek Area, Sims Mesa Area, Fairview and Jones Draw Area as well as the Lone Cabin Road near Crawford. These seasonal road closures also begin Dec. 1 and will reopen from March 31 to April 30.
"Maps indicating whether a specific area is open or closed and the type of usage that is allowed are available at the field office. The BLM staff at the Uncompahgre Field Office is always happy to answer questions to help the public traverse the amazing route system in our backyard," said Dearstyne.
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.