BLM issues remider about winter closures

Several dozen people have been cited for trespassing this winter in the Egin-Hamer Human Entry Winter Closure Area.

Because of that, land management officials are reminding recreationists that 500 square miles of public and private land in the Egin-Hamer area will remain off limits to human entry, with the goal of protecting local wildlife migrating through the region during the winter months.

“The closure has been in affect for quite a while,” Sarah Wheeler, public affairs officer with the Bureau of Land Management said. “And it’s designed to help winter wildlife. People enter the closure early to try and get to the animals.”

Deer, elk, and moose are the primary wildlife that graze throughout the region during winter months.

“This is the time of year where they are pretty fragile,” Wheeler said.

Land use is restricted from Dubois-Kilgore Road in Dubois south to Egin-Hamer Road near Hamer through May 1. A section of land south of Egin-Hamer Road to Sage Junction is restricted through April 1.

Active sand dune access remains off of Red Road near Parker, with further access in this area expanding west on April 1.

David Spain, BLM law enforcement officer, said he has cited more than 50 individuals this year for entering the restricted area.

“It’s primarily a getaway for local youth, and there has been a lot of shed hunting in the area,” Spain said. “This has been the lightest snow pack I’ve seen in five to six years. It hasn’t helped.”

Vehicles found behind active BLM barriers will be cited. Individual land owner accessing their private land are exempt from restrictions. Violations will typically result in fines with BLM and area authorities.

The closure was a collaborative effort between federal, state, and local officials.

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Reporter Marc Basham can be reached at 208-542-6763