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Yellowstone NP launches lottery for snowmobile permits

snowmobilers

Snowmobilers can apply for a permit lottery to lead a non-commercial guided tour in the Yellowstone National Park this winter.

Slots for non-commercial guided tours up for grabs through early October

Staff Report

FRISCO — Strict limits on snowmobiling in Yellowstone National Park mean access is by permit only, and those permits are now available via a lottery, with spots available for non-commercially guided snowmobile trip into Yellowstone National Park this winter. Applications can be submitted online at http://recreation.gov through October 3, 2014. Continue reading

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Summit County eyes winter road closures

New rules would mesh with management of national forest lands

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Summit County officials are considering a request to close parts of several local roads, including Baldy Mountain Road, to winter motorized recreational traffic. Maps of the other roads are online at the Summit County planning department website.

By Summit Voice

FRISCO — Summit County officials will take input on a request to ban winter motorized recreation on three county roads:

  • Gold Run Gulch Road/CR 300 (from the Gold Run Trailhead on the north to the intersection with CR 456 on the south)
  • Baldy Road/CR 520 (from the Baldy Trailhead at Emmet Lode/CR 536 to the road’s terminus on Baldy Mountain)
  • Boreas Pass Road/CR 10 (from the Boreas Pass Trailhead to Boreas Pass)

An open house on the request is set for Nov. 19, from 5:30 – 7:30 p.m. in the BOCC Hearing Room at the County Courthouse in Breckenridge. More detailed project information and maps will be available at the open house and can also be found on the Special Projects section of the Summit County Community Development website at: http://www.co.summit.co.us/index.aspx?NID=837. Continue reading

Alpine grouse decline linked to winter recreation

The decline of Alpine wood grouse may be linked to growth in winter recreation. PHOTO BY RICHARD BARTZ VIA THE CREATIVE COMMONS.

Conservationists call for restrictions on winter recreation in core habitat areas

By Summit Voice

SUMMIT COUNTY — In research that might of interest to Summit County leaders as they mull over recreation and development plans, Swiss scientists say they have linked burgeoning winter recreation activities in the Alps with a severe decline of wood grouse populations.

The study, published in the  journal IBIS,  shows how the growth of human recreation may be a key factor in the rapidly declining population of these iconic alpine birds.

The wood grouse, sometimes called the Capercaillie (Tetrao urogallus), is the largest member of the grouse family and is renowned for its mating display. It is most commonly found in the alpine regions of Germany and Switzerland.

“Alpine habitats across Europe remained relatively undisturbed until the beginning of the last century, but today human outdoor recreation areas coincide with the winter habitats of many shy and endangered species,” said lead author Dominik Thiel, of the Swiss Ornithological Institute. “The Western Capercaillie has suffered rapid population declines during recent decades. However, little is known about their susceptibility to human recreation activities.” Continue reading

More trail closures at Vail Pass

The U.S. Forest Service has closed more snowmobile trails in the Vail Pass area.

SUMMIT COUNTY — Limited snow continues to pinch snowmobile access at the Vail Pass Winter Recreation Area, where the Forest Service has closed a few more trails until there’s more snow on the ground.

The closures are intended to prevent damage to vegetation, rangers said. In addition to the popular trail leading to Machine Gun Ridge, Trail number 2, leading to Shrine Bowl, is also closed. Winter roads 9 and 10 are also closed pending more snow.

The Ptarmigan Hill snow play area is also closed. Forest Service rangers will be monitoring conditions daily in order to re-open snow roads and areas as soon as favorable conditions allow.  Please check in with Forest Service rangers at the fee booth for the latest information regarding closures.

Additional questions can be directed to Graham Predeger at (970) 274-9911 or Tyler Kirkpatrick at (970) 376-4317.

More information on the Vail Pass trails, including maps, in online here.

Popular Vail Pass snowmobile trail closed temporarily

Snowmobilers and hybrid skiers looking for access to Ptarmigan Pass and Machine Gun Ridge off Vail Pass will have to use an alternate access route out of Camp Hale for at least the next few days. Due to thin snow cover, the Forest Service has closed the Wilder Gulch route to traffic to prevent further resource damage in the alpine drainage.

Forest Service hopes to re-open main access route to Ptarmigan Pass and Machine Gun Ridge in time for the weekend

By Bob Berwyn

SUMMIT COUNTY — Limited snow in the high country has spurred the U.S. Forest Service to close a popular snowmobile trail at Vail Pass.

The Wilder Gulch winter road, providing access to Ptarmigan Pass and Machine Gun Ridge are temporarily closed as of Jan. 7 to prevent further resource damage in the area, the Forest Service said in a press release.


More information on the Vail Pass Winter Recreation Area, including maps, is online here.

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