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.
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.
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.