TWIN FALLS, Idaho (KLIX) Seasonal road closures on public land are about to begin and last to spring. The Burley Bureau of Land Management says the closures in the South Hills will begin on January 16 and go to March 15. The closures are aimed at protecting mule deer winter range as well as sage-grouse habitat.

The importance of the south hills as crucial mule deer winter range cannot be overstated," said Jeremy Bisson, BLM Wildlife Biologist. "Any excessive disturbance is perceived as a threat by the deer causing them to deplete their fat reserves and move away from their important foraging areas.  Increased motorized use of public lands which is evident throughout the South Hills could seriously jeopardize the survival and productivity of these animals."

The following roads and trails associated with them are off limits to motorized travel during the closure: Dry Creek, Cherry Spring, Indian Springs (Closure begins 1.5 miles south of Foothills Road) and North Cottonwood Creek. Signs will be placed at areas leading into the closed roads. There are some exceptions for authorized motorized travel in these areas to emergency services and land management. These areas will still be open to the public to access without a motorized vehicle.

Area Idaho Fish and Game officials also support the closures, which have been in practice since 2000.

Considering the heavy winter snows this year, and the light fawn body weights we have been detecting, it makes this closure even more important for people to honor,” said Kelton Hatch, Fish and Game Regional Conservation Educator.

For more information regarding the road closure, please contact Dennis Thompson, BLM Burley Field Office recreation planner, at (208) 677-6600.