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Winter wildlife closures extended to protect bighornsheep

Grand Teton National Park has extended two existing wildlife closures to protect bighorn sheep due to severe winter conditions during the month of February.

The existing closure near the summit area of Static Peak and the Mount Hunt/Prospectors Mountain Complex within the park is extended from April 1 to April 30, 2019.

Recreational use in these areas is prohibited during this time.

These winter closures have been in effect since the late 1990s and early 2000s to mitigate the loss of low elevation winter ranges and address the reduction in available winter habitat for bighorn sheep.

Officials say winter is a difficult time for bighorn sheep to survive. The sheep live off their fat reserves built up during the summer, and additional energy expenditures resulting from recreational disturbance can cause sheep to burn unnecessary calories that could compromise their ability to survive and reproduce.

Albright Peak and Buck Mountain are accessible for winter backcountry recreationists.

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