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Winter travel restrictions extended through May 1


IDAHO FALLLS, Idaho (KIFI) - The 2022/2023 winter has been especially hard for local wildlife. Wildlife agencies are continuing to see an elevated level of mortality in big game animals due to the deep snow and continued cold. These concerns prompted the Caribou-Targhee National Forest to work in partnership with Idaho Fish and Game and Wyoming Game and Fish, to extend all winter range closures on the Palisades and Teton Basin Ranger District until May 1.

“It has been a long, hard winter. Extending existing closure dates will provide some additional relief for area wildlife that may be stressed and running low on energy reserves," Caribou-Targhee National Forest Supervisor Mel Bolling said.

Areas of crucial wildlife winter range closed to all human presence include Lower Rainey Creek, the Fall Creek drainage, slopes above the South Fork of the Snake River near Heise, south facing slopes in Teton, Darby, Game and Moose creek and the interior loop of Horseshoe and Packsaddle creeks. Other portions of the Palisades and Teton Basin Districts are closed to all motorized use.

“This has been a brutal winter and we are asking people to give big game animals plenty of space, and avoid causing them additional stress,” Upper Snake Region Regional Supervisor Matt Pieron said. “Our wildlife will benefit from any relief we can provide them and we appreciate the Forest Service for their efforts.”

Winter range is found predominantly on south facing slopes at lower elevations and is extremely important to elk, moose and deer for survival. Human disturbance during winter months can cause the animals to expend energy from already low reserves.

Snowmobiling is not allowed in designated wildlife winter ranges or Wilderness Areas. Maps showing winter closures are available at any of the Caribou-Targhee Forest Service offices or by going online at and clicking on the link for winter visitor maps. The Forest Service will continue to provide winter patrols on the Forest and emphasize enforcement of the extended closures.

For more information on the Caribou-Targhee National Forest, visit

Article Topic Follows: Idaho Falls

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