Don't spook the moose! wildlife closures go into effect Dec.1 in the BTNF. Photo: Nick Sulzer // Buckrail

WYOMING – On Dec. 1, all winter closure areas will go into effect in The Bridger-Teton National Forest (BTNF).

BTNF stresses the importance of winter wildlife closures. When people or their animals enter the closed winter range, wildlife is forced to move to new locations. This retreat requires animals, such as deer, elk and moose, to use the energy they cannot spare. This leads to a weakened condition, which can have a direct effect on the animals’ ability to fend off disease or predators and can lead to reproduction problems.

The Forest Service reminds recreators to stay on the trail when recreating in areas that go through or skirt the edge of closed areas.

Trail users are also reminded to follow leash requirements. Areas like Cache Creek trailhead, Teton Pass parking area, Putt-Putt Trail, and Game Creek have leash requirements around the trailhead and the beginning of the trail not only to protect the wildlife but to decrease the chance of user conflicts as well.

Forest Service roads are not maintained in the winter, they can be slick with packed snow and ice. Have a plan and be prepared, bring extra clothing, food, water, blankets, first aid kit, shovel, tire chains, and let someone know your destination and expected day and time of return.

The free app, Avenza along with PDF maps, can help users view their location at all times while navigating in the forest. Winter travel maps are available at district offices or online.

Buckrail @ Caroline

Caroline Chapman is a Community News Reporter who is lucky to call the Tetons home. She enjoys reading non-fiction, skiing, hiking, and playing piano in her downtime. Her favorite aspect about living in Jackson is the genuine admiration that Wyomingites share for the land and the life that it sustains.