Even though spring is fighting to break through, natural resource managers at the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) and the Idaho Department of Fish & Game (IDFG) have tried to guarantee that wintering big games herds remained protected as long as possible and have maintained original closure dates as they relate to the Egin-Hamer closure and St. Anthony Sand Dunes. The southern portion of the closure opens to human entry on April 1st, 2013.
That portion of the Egin-Hamer Closure Area that is south of the Egin-Hamer Road is scheduled to open at sunrise on April 1st. The area north of the road surrounding the dunes remains closed until sunrise on May 1st. Maps of the closure are available at the regional IDFG and BLM Offices in Idaho Falls. The closure is patrolled not only by law enforcement officers from BLM and IDFG, but also the Fremont County Sheriff’s Department.
Department staff are allowed as part of their administrative duties to enter the closure to carry out enforcement activities. Department staff and volunteers have already entered the area to do hibernating bat research and may enter the remaining closed portion to observe sage grouse performing courtship displays on their mating leks. Survey crews under the direction of the BLM may also be observed entering the closure.
It is critical that in all areas that humans give wildlife a wide berth. Many animals are preparing to give birth to their young and it is critical that energy reserves are maintained in the event a late spring harsh weather event occurs.
Image courtesy Idaho Department of Fish & Game