FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
CONTACT: Kelly VaughnDirector of Communications
Snowmass Village, Colo.--April 18, 2014--Snowmass Village Animal Services announces the annual area closure of Two Creeks to West Buttermilk for elk calving.
Trails closed in this area include:
- Tom Blake Trail: Closed April 25-June 21
- Anaerobic Nightmare Trail, Sequel: Closed April 25-June 21
- Government Trail: Closed May 15-June 21
"We are lucky enough to have a wildlife presence in our backyard that rivals national parks," said Laurie Smith, Snowmass Village animal services officer. "Protecting these species is important enough that four major entities that manage our integrated trail system work together to improve trail signage and public information on the seasonal closures."
May and June is the primary elk calving season. The closed area provides protection for a specific habitat that elk chose year-after-year for calving due to the abundance of water, food sources, and seclusion.
In 2013, wildlife monitoring cameras revealed multiple closure violations by recreators. Stress and disturbance from humans can lead to abandonment of this critical habitat, or the abandonment of elk calves. Cow elk are recovering from winter and have high energy demands. They need to forage and nurse without being startled or disrupted.
"Athletes may not even realize they have disturbed wildlife during birthing," Smith said. "It's up to all of us--mountain bikers, cross country runners, or dog walkers--to respect these constraints and allow our local wildlife population to thrive."
The public is advised to honor closure gates and signs. The town has a zero-tolerance policy, and violators will be fined. Fines can range from $50 to a maximum of $5,000.
Open trails during this period include:
- Highline/Lowline Trails
- South Rim Trail
- North Rim Trail (after May 15th)
- Sky Mountain Park (after May 15th)
- Ditch Trail and West Government Trail
- Sam's Knob, Alpine Springs, and Elk Camp work roads