Winter still abounds on the Bridger-Teton
Critical winter range, dog leashes and conservative decision making
WESTERN WYOMING —The Bridger-Teton National Forest reminds forest visitors that winter wildlife restrictions remain in effect until May 1, 2023. It is important that all users understand the importance of observing the critical winter range closures. These areas have been designated as essential to the survival of wildlife. Winter travel and closure maps are available on the forest website at link below under “maps and publications.” When individuals access closed winter range, they cause animals using the area to become stressed or flee to new locations. This retreat requires animals, especially ungulates like deer, elk, and moose, to use energy they cannot spare. Further, it can place them in areas less suitable for grazing and/or browsing, preventing them from gathering the food sources they need to survive. This leads to a weakened condition, which can have a direct effect on the animals’ ability to defend itself, making it more susceptible to predation and disease, and can lead to future reproduction problems in individual animals.
Recreating with the four-legged members of your family can be great fun but this comes with responsibilities. Be aware that many popular trailheads on the Jackson District have leash requirements, forest employees and volunteers are out in force to curb unleashed dogs in these areas. Even outside of these areas it is imperative that visitors maintain control of their animals through a leash or voice command, this is essential to minimizing impacts on wintering wildlife and improves the experience of other forest users.
There is still a significant amount of snow throughout the forest and surrounding areas. The impacts of more snow, changing temperatures, and wind loading are manifesting through natural and human triggered avalanches. Please check the avalanche forecast, have the appropriate equipment and be prepared to “walk away” if the conditions are unsafe.
Avalanche forecasts are available daily at https://bridgertetonavalanchecenter.org/. For other news, events and information please visit https://www.fs.usda.gov/btnf and follow the Bridger-Teton National Forest on Facebook @BridgerTetonNF or on Twitter @BridgerTetonNF.