Just a friendly reminder that the hardest season for our wildlife is upon us. As a result, specific winter closures designed to protect overwintering wildlife take effect on the Bridger Teton National Forest on December 1st – today! These closures are typically in effect until April 30th.
These closures help protect overwintering wildlife from expending unnecessary energy retreating from humans, their pets, and noise. Remember that some favorite winter trails, like the Game Creek trail and the Putt Putt Trail in Cache Creek, are adjacent to winter closures and require pets to be leashed for the first section that is next to the closure, there are signs at each trailhead with maps of the closures.
Closed areas include Josie’s Ridge, the KC trail, Wilson Canyon, the slopes above the Putt-Putt trail, the slopes north of the Game Creek trail and portions of the Gros Ventre drainage (see map below).
Downloadable maps of local winter closures can be found at the Teton Conservation District Winter Closure Map Page HERE.
Winter closures for wildlife
The wildlife in our area are fortunate to have winter wildlife closures to protect them and their habitat during the sensitive winter season. Currently 12% (or 1,391,526 acres) of public lands are protected with winter closures in Teton County. The below figure is from the Alliance’s 2023 Human-Wildlife Coexistence Report.
We are lucky not only to have the abundant wildlife and winter closures, but also to have a mountain ethic that prioritizes wildlife and wild places. We want to thank this community for respecting winter closures, understanding why they are important, and for giving wildlife the space they need in the winter.
Our Don’t Poach The Powder campaign was started almost 25 years ago to educate our community about winter closures and to help build the strong ethic we have today. We are proud of our community’s commitment to protecting the wildlife and wild places of Jackson Hole!
Watch for the seasonal launch of DPTP at the Winter Party.