Burned area near King Hill closed to motorized vehicles
SHOSHONE, ID -- Roads in the area of the 2011 Blair Fire near King Hill will be closed to motorized access from now until June 1 of this year. The BLM road, Walker Reservoir Road and Lower Hog Creek Road, will be reopened on June 1, BLM officials said. Non-motorized access is allowed throughout the area, located about one mile north of King Hill.
This temporary closure will be permanently lifted on September 5, 2013.
As a result of the August 2011 Blair Fire, the BLM's Shoshone and Four Rivers field offices closed nearly 40,000 acres of public land to motorized vehicle travel, a BLM news release said. The motorized vehicle closure is necessary to protect fire rehabilitation efforts, as well as help ensure the long-term viability of habitat for wildlife populations in the area, including mule deer and sage-grouse.
The closure will also help slow the spread of noxious weeds; allow seeded shrub, forb and grass species to establish; and allow existing plants the time to recover from the effects of the fire. Additionally, the closure also allows burned areas to re-establish a vegetative cover to protect the soil from erosion, provide for moisture retention and help ensure the long-term recovery of wildlife habitat, the BLM said.
Temporary closure signs have been posted at key entry points to the burned area. The BLM urges the recreating members of the public to comply with the closure so that burned areas can recover and be re-opened in the future. Anyone violating the closure may be tried before a United States Magistrate and fined up to $100,000, imprisoned for up to 12 months, or both. Violators may also be subjected to additional fines.
Exempt from this closure are contractors hired by the BLM to work in the area; search and rescue personnel; Federal, State or local law enforcement officials; other employees in the performance of their official duties; and persons with written authorization from the BLM.
The closure maps are available for viewing at the BLM Shoshone Field Office, (http://www.blm.gov/id/st/en/Districts-Idaho/BDO/four_rivers.html), BLM Four Rivers Field Office (http://www.blm.gov/id/st/en/Districts-Idaho/BDO/four_rivers.html).
A hard copy of the map may be picked up at the Idaho Department of Fish and Game (IDFG) office in Jerome.