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Hikers, bikers violating elk calving areas
SNOWMASS VILLAGE — More hikers and bikers than usual are invading terrain this spring that is seasonally closed so cow elk can give birth in peace, a state wildlife officer said Tuesday.
Kevin Wright, district wildlife manager with Colorado Parks and Wildlife, said the unpermitted activity on trails on the east edge of Snowmass Village and the Snowmass ski area threatens to reduce reproductive success rates.
“We're just getting a lot of people trying to get in to hike and bike in places where they shouldn't be,” Wright said. “People are not respecting the closures at all.”
The trails with seasonal closures through June 20 are Tom Blake, Sequel, Anaerobic Nightmare, Buttermilk Ridge Trail and Government.
“There's other places where people can hike and bike without going in elk-production areas,” Wright said.
The Forest Service closes federal lands between the Elk Camp section of Snowmass Ski Area and West Buttermilk, generally above Government Trail. Snowmass Village also has closures in effect on specific trails. The closures were enacted years ago with input from the Colorado Division of Wildlife, which is now part of the state Parks and Wildlife agency.
The Forest Service can enforce the closure with a ticket that carries a minimum fine of $100.
Read more about the closures at the Aspen Times website.