Burnt Mountain trail closure starts April 25 | AspenTimes.com

Burnt Mountain trail closure starts April 25

Staff report
A concealed camera on lower slopes of Burnt Mountain produced this image of an elk calve traveling with two cows in the spring of 2014. Wildlife experts say a spring trail closure is vital to give the animals the solitude they need at a critical time.
Courtesy photo | Courtesy photo

The area of Burnt Mountain from Two Creeks to West Buttermilk is closed to recreation from April 25 to June 21 to protect calving elk.

Trails included in the closure are:

Tom Blake

Anaerobic Nightmare

Sequel/Governmental Trail #1980 (closes May 15)

No human activity is permitted on the trails during this time period. The annual closure is put in place to prevent disturbance of local elk herds during this season, when cow elk need to forage and nurse their newborn calves without being startled or disrupted. Doing so causes calves to be abandoned.

Violations of the Burnt Mountain closure have increased in recent years, according to town of Snowmass Village animal services officers, and elk calving rates have been steadily decreasing. To turn both of these trends around, the officers are asking for the public’s cooperation.

Four agencies — the town, U.S. Forest Service, Colorado Parks and Wildlife and Aspen Skiing Co. — are teaming up to educate and enforce the Burnt Mountain closure. Violations can result in a citation and fine of as much as $5,000.

Other trails in the Snowmass Village area remain open. Those include:

Rim Trail South

Brush Creek Trail

Highline and Lowline

Nature Trail

Sams Knob, Alpine Springs, and Elk Camp work roads

Ditch/Snowmass Creek

Sleigh Ride

West Government

Open beginning May 16:

All of Rim Trail

All of Sky Mountain Park

Find more Snowmass parks and trails online at http://www.snowmass recreation.com

Call Snowmass Village Animal Services at 970-923-5330 with any questions or to report trail poachers.