The seasonal closure for the west side of the Valle Vidal area of the Carson National Forest will begin on May 1 and will continue through June 30. The Carson National Forest closes this special area every year to provide a suitable habitat for elk calving.
The designated roads will remain open for travel. However, visitors to the area will not be permitted to go off the road or leave their vehicle. In addition, camping in the area will not be allowed.
During May and June, elk cows seek areas for calving that have suitable cover and forage. Disturbances, such as human interaction, can cause the cow to abort or abandon her calf. Once the cow calves, mother and calf will remain in an area for about 10 days or until the calf is strong enough to follow the cow to higher country. Forcing a cow elk to a less adequate site for birthing can result in a weakened calf with less of a chance for survival.
Visitors traveling to the adjacent Rio Costilla Park should be aware that the park is closed until May 15. Contact Rio Costilla Park directly at 575-586-0542 or check their website at www.riocostillapark.com for more information.
As a reminder, at this time:
• No fires or fishing.
• Toilet facilities are not available.
• Pack it in, pack it out and leave no trace.
• Trash collection is suspended. Please take your garbage home.
Stay up to date on seasonal closures by checking the Carson National Forest website and following us on Facebook and Twitter.